Rolls Royce Ghost, Cheshire test drive

Emma Mayoh gets behind the wheel of the new addition to the Rolls-Royce family, the Ghost

It was difficult to tear myself away. I’d spent only a few moments behind the wheel of a Rolls-Royce Ghost but I knew I never wanted to part from it. I was seduced by its sleek diamond black exterior and addicted to the feeling of driving one of these super luxury cars. The shiny silver Spirit of Ecstasy, which could be raised and lowered by the switch of a button inside the car, was mesmerising. I didn’t ever want to leave its comfortable interior. Unfortunately, it was mine only for the next few hours and it was tempting to curl up in the back and take advantage of the rear theatre system – after I’d pressed the button to close the coach opening rear doors. The Ghost has all the knobs and whistles you can think of including a radio, DVD player as well as the ability to check where you are on a map – all for the benefit of the back seat passengers. The people in the front get the same treatment too but this was a car that was eager to be driven because it knew it would impress.Riding around in the Ghost – the smaller brother of the company’s iconic Phantom – you could develop some sort of personality complex: jaws drop, people stand agog and staring eyes follow you along every inch of the road. Manoeuvring through traffic is easy as cars part to let you through, people peer in the windows hoping to spot a famous face behind the wheel – what a disappointment to see me! – and the car pulls away silently with little effort. Of course, it was the V12 engine doing the legwork under the vast bonnet but this car glided along the road with barely a whisper. This was a car at home in Cheshire too. Meandering around the vast landscapes of Tatton Park, squeezing through the narrow Knutsford streets, and stretching its legs along the motorway and towards Chester, the Ghost never failed to impress.The elephant-ear sized wing mirrors made navigation simple, the in-built camera made reversing effortless and the climate control kept the car at perfect temperature. The Ghost was launched late last year as an everyday car meant to be driven by the owner – rather than the Phantom which cries out to be chauffeur-driven. It may not be the gigantic model its older brother is, but the new addition to the Rolls-Royce family need feel no sibling rivalry.I sat in the car for ten minutes before I prised myself out of the front seat. Resigned to the fact that no matter how many times I rattled my piggy bank or searched behind the sofa, I reluctantly handed the keys back. It may not be a car I will ever own but what a privilege to have driven it. 

GET THE FACTSCAR: Rolls-Royce GhostPRICE: From �196,000INSURANCE GROUP: 20CO2 EMISSIONS: 377gkmPERFORMANCE: 0–60 in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of 155 mphFUEL CONSUMPTION: Urban: 13.8 mpg, extra urban: 29.4mpg and combined: 20.8mpgSTANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Auto stability control, cornering brake control, dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, several airbagsWILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE? Length/width/height (mm) is 5399/1948/1550 The Rolls-Royce Ghost was kindly loaned to Cheshire Life by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Manchester, 1 Canute Place, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6BQ. Tel: 0845 481 2114. 

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