Volkswagen Phaeton Road Test

The Volkswagen Phaeton Interior
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Volkswagen Phaeton Review

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Manoeuvrability is not a problem, neither is visibility and I for one, would be happy to use it every day

All Volkswagen Phaetons have CDC or Continuous Damping Control, which is an air suspension system with self-levelling. Through this the car can adjust its ride height automatically, according to the road speed or the driver can choose from two ride height settings manually via buttons on the centre console and there are four different damper settings of Comfort, Basis, Sport and Sport2.

This is in combination with Volkswagen's 4MOTION, four wheel drive system, which, according to the company, is an industry first in this class. All the driver needs to know is that the Volkswagen Phaeton is capable of coping with and adapting to most road conditions without having to seek consent all the time - it just gets on with it in a smooth unflappable manner.

Active safety systems include the usual, ABS with EBD, Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR), Electronic Differential Lock, Electronic Stabilisation Program (ESP) and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA). A tyre-pressure monitoring is available as an option but, as you would expect, a full set of airbags is standard.

The 3.0-litre, V6 TDI engine is capable of taking the LWB Volkswagen Phaeton to a top speed of 147mph after a 0-62mph sprint of just 8.3 seconds. This is thanks to a power output of 240PS at 4,000rpm and 500Nm of delicious torque available between 1,500- and 3,500rpm. A quick blip on throttle is all that is needed to confirm the figures and put a smile on your face. Of course the W12 is much quicker off the mark and has a higher top speed.

Both of the Volkswagen Phaeton's engines are mated to a Tiptronic automatic transmission; 5-speed for the W12 and 6-speed for the V6. Manual gear changes are achieved through the standard shift as paddles are an option.

Despite the size of the engine, the fuel consumption figures for the Volkswagen Phaeton test car are quite reasonable at 22.1 mpg (Urban), 37.7 mpg (Extra Urban) and 30.1 mpg for the combined. After around 200 miles of combined motoring, the computer was showing an average fuel consumption of 31.1 mpg, so it is a fairly accurate guide.

Even though the Volkswagen Phaeton is a very large vehicle, it drives like a family saloon and is just as easy to park, as long as you can find a space big enough - it overhangs standard parking bays by quite a way. Manoeuvrability is not a problem, neither is visibility and I for one, would be happy to use it every day.

20 May 2009 Melanie Carter
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Volkswagen Phaeton Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolkswagen Phaeton 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION
  
Body TypeSaloon
ColourPewter Gray
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph8.3 seconds
Top Speed 147 mph
  
Transmission6-Speed Tiptronic Automatic
  
Fuel TypeDiesel
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban22.1 mpg
Extra Urban37.7 mpg
Combined30.1 mpg
  
Insurance Group16
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
Price (when tested on the 20/05/09)£46,530

The information contained within this Volkswagen Phaeton review may have changed since publication on the 20 May 2009. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volkswagen dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017