My Phaeton is a second-hand example (2003 model). It seemed more sensible to buy a second-hand one than a brand new one. It only had 10,000 miles on the clock and came with VW's full one-year warranty.
After driving it for about 20 miles, the yellow exaust warning light came on. I took it back to the dealer and they dealt with the problem. Then after about two days the yellow light came back on again, and this time they couldn't figure out the why, so they told me to drive the car while they consult with VW's headquarters.
The car drove well (quiet, refined and comfortable), although you do feel the car's enormous weight. It comes with long list of options as standard which I liked. Anyway, after about a month the torque converter broke down. The dealer took the car from me straight away and gave me a Touarag as a courtesy car, and I haven't had my car back for 3 weeks!
What is my final verdict on Phaeton? I wouldn't recommend it. Buy it only if you could live with its faults and break-downs (I have a whole list of other dodgy things that went on with the car). If you really do want one, then try to buy the latest one which probably has less faults and glitches.
I'm relaying news on my brother-in-laws 5.0 TDI. It lost power and drove like a 1.0 Fiesta one day. VW promptly identified a turbo problem. Three weeks in a courtesy Touraeg and a bill of over £3000 (warranty covered) leads to a conundrum. Keep the VW and risk having to spend more dosh when the warranty runs out or extend the warranty?
It's heavy and it's large and it's ugly and it's dodgy. Did i mention it's heavy? This is the (WORST) car I have ever owned.
I love this car. I have had Mercedes and BMWs, and this is a class above tha ones I've had. I'm told the older Mercedes used to have this sort of quality.
The car is really spacious. It has a superb interior, great ride and is quite fast enough for me (mine is the V6 TDI). The price is very good and it is the first car I think I will buy when the lease is up.
The exterior is uninspiring, but is better than those two ugly ducklings, the 7 Series and new S class.
I though this was going to be an anonymous, low-key car, but I've had more interest and unprompted response than any car I've ever owned. I rather like not having seen another on the road in six months.
If the badge tarts don't consider it, it is their loss. This is a five-star car.
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