For most people, Mercedes is the very pinnacle of the automotive luxury. Hardly anyone would argue that there is a need for something even more luxurious than a Maybach S-Class. A Maybach S-Class offers luxury and comfort similar to a multi-million-dollar yacht, but there are levels to the luxury car market.
On the very top of the luxury car industry stands a prominent manufacturer from Goodwood, England called Rolls-Royce. They have been crafting the finest luxury automobiles for quite a while now, and it is fairly safe to say that there is nothing out there that can truly compete with a Rolls-Royce.
Mercedes is a mainstream car manufacturer that offers a broad spectrum of commercial vehicles, hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and sports cars, and even hypercars. If you were to compare the product range of Mercedes to Rolls-Royce, you would think that with such a high number of vehicles, Mercedes would trump Rolls in every way imaginable.
And it is true, to a certain extent. Mercedes does offer better cars for multiple different usage scenarios. Rolls only offers 5 models for a small percentage of customers with a really specific taste. And that taste is about luxury, lots and lots of unparalleled luxury.
The Rolls-Royce Ghost is considered an “entry-level” Rolls costing a smidgeon over $330k. Now it may seem ludicrous to think that the “baby” Rolls-Royce costs more than almost 3 entry-levels S-Classes. But for some, it’s a no brainer. To understand the appeal of Rolls-Royce, you need to forget what mainstream “luxury” is all about.
There has been a huge trend in the car industry of premium manufacturers coming out with their versions of “the best SUV.” Lamborghini has the fire-breathing Urus, Bentley has the Benteyga, Aston Martin just released the DBX, and even Ferrari will soon release the Purosangue. Rolls-Royce has the Cullinan.
The Cullinan also costs more than $330k. For a thoroughly specified Cullinan, you might even be able to buy a few G-classes. It’s quite unfair for other manufacturers to be compared to Rolls-Royce. Rolls is in a league of its own, and if the luxury department is the topic of comparison, every other car manufacturer simply pales in comparison.
The best of Rolls-Royce vs, the best of Mercedes
If we were to bring out the big guns, the sheer scale of details and attention incorporated in a Rolls-Royce would overshadow everything a Mercedes has to offer. The best, most regal, most luxurious car Rolls-Royce makes is the Phantom.
The entry price of a RR Phantom is well over $450k, but that’s just the starting price. A Phantom is almost always specifically made with a single customer in mind. Rolls is proud to advertise that they will do absolutely anything you want with your Phantom, as long as you are ready to pay for it.
If you want a color specific to a certain object, Rolls would paint the Phantom in that same color. If you want custom stitching more akin to a Gucci sweater, you got it. If you think that the badge of your Rolls is not flashy enough, you may opt to do it in solid Gold.
There are virtually no limits in specifying a Rolls-Royce, and that goes for every model they make, and especially so for the Phantom. And that’s the biggest difference between the Mercedes Maybach S-Class and the Phantom: Exclusivity and attention to details.
Almost every component of a Rolls-Royce was meticulously crafted from the finest materials. Everything that looks like metal, is indeed metal. There are no cuts to save a dollar here and there, there is none of it. A Rolls is made with a single purpose in mind, and that’s to be more luxurious than anything out there.
AMG vs Black Badge Line
The models mentioned above are commonly used to be chauffeured in. But what about if you want to drive the cars yourself?
Mercedes AMG is the performance-oriented department of Mercedes, offering vehicles that are made to fly on the German autobahn and even scare a Porsche or two on the track. For example, the Mercedes S63 AMG offers almost 600 horsepower, 4WD, and a set of sticky track-ready tires.
In the Rolls-Royce corner, there is the Black Badge Line. Black Badge Rolls-Royce models are primarily designed with a younger customer base in mind. BB Rollses offer a bit more of a sporty driving experience with a more engaging mapping on the V12 twin-turbo engines.
If you want a car that feels sporty, and you prefer the stiffness of a chassis to a wallowing car then you should consider the Mercedes. But, if you want comfort, with a spice of sportiness just to mix it up a bit, a BB Rolls might be a better choice. Of course, it probably comes down to what you can afford.
What’s the depreciation like on a Rolls-Royce?
You would think that a Rolls-Royce Phantom, which usually costs more than half a million dollars would plummet in value after a couple of years, and they don’t depreciate as badly as you might expect. It is expected for a Phantom to lose up to 30% of the value in the first 5 years.
This may seem bad, but in comparison, an S-Class would lose more than double the percentage. Of course, you also need to consider the difference in price in the first place.
Rolls does not come out with new models all that often. Ten to fifteen years usually go by before Rolls comes out with a new model, and that works favorably as far as depreciation is concerned. There aren’t many of them, and the Rolls-Royce brand name is so strong that even after 20 years have passed, RR models are still considered luxurious.
Why is Rolls-Royce so highly appraised in the car industry?
Absolutely nothing drives like a Rolls does. Every part of a Rolls is carefully thought out. Every detail is hand-made and hand-inspected. Every paint job is done in house by a single person. Every stitch, every piece of leather is carefully assembled by a watchful experienced master craftsman.
Other comparable manufacturers like Bentley or Aston Martin also build luxurious cars, but with a sporty edge. But not Rolls, luxury is the sole reason why Rollses are built. Luxury has been the top priority since the birth of the company, and it will probably continue to be the top priority for years to come.
Should you consider buying a used Rolls?
Rolls-Royce cars are excruciatingly expensive. It can be hard to justify buying one, no matter how good the cars actually are. So, you might just be better off looking at a used Rolls. They don’t refresh their models regularly so there is a chance that, even after 5 years, you might still get the “newest” model.
Rollses are about the limitless customization. Buying a Rolls is an event, but building a Rolls is a process in which you as the customer actually enjoy unlimited access in choosing everything about your new shiny chariot. So, some of this aspect would be lost when buying one second hand.
But if you want the best, most luxurious car on the market, and if you don’t care all that much about the tailor-made specification, a used Rolls makes a lot more sense. You can get it right away, and no matter what, it will be full of good specs and the prestige that come with the Rolls-Royce name.