From £313,2008

It’s probably best to start with what’s bad in the Phantom Coupé, as it won’t take long. There is too little rear leg and shoulder room, the iDrive-style control system (derived from BMW’s and developed too little from there) is a pain to operate, and the seat adjusters require too much time and attention to operate safely on the move. There’s also a surprising amount of wind noise at speed for a Rolls-Royce, and the boot should be a little larger.

There the complaints end. For all the inefficiencies in packaging, which mean the Rolls has less rear room than a typical D-segment saloon, those who do fit into the rear will find its seats sumptuous and the fittings exquisite.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Phantom Coupé is a conspicuously large car to pilot

Front-seat occupants will care not a jot either, because the driving or passenger experience is second to none, enjoyed in seats that are slightly more bolstered than the saloon’s. Otherwise the front-seat experience mimics the saloon’s and convertible’s.

The dashboard and other trim feels beautifully constructed, with a pleasing weight to all major controls. The stereo is quite possibly the finest-sounding system fitted as standard to any current road car, the heater controls look a little odd but work well, and the organ stops for the air vents work with silken precision.

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The Phantom Coupé is a conspicuously large car to pilot, but forward visibility is helped by thin A-pillars and the front edge and corners are relatively easy to place by virtue of the Spirit of Ecstasy and some flattish sides.

Less impressive is the view to the rear through the narrow window, but that does at least help to create a cosy atmosphere in the rear seats, especially with the optional Skylight roof lights dimly aglow.

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