Mild refresh for flagship VW saloon
6 November 2008

Volkswagen has given the Phaeton a mild refresh. The slow-selling luxury saloon gets a new front grille and alloy designs, plus new metallic paint shades. The interior has a revised centre console with an updated instrument cluster and a new touch screen satnav system.

Volkswagen has also taken the opportunity to slash the range to just two models, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI and the range-topping 6.0 W12. Prices have increased slightly, the 3.0-litre V6 TDI now costing £44,235 and the W12 listing at £75,395.

Both the 3.2-litre V6 and the 4.2-litre V8 have been quietly dropped. Not surprising, as the 4.2 Phaeton LWB lost more than 50 per cent of its list price in the first year – and only three had been sold in the UK since January.

That’s still better than the W12. According to the SMMT, only one Phaeton W12 has been registered in the UK this year.

Vicky Parrott

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Phaeton

The Volkswagen Phaeton’s decade-old platform needs more than a tweak to be a success in the luxury car market

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Comments
20

6 November 2008

As good as this car may be, purchasing one of these new - either as a company or personal purchase - is tantamount to burning twenty pound notes.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

6 November 2008

It's tantamount to buying and burning down a small fleet of Mondeos. You can buy used Phaetons for under £20k now.

6 November 2008

Wouldn't touch them. One of these, a 3 litre diesel, crashed in Austria recently, apparently accelerator stuck open, flipped over 3 times, nearside doors both came off, big hole in roof and poor bugger driving it near had his head and arm taken clear off.

6 November 2008

[quote horseandcart]

Wouldn't touch them. One of these, a 3 litre diesel, crashed in Austria recently, apparently accelerator stuck open, flipped over 3 times, nearside doors both came off, big hole in roof and poor bugger driving it near had his head and arm taken clear off.

[/quote]

Do you mean Jörg Haider's crash in his V6 Phaeton? I think ih his case those might have been design features.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%B6rg_Haider#Death

6 November 2008

[quote Ronster1975]Do you mean Jörg Haider's crash in his V6 Phaeton? I think ih his case those might have been design features[/quote]

Phaeton - excellent car, much overlooked due to badge snobbery.

As to Haider, his widow has not accepted the autopsy results and as far as I know has stopped the cremation until an independent autopsy is carried by her direction. Interesting too that a senior VW expert sent to the scene days after the incident doubted that the occupant should have received fatal injuries in such a car. He hinted that the cars electronics may have been tampered with rendering driver inputs useless. Strange that this aspect to the story has gone quiet.

6 November 2008

[quote Vertigo]You can buy used Phaetons for under £20k now.[/quote]

...There is a 2004 VW Phaeton on the Autotrader website for £7995!

I agree this car is overlooked, but thats because it answered a question that no-one had asked. When will mainstream brands learn that they cant compete in the luxury market?

6 November 2008

Wonderful car, a bargin.

7 November 2008

There's a VW dealer local to me that doesn't even register them new!!!!

He buys's ex demo's from VW UK and tax's them as they are 10k cheaper!!!

7 November 2008

My mind goes back to when the first Lexus luxury car (the LS400) was launched back in the late 1980s and what a success it has since become. At the time although people praised its abilities, especially its ride and refinement, few gave the newcomer a chance to succceed against the established luxury makes, mainly because it had no track record in that market sector. But Lexus proved the doubters wrong.

Indeed, the same could be said of Audi A8. Its predecessors, the Audi V8 and Audi 200/300 did not make much of an impact on the market, but the A8 turned things around for Audi.

So why has the Phaeton, despite having been acknowledged as a competent luxury car, not been to replicate the LS400 and A8's success? Could one reason be that this shrinking market sector is already overcrowded?

7 November 2008

I'm guessing because by the time the A8 was launched, Audi had established themselves as a "prestige" marque, therefore had the "right" badge to sell a saloon in this class and price range.

Lexus have had quite a long struggle to establish themselves in such a position. In Europe at least, arguably they still haven't; there are people who'd never consider an LS as an alternative to the usual suspects from Germany and Coventry.

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