2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost vs. Bentley Flying Spur and Mercedes-Maybach S650: Battle of the opulent

Let's see how these grandiose sedans stack up.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
3 min read
Rolls-Royce Ghost
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Rolls-Royce Ghost

All three are fancy, but only the Ghost has rear coach doors.


There are luxury sedans and then there are luxury sedans. The latter, of course, refers to highfalutin four-doors like the new Rolls-Royce Ghost that made its debut Tuesday. It's not the only game in town, of course, and good as the new Ghost seems to be, it's got some pretty impressive competition.

So, let's see how the second generation of Rolls-Royce's best-selling car stacks up against its other 12-cylinder, mega-luxe rivals, the and Mercedes-Maybach S650. We'll compare the usual specs, but also take a closer look at the lovely details that make each extra special.

Watch this: The new Ghost is the most technologically advanced Rolls-Royce to date

Exterior dimensions

These are three full-figured four-doors. Big boys. Large lads. Rolls-Royce will soon offer an even longer, extended-wheelbase version of the Ghost, just in case you somehow find the standard version too puny for your needs.

The base Ghost is similar in size to both the and , though it's the portliest of the three by a long shot. The Rolls-Royce is the longest car overall, though the Maybach has the greatest distance between its axles and the Flying Spur seems to strike a nice middle ground between the two.

Exterior Dimensions

2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost2020 Bentley Flying Spur2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Wheelbase 129.7 in125.7 in132.5 in
Length 219.0 in209.3 in215.0 in
Width 84.6 in77.8 in83.9 in
Height 61.8 in58.4 in59.0 in
Weight 5,628 pounds5,373 pounds5,280 pounds

Interior dimensions

The sedans' cabins are pretty similarly sized, too. Interestingly, the Maybach is the only car that offers more legroom up front than in back and the Bentley outdoes the Rolls-Royce here, too. But the Flying Spur suffers when it comes to overall cargo capacity -- it's down about three cubic feet compared to the Ghost and S650.

Interior Dimensions

2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost2020 Bentley Flying Spur2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Front headroom 40.9 in37.4 in42.3 in
Rear headroom 39.1 in37.0 in37.9 in
Front legroom 41.6 in41.3 in41.4 in
Rear legroom 41.9 in42.9 in40.0 in
Cargo capacity 17.7 cu-ft14.8 cu-ft17.6 cu-ft

The new Rolls-Royce Ghost offers top-notch luxury

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Powertrain and performance

All three cars have twin-turbocharged, 12-cylinder engines and there isn't a dud among 'em. Of course, with great power comes great consumption and, as you can see in the chart below, none of these cars is what we'd call efficient.

The most interesting takeaway here is that the Flying Spur is nearly a full second quicker in the 0-to-60-mph sprint, despite having comparable power. In fact, the Maybach S650 is the lightest car of the group and has a whopping 738 pound-feet of torque, yet it matches the Ghost's 4.6-second acceleration time. It's also the only car to offer rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive.

Then again, power and acceleration are kind of relative in cars like these, where the goal is to offer supple on-road manners. We can't speak to the Ghost just yet, but its new suspension technologies should make it buttery smooth on all pavement surfaces, definitely giving the Flying Spur and Maybach a run for their money.


2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost2020 Bentley Flying Spur2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650
Engine 6.75L twin-turbo V126.0L twin-turbo W126.0L twin-turbo V12
Power 563 hp626 hp621 hp
Torque 627 lb-ft664 lb-ft738 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed auto8-speed auto7-speed auto
Driveline All-wheel driveAll-wheel driveRear-wheel drive
0-60 mph 4.6 seconds3.7 seconds4.6 seconds
Top speed 155 mph (limited)207 mphNA
Fuel economy (city / hwy) 12 / 19 mpg12 / 19 mpg13 / 21 mpg

2020 Bentley Flying Spur embodies modern luxury

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Tech and fancy features

All three cars offer extremely plush accommodations, with available two-person executive seating in back. Heated, cooled, massaging seats are on hand across the board, as are rear-seat entertainment systems, refrigerators (you have to keep the Veuve chilled, duh), sun shades and more. Bentley and Rolls-Royce have the upper hand on outright luxury, what with their hand-assembled cabins and beautiful decor. But the Maybach is hardly a dud in this department -- you'd be hard pressed to complain about the premium accoutrements on offer here.

The Bentley and Maybach are about evenly matched as far as infotainment tech are concerned. The former uses a Bentley-skinned version of the excellent Porsche Communication Management system, while the latter runs Mercedes' older COMAND software. Still, both of these are better than the older, BMW iDrive 6-based tech found in the Ghost, which doesn't even offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Driver-assistance features are in no short supply, with all three cars offering a full suite of the good stuff. But the Ghost earns bonus points for its pièce de résistance Starlight Headliner, which is one of the coolest bits of cabin lighting available anywhere. It brings the night sky inside the car and owners can spec their own personalized view of the sky. The Ghost's new illuminated dashboard is another bit of specialized brightwork that sets it apart from the rest, as well.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class goes two-tone

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If you have to ask...

These are not cheap cars, nor should they be given the luxury and power on offer. The Mercedes-Maybach S650 is the cheapest, or maybe we should say least-expensive, at just over $200,000. The Bentley starts about $10,000 more than that and the Ghost comes in at a whopping $332,500.

Then again, these starting prices aren't unreasonable for the cars' target customers and they're also only the beginning. Especially with Bentley and Rolls-Royce, the sky's the limit when it comes to options and personalization options. You're rich; go wild.


Base price
2021 Rolls-Royce Ghost $332,500
2020 Bentley Flying Spur $214,600
2020 Mercedes-Maybach S650 $202,550