2020 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge review: Stealth standout

This is definitely the pinnacle of luxurious SUVs.

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Even with what you could feel from its identify, you can find additional to this Rolls-Royce Cullinan than some black paint and dim-chrome complete. Absolutely sure, the Black Badge treatment method mainly caters to individuals who want all the lavishness of a six-figure SUV with a a bit additional less than-the-radar strategy. But I’ll basically argue that the best detail about this SUV just isn’t what you can see, it is really what you won’t be able to.

Table of Contents


  • Has every luxurious function you could at any time want
  • Easy, effective V12 engine
  • Fantastic to push, improved to be pushed in
  • Black Badge styling is refined and chic

Do not Like

  • Clunky infotainment tech devoid of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • I won’t be able to find the money for 1

For starters, the six.75-liter V12 engine will get a small but obvious strengthen in electric power, thanks to an European reflash. The conventional Cullinan places out a not-insubstantial 563 horsepower and 627 pound-toes of torque, but the Black Badge ups that to 592 hp and 664 lb-ft. There is certainly a sport push setting, way too — activated by urgent the “Very low” button on the gear stalk — that increases throttle reaction and unlocks a additional intense shift logic for the 8-velocity automatic transmission.

It actually operates, way too the Black Badge Cullinan has some newfound pep in its action. You can sense the added electric power less than acceleration, and I like how the transmission is additional than keen to instantly drop a gear or two when I lay into the throttle. The Black Badge will get a new exhaust technique, with a kind of aural playfulness you wouldn’t expect from a brand name that is typically so buttoned up. It will capture you off guard at 1st, but I guarantee, those pops and burbles are coming from the Cullinan, not some other car or truck.

With fantastic electric power arrives fantastic accountability, and Rolls-Royce fits the Black Badge Cullinan with a bigger established of brake discs to deliver all the things to a prevent in a hurry. Decreased pedal travel and an enhanced bite issue make halting this six,000-pound behemoth considerably less of an party, way too. I’m not guaranteed how I sense about the red-painted calipers in this article, which are evidently non-negotiable, but I have to believe Rolls-Royce is keen to bend the policies for prospective buyers who throw ample revenue at the challenge.

The Cullinan’s air suspension will get a stiffer default setting for Black Badge responsibility, and though it does cut down human body motions a teensy bit though cornering, I’m not going to consider and encourage you that this SUV is abruptly a canyon carver. The steering is gentle and effortless, and you can sense every 1 of the aforementioned six,000 pounds when you chuck this big boy into a corner.

This just isn’t even the best seat in the household.

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Fortunately, none of this added verve arrives at the expense of general trip excellent. Black Badge or not, this is still a Rolls-freaking-Royce, and whether or not you happen to be blasting down the freeway or just toddling along in targeted traffic as a result of Beverly Hills, it is really as clean and snug and quiet and attractive as any car or truck proudly carrying a Spirit of Ecstasy on its prow. Driver-support characteristics like adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping aid make an previously serene knowledge even considerably less stress filled. Blissfully isolated from the entire world exterior, the Cullinan definitely can make you and your travellers sense like the wealthy aristocrats you are.

What else does the Black Badge spec get you? The Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament, grille and some trim items are completed in higher-gloss black chrome, and those big, red brake calipers are established driving a special established of 22-inch wheels. Relocating inside, Rolls-Royce’s “technical fiber” trim arrives conventional — feel of it as 3D-glimpse carbon fiber — and you can buy the SUV with a new Forge Yellow inside possibility, which this test car or truck has. The abundant, yellow hue on the leather seats and wool flooring mats absolutely just isn’t for everybody, but I variety of dig it. Just be guaranteed to preserve those mats clean up.

The Black Badge also signifies the 1st time Rolls-Royce is offering its starlight headliner in the Cullinan. Also out there on the Ghost, Phantom and Wraith, this super-interesting function employs one,344 fiber-optic lights embedded in the headliner to deliver the night sky inside the car or truck. There is certainly a dimmer swap so you can raise or reduce the intensity, and a “capturing star” outcome operates as you’d imagine, sending little zips of gentle from side to side. If that is not ample, Rolls-Royce will even custom made-tailor the headliner so its layout signifies any portion of the night sky as it would’ve seemed on a specific date or from a particular position. Certainly, actually. (For long term push car or truck buying, Rolls-Royce, I would like the sky as noticed from Detroit, Michigan on Feb. 26, 1986.)

Certainly, you can buy it in colours other than black.

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Anything else that is specific about the Cullinan just isn’t special to the Black Badge. The inside is exquisite to behold and all the components sense wonderful. The switches and buttons have fantastic tactility, and you can find a enjoyable excess weight to the motion of the metallic air vent plungers. The heated, massaging seats coddle you like nothing else out there. From the automatic doorway-shut buttons to the heated, massaging seats to the chilled, crystal champagne flutes in the compartment concerning the rear thrones, the Cullinan is a hundred% Rolls-Royce opulence.

Uncomplicated as it is to get wrapped up in all that luxurious, there are a pair of sore places I will need to address. The cargo spot is smaller sized than you’d feel, and the nifty slide-out tailgate seats on this tester (which are quite interesting, I guarantee you) just take up quite a bit of area. The Cullinan’s multimedia technique presents its very own established of problems, way too. It’s basically a reskinned version of BMW’s more mature iDrive six tech, which is considerably clunky to use, and lacks support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For a business so centered on easygoing motoring, this added bit of in-car or truck worry is a downer.

Going the Black Badge route will established you back again an more $fifty seven,000 above the conventional Cullinan’s $325,000 inquiring value, and by the time you get it optioned just the way you like it, prepare to spend at the very least $425,000 or so, all-in. That’s a good deal of revenue for plebs like you and I, but try to remember, no 1 is stretching their funds to place a Cullinan in their driveway. For these individuals, spending an more $57K on the Black Badge is a no-brainer. And superior for them, due to the fact it is really a worthwhile enhance that can make an previously decadent SUV even improved.