Volkswagen Phaeton Review

By Nirupama   |  May 15, 2013


Volkswagen launched its luxurious sedan, Phaeton, in the Indian market in 2010. The full-size luxury sedan was introduced at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show, and has been marketed worldwide since then. The name Phaeton has been derived from Phaeton, the son of Phoebus (or Helios) in Greek mythology.

Volkswagen Phaeton was launched only in a single 3.6L V6 petrol engine variant with 6-speed tiptronic gearbox. The revamped Phaeton has a tweaked engine that delivers ample power. The sedan has been built virtually by hand at the Transparent Factory in Dresden and features the finest materials, innovative technologies, outstanding design and extraordinary levels of comfort. It is loaded with many innovative features.

The Volkswagen Phaeton has been built on the same platform as that of the Audi A8. The new sedan from VW is packed with fascinating features like "Climatronic" Auto AC with multi-zone temperature control and Cruise Control among others. The exterior maintains a very classy attitude.

The Volkswagen Phaeton is available in a multitude of colours including Campanella White, Cairo Grey, Mazeppa Grey, Tarantella Black and Luna Blue Pearl Effect. The luxury sedan from Volkswagen will directly compete with Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series.

Volkswagen Phaeton Review

Volkswagen Phaeton Performance Review

Powertrain & Performance

The superior engine ensures that the Phaeton reaches its destination as quickly, efficiently and above all, as comfortably as possible. The 3.0 L V6 TDI engine with 4-MOTION churns out a peak power of 236.7 bhp. The 3.0 L V6 TDI engine with 4-MOTION churns out a peak power of 236.7 bhp. Only if there is perfectly matched power transmission can the virtues of a first-class engine be converted into ride comfort and driving enjoyment.

Several well thought out running gear systems in the Phaeton ensure that engine power is brought onto the road in an optimum way. The running gear is lowered at high speeds, and raised when driving over uneven surfaces. The dynamic shift programme recognises the driver's preferred driving style and adapts the gearshift pattern accordingly using a 6-speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. The intelligent 4MOTION all-wheel drive also comes standard in every Phaeton. A Torsen differential with sensitive reaction ensures that the distribution of power to each wheel is adapted to road conditions in a fraction of a second, thus ensuring advanced safety.

The standard air suspension with electronic control adapts the Phaeton exactly in line with every situation, thereby assuring the best possible road handling. A comfort setting with soft damping assures comfortable travel; when cornering fast, damping is automatically set to be firmer in order to increase stability. The suspension is also self-leveling. It recognizes and compensates for weight differences on the vehicle.

Volkswagen Phaeton Build, Styling Review

Build & Styling

Volkswagen is finding its way to the top with the Phaeton. For the very first time the car maker is offering handcrafted luxury which will reach the porches of the worthy few. The car's presence is turning out parking lots into galleries. The high-grade materials, perfect workmanship and the elegant shape that are evident at the first glance itself shape the graceful face of the Phaeton. The clear lines from the arrow-shaped bonnet and enigmatic C-pillar to the arresting rear-end further put the accent on the Phaeton's beauty.

The perfectly shaped door handles, discreet chrome trim, minimum gap and joint dimensions and the door mirrors all together witness the blissful harmony of design. The vibrant, commanding overall impression is highlighted by its gleaming chrome radiator grille, streamlined bumpers with chrome trim and the expressive bi-xenon headlights with adaptive cornering lights and LED daytime driving lights available as an option. The darkened tail lights with LED technology give the distinctive rear end an unmistakable appearance by day and night. The Phaeton also sports a headlight cleaning system and aerodynamic windscreen wipers. The interiors are so well designed that you would love to get into it. Comfort is a given when it comes to the select fabrics, the finest leather and handpicked wood that go into a Phaeton. Memory package stores info on the individual seat adjustment, the position of the belts and mirrors, and automatically moves the steering column forward when the Phaeton is opened. The front seats are 18-way adjustable. The folding centre armrest has a storage compartment and integral cup holders. The electric sliding/tilting glass roof guarantees plenty of fresh air and light. The multi-zone Climatronic comes with a rear control unit. The vanity mirrors are fitted flush with the headlining. The Phaeton also allows for refreshments that can be chilled in the illuminated 9-litre compressor fridge. The electric sunblind on the rear window is available with manual blinds on the rear side windows. The special structure of the blinds transforms the glare of the sun into soft light and still gives a good view.

The easy-to-use controls of the Phaeton add to driving pleasure and contribute to the elegance and exemplary design of the Phaeton's cockpit. Many of the functions can be controlled with ease by means of switches on the 4-spoke multifunction steering wheel without taking hands off the handcrafted leather-covered rim. The instrument console behind the steering contains circular dials in a classic design. The multi-colour display offers info on average speed, tyre pressures, fuel consumption and more. 8 airbags, ABS, early crash sensors, active head restraints, rain sensor that adjusts the windscreen speed and the park distance control add to passenger safety while travelling in the Phaeton. The convenient 8-inch touch-screen allows one to enjoy music tracks and films on the drive. There is a RNS810 music system with navigation, USB and 10 loudspeakers to offer ultimate entertainment.

Pros and Cons

  • Pros

    Sensitive leather upholstery. Early crash sensors. Intelligent 4MOTION all-wheel drive.
  • Cons

    Too pricey.