Driven Volkswagen Phaeton 3 0litre V6 TDI LWB Classic Driver Magazine — Volkswagen Phaeton

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Volkswagen Phaeton

Driven: Volkswagen Phaeton V6 TDI LWB

22 October 2009

I see Jenson Bugatti Veyron is for sale. he should now be considering something anonymous. Thirty years his predecessor would have had a top-model Mercedes at their but can I suggest a bike ride to the VW in Nice to slap down a on a Phaeton, the spiritual successor to past?

I think he’d it. Room in the back for Dad and Jessica to their legs while, the wheel, the big car is remarkably satisfying to You can’t knock a top speed of 4wd as standard and everyday fuel of 31mpg, either.

Enough of all – for a car critically acclaimed by the world’s why don’t we see more Phaetons on our Very much a project of VAG and Porsche family member, Piëch, the car was launched in the summer of

Overseeing an empire that Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini was no reason — in Piëch’s — why the Volkswagen brand produce a class-leading model The result was the Phaeton, a large suitable for European ‘old mile-covering businessmen and the diplomatic The company revised the range in 2008 and now, in the UK, offers three versions: long-wheelbase-only W12 and short- and long-wheelbase 3.0-litre V6 TDI

For an on-the-road price in the United of £46,535, the larger Phaeton offers a considerable (5175mm 1903mm wide) amount of car for the In LWB form, the rear passenger is cavernous; so much so that a map or tossed backwards will out of reach on the rear seat the next stop.

Over a my Phaeton adventure comprised a journey into London to see a at the Albert Hall, then it was up to for a four-night round trip to returning via Northumberland to North and then home. It turned out to be 1000 miles, in just every traffic condition find in the UK, plus the opportunity of faster driving across

There’s no getting away the fact that big cars big journeys more comfortable. you could do much of this of trip in a 911 or a Golf GTi but, the exciting, bendy bits are few and far between. That said, a big can do the motorway waft and the city but often disappoints on the open that last 20-mile along empty moorland

Over my mille miglia I was impressed with the Phaeton – and I go to my opening ‘1970-80s Mercedes comparison: the carved-from-solid build the unprepossessing looks and old-fashioned (when’s the last time you saw an and an oil temperature gauge?) are a blast the past.

The Continuous Damping Control air suspension endows the Phaeton a truly top-class ride would do justice to its Audi and brethren. As on the cars from you can raise the ride height for manoeuvring on bumpy ground (at the system hunkers the car down for streamlining), while there’s four-position damper adjustment ‘Comfort’ to ‘Sport’.

It has that big pounding-the-bitumen ride – and I like On demanding roads you have to its role in life as a luxury but it can be hussled along if driven in the Jackie Stewart-meets-police-driving-instructor style: yet ‘maintaining progress’. The new-for-2008, diesel pulls the car along enough although, unlike the Audi A8, its weight does apparent under braking.

space aside, the Phaeton is as and respectable as a banker from with fine leather in old-style Mercedes fashion) and one of the attractive wood veneers – — I have seen. It look out of place in an Aston.

For most of the time, the fine hides one of the Phaeton’s strongpoints – its 4Zone Climatronic air-conditioning. It is complicated but, in layman’s means that you never to fuss over, or fiddle with, the aircon.

It just

Brilliantly, in fact, for all passengers, no misting or draughts even on The veneer-laden vent-covers slide up and down, presenting for the most an unbroken band of Eucalyptus the fascia. Heat-insulating glass another thermal barrier, and is one part of an incredible system promises to deliver (in the petrol a steady interior temperature of 22 C, at a constant speed of 300km/h, in an temperature of 50 degrees C.


That’s pretty cool, in sense of the word.

So what’s you all? It’s the badge, I Well, there’s not much I can say that. VW makes some cars right across its but, let’s be honest, is not shy in for them.

And you buy them by the bucketload.

Yet we have the nearest you’ll get (so to a diesel Bentley or Rolls-Royce for a of the price. There was even an in the UK this September for a SWB diesel for just £38,645 – that’s £6000-or-so more than you spend on a new 5-door, specced-to-the-ceiling GTi.

I’m sure that the Formula 1 World Champion have such reticence – last year he was driving a

The car tested was a Volkswagen Phaeton V6 TDI LWB in Mazeppa Grey metallic Anthracite ‘Vienna’ leather and Eucalyptus veneer. It carries an recommended retail price in the UK of Extras fitted were:

7.5J x 18in ‘Dynamic’ wheels with 235/50 R18 £1220; Side Scan change assist £400; preparation, voice-activated for Bluetooth rear-view camera £965; multi-function heated steering £100; Automatic Distance £1680; 18-way electrically air-conditioned comfort front with memory and massage £1830.

Text: Steve

Photos: Classic Driver

— The Classic Driver

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