• Ash Habib

The most expensive SUV in the world might also be the best automotive bargain

Sometimes life is unfair. In fact, most of the time, life is unfair. It's unfair that I wasn't born as an heir in a multi billion dollar dynasty, or that I started losing my hair in my mid 20s, but, those are the breaks I guess. Along the lines of unfairness it seems, is the realization that the recently introduced SUV from Rolls Royce, the Cullinan, the world's most expensive, starting at around $371,000 CDN before options and customization, may actually be the biggest automotive bargain in a long time.

2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan (Photos by Rolls Royce)

When I look at the Cullinan, I'm reminded of I quote I heard, from the book "Men at Arms" in which, a character theorizes that the reason the rich stay rich is that they manage to spend less. The quote boils down to the fact that a normal pair of workboots at the time were $10, and would last a season or two before being worn out. However, a paid of boots that would last a lifetime would cost $50 at the time. So, while a wealthy person could easily purchase the $50 boots, people of more traditional means would end up spending hundreds over a lifetime purchasing boots over and over again.

2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan Interior (Photos by Rolls Royce)

While the average car buying person will spend in the region of what the Cullinan costs on a lifetime supply of vehicles, it's easy to note that most Cullinans will not service their buyers for an entire lifetime. The reason it's the best automotive bargain, you need only look at it's sibling in the Rolls Royce Family, the Phantom.

2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan Rear Seat (Photos by Rolls Royce)

The Rolls Royce Phantom is designed to be the pinnacle of motor transportation, and an ultimate expression of its owner. Every surface you touch, everything you look at or interact with can be customized to your personal tastes. In the same way no two bespoke suits are exactly alike, neither are two Phantoms. The latest one, the Phantom 8, combines world leading luxury and technology, to the tune of a starting price of $556,000 CDN. Prices skyrocket from there as the buyer customizes to their hearts' desire, often to the tune of $800,000 CDN and up.

2019 Rolls Royce Phantom (Photos by Rolls Royce)

There are so many options and combinations that the Rolls Royce website doesn't list prices, because they will make anything you want, happen. And of course, as the saying goes, if you have to ask...

2019 Rolls Royce Phantom Rear (Photos by Rolls Royce)

But here's the thing; The Cullinan is based on the Phantom, takes all of it's design from the Phantom, has the same 563hp V12 as the Phantom, adds AWD and some off road capability, and while a handful of the options on the Cullinan are standard fare on the Phantom, it doesn't add up to the $185,000 CDN price delta between the two vehicles. If anything, the Cullinan offers more variety, because you can choose to not have those features.

2019 Rolls Royce Cullinan (Photos by Rolls Royce)

So, you have virtually every option the Phantom has available, but at an extreme discount. It's no wonder that Rolls Royce is getting so many orders it can't keep up. Rolls Royce is actually in the midst of boosting plant capacity in order to meet demand. Again, this is the world's most expensive SUV! It's more than 9 times the cost of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, more than 3 times the cost of a Supercharged Land Rover, and a full $130,000 CDN more than the starting price of a Bentley Bentayga or Lamborghini Urus, not exactly cars you'd consider yourself slumming in.

I need to win the lottery quick, so I can save some money and buy a Cullinan.

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