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
Volkswagen Phaeton Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volkswagen Phaeton 3.0 V6 TDI 4MOTION|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.3 seconds|
|Top Speed||147 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Tiptronic Automatic|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||37.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 20/05/09)||£46,530|