Do you remember the Volkswagen Phaeton?
This is the car that proved very few people in the U.S. were interested in a $75,000 Volkswagen. The Phaeton was introduced for the 2004 model year and was gone by 2006…so for two short years, American auto buyers had the chance to buy the nicest, most expensive Volkswagen ever sold.
An Audi-sourced 4.2-liter V8 was the *small* entry-level motor, while a massive 6.0-liter W12 was the up-level choice. Both engines were, and still are, magnificent.
The Phaeton was built in the same plant that created the Bentley Continental and Flying Spur. From the inside, one might never guess he or she is in a Volkswagen. From the outside, no one would ever think the Phaeton is anything more than a larger version of the Passat.
That’s where the Phaeton failed. Now, a good 10 years later, it’s time to look at the Phaeton again.
We could say that the Phaeton was a Bentley powered by an Audi and covered in VW wrapping. The problem, back in the 2005 era, was the existence of the Audi A8. Why buy an expensive Volkswagen when the more prestigious Audi could be had for the same price?
But today we know that thinking was flawed. The VW was the better car, probably even better than the Bentley. The Phaeton has aged remarkably well and still looks elegant and modern. Let’s look at some interior images of a Bentley and the Phaeton, just for comparison:
Now here’s the best part. Do a search on the CarGurus used listings, and you’re likely to find used Phaetons priced under $10,000.
For that money, you’d get one of the best luxury cars built in the early 2000s. It’ll hold up to today’s standards, and its style, deemed too boring when new, looks modern and elegant today. If you’re in the market for a used luxury car, or just a nice family sedan, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better, more satisfying car than a used Volkswagen Phaeton.
Could a Volkswagen Phaeton be your next used car purchase?