Vehicles just like the 2004-2006 Volkswagen Phaeton are automotive outliers that lovers are likely to have a specific fascination over. The Phaeton, as an idea basically, by no means made good sense for a model like Volkswagen. Until you take into account a luxurious flagship mannequin that carries a W12 engine and a virtually $100,000 beginning worth to be “the folks’s automobile,” then it’s simple to conclude that VW was means out of its zone right here. Hindsight is 20/20, proper? Individuals most popular their luxurious automobiles with luxurious badges, as a result of despite the fact that the Phaeton might have pushed and acted like a top-tier luxurious flagship sedan, it carried the downmarket VW badge of automobiles just like the Golf and Jetta.
It’s this very incongruence that made the Phaeton a gross sales failure right here within the U.S. It was consequently solely obtainable for 3 mannequin years, then unceremoniously discontinued. Elsewhere on the planet, the Phaeton was comparatively well-received. It even acquired to reside via a number of generations due to robust demand in Europe, and most notably, China. That’s fortunate for VW, too, as a result of the corporate sunk a ton of cash into this challenge, going as far as constructing a particular all-glass manufacturing unit — the “Clear Manufacturing unit” — to completely assemble it in. The Dresden manufacturing unit was state-of-the-art on the time, and it’s nonetheless a sight to behold — these days, this location produces the electrical VW ID.3.
Why the Volkswagen Phaeton?
Are you interested by the height of German luxurious from the early-to-mid 2000s? If that’s the case, line up proper right here. The Phaeton is an alluring, but in addition scary, proposition nowadays. VW spared no expense making this automobile right into a flagship-beating luxurious sedan, which implies it’s loaded stuffed with goodies. You get to decide on between both a 4.2-liter V8 or 6.0-liter W12 engine. The V8 makes 335 horsepower, whereas the W12 makes a stout 420 horsepower. Each get poor gasoline economic system, however the W12 is remarkably poor at simply 13 mpg mixed — after all, each require premium gasoline.
Stand-out options like a complicated air suspension, a draft-less local weather management system (to keep away from direct airflow on occupants), heated/cooled/massaging seats (even within the again), a 7-inch infotainment display (with CD-based navigation), an obtainable high-end 12-speaker audio system and high-speed-rated air con. The local weather management was designed such that it may hold the automobile at a snug 72 levels Fahrenheit while touring at 186 mph on the autobahn in temperatures as much as 122 levels. And sure, the Phaeton with its W12 engine was able to 186 mph. The automobile shared a platform with Bentleys and the Audi A8 in spite of everything, so it’s in good firm from an engineering standpoint.
You purchase a Phaeton immediately for its elegant, comfy driving expertise, quirky luxurious options and low cost worth. Simply be ready to spend cash on repairs to maintain it in full working order. To service it, you’ll must discover a Volkswagen seller with a Phaeton-certified technician on employees, too, as a result of this automobile may be very totally different from some other regular VW product.
Which VW Phaeton ought to I select?
Because it was solely out for 3 mannequin years, there aren’t many choices to make. Deciding between the V8 and W12 may be very probably the most important conundrum you’ll have, and even then, chances are you’ll already know which one you’d somewhat have. Acceleration isn’t very totally different between the 2, however the W12 is quieter and smoother than the V8.
Tools-wise, the W12 automobiles got here highly-optioned as normal, however you can possibility up the V8 Phaetons, too. It simply relies upon what degree of luxurious you’re after. The upper-option W12 automobiles have extra issues that would theoretically break, and servicing the W12 has the upper potential restore value, however enjoying it “secure” with a V8 then begs the query: Who needs a low-spec Phaeton? We’ll additionally observe that you’re going to pay extra up entrance for a W12 nowadays, because the nicer examples are typically priced north of $20,000. When you’re feeling actually fortunate, V8s might be had for effectively beneath $10,000 — do not say we did not warn you, although.
If you need a coloration exterior of black, white or shades of grey, it’ll be slightly more durable to search out. Most offered had been in pretty generic and inconspicuous shades. In the meantime, most interiors had been in both black or beige/tan. A rear seat government package deal of types was obtainable that swapped the middle seat out for a full-length middle console, so be careful for that if it’s in your wishlist, too.
Our used automobile listings might be useful to discover a whole lot close to you. Slim the choices down by a radius round your ZIP code, and take note of the deal ranking on every itemizing to see how a automobile compares with others in an analogous space.
What else to contemplate?
Low cost luxurious sedans are on the market if you’d like them. They lose their worth rapidly, so any variety of European luxurious sedans would make first rate alternate options to the Phaeton. You could possibly get hold of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Sequence or Audi A8 of the identical classic. Whereas these fashions aren’t anyplace close to as cool as a VW Phaeton is nowadays (if simply as a result of weirdness and shortage alone), they’re low cost and in addition present wonderful luxurious automobile experiences.
If reliability is a priority, you can attempt to get hold of an previous Lexus LS. In the meantime, a Jaguar XJ or Maserati Quattroporte are sitting on the other aspect of the spectrum. And should you actually need a German automobile that may convert cash into tears and bloody knuckles as effectively as potential, there’s all the time the W8-powered VW Passat. Honestly, although, should you’re after a Phaeton, only a few automobiles could be a correct substitute. From the Ferdinand Piëch backstory, to the flat-out improbability that such a automobile even existed, the Phaeton is a one-of-a-kind kind of car. Now, we solely hope that yours treats you effectively.