Review 5 of 7|
from Dreyer and Reinbold
Year / Model Reviewed:
2004 Volkswagon Phaeton V8
Strenghts are: Ride, seat comfort, acceleration, assembly quality and materials, all wheel drive, and toughtful engineering. Price is a definite strength: A comparably equiped S500 4matic is narly 100K. It is only about 5K less than an A8, but this car competes with the S-Class, the A8 the 7 series. This car has commendable handling for its size and weight, but it is not targeted against the 7 series type with sport aspirations. It has a ride on the order of the Lexus, but handles much better.
Gas mileage is not great, and there is a $1300 gas guzzler tax, so that is not a suprise. The GPS System is CD based system and not DVD, so you have a series of 9 CDs for the GPS. I wish the automatic distance control cruise control was standard, but it is not yet available. This costs over 1000 on other models like the A8 and S class, where Toyota inclues it as standard on the Sienna XLE Limited Minivan. Infotainment system can sometimes have a mind of it's own, but it lasts only temporarily.
I test drove the Audi A8L, BMW 745L, Mercedes S500, Lexus LS430 and the VW Phaeton. All are nice cars. The Phaeton has a unique character, the most comfortable seats, the most intuitive infotainment system, a great ride, a great stereo (rivals Mark Levinson in Lexus), the best interior, the most comfortable seats, and the best value.
If you are more conscientious about what you drive or what you are seen in, then maybe a volkswagon is not for you. But if you want a car with great engineering and character, put this on your list.
The engineering in phenominal. The draft free AC, the great ergonimics, the thoughtful details, the quaity of assembly and materials, and the use of large clear buttons like the japanese (not little tiny cryptic ones as in other german models). It seems to me that Volkswagon took the best of other cars in its class (japanese, german, british) and put it into one package.
The car is very heavy, but the V8 pulls this car with authority. It is under 7 seconds to 60mph, and it feels like it. This car is faster than my Audi A6 4.2 that I traded in.
If you are into gadgets like I am (I am an engineer by trade), this car will not dissapoint you.
Similar Products Used:
I test drove the Audi A8L, BMW 745L, Lexus LS430, and the Mercedes S500. All are worthy vehicles, so personal preference gets involved. If you are label conscience, you won't look at the Phaeton, and you will be missing out. I thought the A8 and Phaeton stood out a little because they seem to be more cutting edge. The Lexus seems smallish in this crowd, but it is very nice.