Although we make every effort to cover our own travel costs, in this case BMW flew me to Palm Springs, California, and provided two nights in a hotel in Indian Wells.
Now that SUVs have overtaken sedans as a percentage of all new car sales in the United States, it’s no surprise that ultra-luxury carmakers have jumped on the bandwagon. People accustomed to spending something well north of $ 200,000 on cars now have options like the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Range Rover SV Coupe. So when presented with an unexpected opportunity to take a Rolls-Royce Cullinan for a spin down desert highways and an off-road course, I leapt at the chance. Especially the off-road bits—one of the most frequent comments in luxury SUV reviews is “no one is ever going to take that off-road.”
That may very well be true for the Cullinan, which debuted in late 2018. But if the road to one of your winter chalets—say, the one in the Sierra Nevadas—is blocked by a mudslide or avalanche, you’ll still have a shot of making it home in time for cocktails if you’re behind the wheel (or in the backseat) of this elegant beast. Before we get into the ups and downs of driving a Cullinan, let’s look at the numbers.