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Volkswagen Phaeton

(2002 - )  Rating

Volkswagen Phaeton

The Volkswagen Phaeton is a masterpiece of engineering, but pricey to run

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
3.0 V6 TDI 225 hp ? Diesel 8.8 s 234 km/h
3.2 V6 241 hp 11.4 l/100km Petrol 8.4 s 245 km/h
5.0 V10 TDI 310 hp 11.4 l/100km Diesel 7.7 s 250 km/h
4.2 V8 335 hp ? Petrol 6.8 s 250 km/h
6.0 W12 420 hp 15.6 l/100km Petrol 6.1 s 250 km/h

Body type Sedan
Number of doors 4
Number of seats 4/5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Front
Length 5 055 mm
Width 1 903 mm
Height 1 450 mm
Wheelbase 2 881 mm
Ground clearance ?
Weight (normal) 1 995 kg
Weight (max) 2 600 kg
Boot space (min) 500 l
Boot space (max) 500 l
Fuel capacity 90 l


   The Volkswagen Phaeton is produced since 2002.

    Entry-level models are powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel and a 3.2-liter petrol. In fact the 3.0 TDI offers the best blend of performance and fuel consumption. The 5.0-liter turbodiesel returns good fuel economy as well, but it is not worth paying more for it. The range topping 6.0-liter W12 can outrun even some sports cars.

   An active air suspension is adjustable for firmness and ground clearance. Such combination does a great job keeping the car level over urban potholes. The Volkswagen Phaeton has an excellent body control, but the speed sensitive steering could give more feedback. An extended-wheelbase version copes better with imperfect surfaces. All Phaeton's come with automatic gearboxes, while the W12 has a paddle shifting.

  A small amount of wind noise protrudes inside the cabin at the motorway speed, but it's only noticeable because all other noises are virtually absent. The inaudible W12 sets new standards for the class, but the diesels are vocal when pushed hard.

   The VW Phaeton is expensive to buy and to service, while the W12 will hit your pocket hard on the fuel bills. It's resale values after a couple of years won't be even close to the Mercedes-Benz S-class or the BMW 7-series, because of the Volkswagen badge. However very little should go wrong with it's mechanics.

   Inside the car everything has an outstanding build quality. Posh wood and leather interior is nicely designed and put together. There are over 100 different buttons and switches to control an immense amount if electrical functions, but that can be distracting.

   Drivers of all shapes and sizes will find Phaeton's seat comfortable. Seat has all electric adjustments, as well as the steering wheel.

   The Volkswagen Phaeton is a huge car. The rear passengers particularly benefit from the vast interior space, while the extended-wheelbase version is even bigger.

   On the standard safety equipment list there are twin front and side airbags, as well as the full-length curtain 'bags. There are also side airbags for the rear passengers. The Phaeton comes fully loaded with a number of electronic driving aids to keep you out of trouble.

   It would be easier to say what is not standard on the Volkswagen Phaeton, but notable attractions include the four-zone climate control, satellite navigation, full leather upholstery and rain-sensitive wipers.

   Production of the Volkswagen Phaeton still continues.


   Advantages: The VW Phaeton is a masterpiece of engineering. The car is very refined, has strong engines and is good to drive.

   Disadvantages: Overpriced for a car without a prestigious badge. Extremely expensive to run.

   Also consider: BMW 7-series, Jaguar XJ.


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Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen Phaeton

Volkswagen Phaeton

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