Rolls-Royce Phantom voted best car

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The Sultan of Brunei and his brother Jefri are said to own six apiece, while Stevie Wonder was given one just for singing "Happy Birthday" to Oprah Winfrey. So in some circles, the naming of the Rolls-Royce Phantom, a £256,000 car that can do 149mph and manages just 11 miles to the gallon, as best car in the world will come as no surprise.

The Phantom beat off competition from Daimler, Bentley and Mercedes in tests forAutocar magazine. More than 75 cars were tested by the magazine, with the four top performers put through more tests for engine efficiency, performance, engineering quality, comfort and reliability.

The model, made at Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, outgunned the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, the Daimler Super Eight and the Mercedes Benz S600 to take the crown.

The result will be a fillip for BMW, which bought the marque in 1998, as it was the first Rolls-Royce model it produced. The magazine deemed it "by far the quietest, best riding and, staggeringly, has the aura of quality to justify its lofty price". Autocar's editor, Rob Aherne, said: "This latest Phantom wins nothing on privilege. It wins on merit."