The 10 Coolest Features Of The 2022 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

In the space of just a couple of decades, SUVs have gone from being a niche segment of the market to one that every major manufacturer has no choice but to compete in. As of the start of 2022, SUV sales now make up over half of total passenger car sales in the United States, and that market share seems to keep increasing every year. So, a new manufacturer entering the fray might not seem like big news. Well, in most cases, it isn't, but when Rolls-Royce announced its first-ever SUV would be launching in 2018, people took notice.

There was a lot riding on the new car's reception, but the Cullinan SUV launched to great success, becoming the fastest-selling Rolls-Royce in history. The biggest reason for that success is arguably the way the brand combines its penchant for meticulously engineered craftsmanship with the utility and ruggedness of a traditional SUV. The Cullinan hasn't received any major updates for the 2022 model year, but then it didn't need them. Since its launch, the world's wealthiest have rushed to get their hands on one of these ultra-exclusive cars, as it offers discerning buyers a suite of luxury features that simply can't be matched by any other SUV on the market.

How much does the Cullinan cost?

The Cullinan might be one of the most desirable SUVs out there, but it also comes with one of the most eye-watering price tags of any vehicle in its segment. In the United States, the 2022 Cullinan starts at $351,250 according to Car and Driver, although that figure will go up significantly as bespoke features are added. For comparison, the Bentley Bentayga S starts at a little over $220,000, while a fully-specced Range Rover SV will cost a fraction over $260,000. That makes the Cullinan significantly pricier than its nearest rivals, although arguably neither the Bentley nor the Range Rover comes close in terms of all-out lavishness.

Anyone who's still not satisfied with a "standard" Cullinan can opt for a Black Badge edition, which can reach a price north of $465,000. The flagship Rolls-Royce SUV, then, is a cut above the rest, both in the features that it offers and in its price tag. For the elite few who can afford it, it's the ultimate luxury utility vehicle, but for the rest of us, let's take a look at exactly what we're missing out on.

Unwaveringly smooth magic carpet ride

Perhaps the most famous feature of traditional Rolls-Royce models is the smoothness with which they tackle any terrain. The brand calls this its "magic carpet ride," and a lot of development work has gone into making the Cullinan live up to the "magic carpet" feeling. That work started with the aluminum spaceframe that underpins the whole car, which is entirely new for the Cullinan. The most key element, though, is the suspension, which relies on computer processing power to make the car's ride more consistent than ever.

The air suspension system makes millions of calculations every second, using data from the pedals, steering, and exterior cameras to anticipate the road ahead. It then proactively adjusts to absorb impacts, with minimal vibrations making it through to the cabin. This active technology also allows the car to be self-leveling, for greater driver and passenger comfort on uneven surfaces. All this combines to make a car that feels unnaturally comfortable to drive over rough terrain, and almost totally insulated from potholed city streets.

Full off-road capability

Rolls-Royce's clients might be used to driving a car that feels like a magic carpet, but they won't be used to how many places they can now go with it. Every previous Rolls was built squarely for the asphalt, but the Cullinan is equally at home on ice, gravel, mud, or sand. Off-road mode is activated via a button on the center console, and when it's pressed, the car rises 40 mm (1.57 inches) for extra ground clearance. Throttle and brake responses are also changed, to allow greater control on rough terrain.

The exact setup of the car can be finely tuned through it's central touchscreen, although right out of the gate, the Cullinan is a shockingly impressive off-roader. While lesser SUVs might feature all-terrain styling with little actual capability, the Cullinan is exactly the opposite. In particular, it has been developed to be capable in the deserts of the Middle East, most likely in response to the SUV's anticipated client base. It's as good at churning up clouds of sand as any Toyota, although scratching the Cullinan's seven-coat paint on rocks and debris will cost a lot more in repairs than any Land Cruiser. Not that anyone rich enough to buy a Cullinan in the first place would care.

Drinks cabinet with Rolls-Royce champagne flutes

Another stereotypical Rolls-Royce feature that Cullinan owners are treated to is the built-in drinks cabinet, which can be tailored to every buyer's personal tastes. It incorporates a refrigerator for keeping those bottles of bubbly ice-cold, and Rolls-Royce branded champagne flutes are also included for on-the-go drinking. Buyers who prefer a drink that's a little stronger can also make use of the built-in whiskey glasses and decanter, which are, of course, also made especially for the car.

This built-in cabinet is fully customizable, so buyers who prefer wine or a different spirit could swap out the standard glasses for something more to their tastes. This setup is only available with the Cullinan's Individual Seat configuration, which is an optional extra that erases some of the car's load carrying capacity, but enables a more traditional Phantom-like luxury experience for the rear seat passengers. With Individual Seat, the rear seats can no longer fold down, but as a result, there's a wider range of adjustment options available for occupants to find the perfect champagne-sipping position in their regal SUV.

Customizable recreation module

As well as just being a luxurious lounge-on-wheels to be chauffeured around in, Rolls-Royce made sure to include plenty of features for owners who want to get out and do things. Or, as the company very eloquently puts it, "individuals who are heavily engaged in the experience economy." Those individuals will want to make full use of the Recreation Module, a bespoke motorized container that sits in the trunk of the car and can be configured to hold any number of items.

Rolls-Royce gives the example of fly-fishing or rock climbing, where specific equipment is required, yet it's always a hassle to make sure it's all packed before setting off. With the Cullinan, owners can buy two different modules, each one packed with their gear for each hobby, then simply slot the relevant one into place under the main trunk. The Recreation Module doesn't compromise the overall luggage space of the car, and it saves having equipment bouncing around in the trunk on the journey.

More bespoke options than ever

Part of the appeal of buying a Rolls-Royce is being able to customize both its exterior and interior as much as possible, with individual configurations actively encouraged by the company. Buyers who use the Bespoke service multiple times can look forward to even more exclusive perks, like having a custom-made color named after them and reserved solely for their use. American collector Michael Fux did exactly that with his one-off Cullinan, which was unveiled at 'The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering' in 2019.

His colorful commission was designed to match a ladies' wrap that he saw on sale in Florida, and it took Rolls-Royce's Bespoke team nearly a year to develop a paint that exactly matched the color. The distinct orange shade was then christened Fux Orange in honor of its designer and displayed on Fux's unique Cullinan. A custom color is one thing, but spend enough money at Rolls-Royce, and collectors could request bespoke changes to any aspect of their Cullinan, from the wheels to the interior stitching.

Exclusive Neon Nights color scheme

Staying with the theme of unusual paint schemes, Rolls-Royce has shown that it's willing to break with stereotypes and offer a more diverse range of color options than ever with its latest cars. A decade or two ago, it would have been laughable to suggest that a Rolls would be offered in glow-in-the-dark paint from the factory, and yet in a recent press release, the company confirmed that its entire lineup including the Cullinan would be available in an ultra-limited "Neon Nights" color scheme.

Rather than just buying a "regular" Cullinan, to option in one of these exclusive luminous shades, buyers must splash out on a top-spec Cullinan Black Badge, the most expensive trim that the company offers. A choice of three neon shades is available for the Cullinan: Lime Rock Green, which is inspired by the Australian green tree frog, Eagle Rock Red, inspired by a native Hawaiian flower, or Mirabeau Blue, inspired by the Rhetus Periander butterfly. Just four examples of the Cullinan were made available in these colors, and it's safe to assume they were quickly snapped up by eager collectors.

Impressive carrying capacity

The Cullinan might be one of the most luxurious vehicles on the market, but Rolls-Royce made sure not to compromise its utility as a spacious SUV all the same. The trunk offers 560 liters (19.8 cubic feet) of space as standard, rising to 600 liters (21.2 cubic feet) with the parcel shelf removed. With the seats folded down, that capacity increases to a maximum of 1930 liters (68.2 cubic feet). Perhaps more impressive, though, is the Cullinan's maximum loading length of 2,245 mm (88.4 inches), long enough to fit "a Mark Rothko from the Art Gallery or a newly discovered artifact from the latest archaeological dig," according to Rolls-Royce's press release.

While it's highly unlikely that anyone who drives a Cullinan SUV is actually going to be getting their hands dirty at an archaeological dig, the point remains the same. The loading length is longer than other luxury rivals like the Range Rover Vogue Extended Wheelbase, and it makes the Cullinan an unexpectedly practical luggage mover for anyone looking to shift bulky items from one residence to another.

Pavilion seating for the perfect view

Another feature with unexpected practical benefits is the Pavilion seating, which places the rear passengers higher up than the driver. Rolls-Royce says that this is to allow better views out of the windows and sunroof, letting passengers enjoy their surroundings without ever having to leave the climate-controlled surroundings of their car. However, the raised rear seats also mean that even with the seats down, the floor of the trunk is lower than the seat base. This creates a natural enclosure for luggage stored in the rear partition of the car, preventing it from sliding around too much in transit.

To make the most of the optimally-positioned seating, Rolls-Royce has included wireless charging pads in the front of the car, and USB charging points in the rear, to make sure devices like phones are always primed to take photos. Or, alternatively, if the passenger is bored of looking out the window, they can always use those ports to charge their phones enough to scroll through their social media app of choice. They shouldn't get too bored though, as both seats have access to an infotainment touchscreen where occupants can get information on the status of their car as well as a range of media content.

Three-box layout with glass partition

In years gone by, Rolls-Royce says, wealthy adventurers would never travel with their luggage, and so to recreate that, the Cullinan can be optioned with a glass partition that separates the trunk and the rear seats of the car. This brings a range of benefits, including making the cabin even more silent than normal, and "sealing in" the occupants. The trunk hatch can be kept open for luggage to be loaded, but the occupants of the car will still get the full benefit of exacting climate control settings that ensure they're never too hot or too cold.

Rolls-Royce calls the Cullinan the first "three-box" SUV, as there isn't anything else like it on the market. It mirrors the rest of the cars in Rolls-Royce's range, which also feature separate luggage compartments for those discerning owners who really want to feel like they're on an old-school adventure.

Cutting-edge driver assistance features including Night Vision

The Cullinan has plenty of options for owners who like to be driven rather than to drive, but anyone who prefers to get behind the wheel isn't left out, either. Features like Night Vision and Vision Assist help drivers stay alert of hazards even when visibility is low, and the Wildlife & Pedestrian warning also works in both daylight and at night. Four exterior cameras are fitted to give a panoramic view of the car's surroundings, a vital tool when maneuvering the car into tight city parking spots.

There are also all the usual assistance features like active cruise control, lane departure warning, and collision warning that help make highway driving a breeze. A head-up display is included as standard, letting drivers keep their eyes on the road rather than being distracted by the dash. It all adds up to a vehicle that Rolls-Royce claims is "the most technologically advanced car of its type," making it safer than ever as well as being more convenient for the driver.