Revised VW Phaeton

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Just a new front end and new lights in the back.

The interior still has that “previous generation Passat” look.
It didn’t look very modern when it came out, back in 2002.
This “facelift” doesn’t really help. 8 years later…
VW is still talking about bringing the car back to the US.
Less than 2500 were sold over here in 2004 and 2005.
So this was clearly a big mistake. A mistake they are willing to repeat.
The car didn’t change enough. And in a world of $32 000 Genesis and $50 000 Equus, a $80 000 VW will have an even harder time on the market.
Good luck…

Conversation 15 comments

  1. People are dumb enough to buy this thing still? It wasn't special when it was released back in the early 2000's.

    If this were about 50K then they mught have had a easier time, but now forget about it. I'd take an Equus over this without even having to think.

  2. For those who actually took the time to drive this car, they understand its virtues. It oozes quality and luxury. It's on the same level as Bentley, on which the same platform is based. The problem with it was twofold… first, no one considered it or went into the VW showrooms. Second, for those who did go to a VW showroom to see it, were still in a VW showroom. And they suck big-time. Especially Fitzgerald in Annapolis. F-You Fitzgerald!

    Aside from its dealer and brand recognition shortcomings, the Phaeton is truly is spectacular. The Hyundai Genesis has a cheap veneer of luxury and is nothing more than a Corolla in comparison.

  3. Nice car, but that big VW logo on the front ("People's Car") at $80,000 is ridiculous.
    Makes more sense for a car of that class to be branded AUDI.

  4. I guess those who don't learn from their mistakes are destined to repeat them. I just can't imagine spending that much money on a car and being subjected to Volkswagens sub-par customer service.

  5. Since when did a Corolla have front and rear heated seats? Since when did it have rear view cam? When did it get rwd with over 300 horses? When did the Corolla get a V8 4.6L? Since when did the Corolla have a length simular to the Genesis? Since when was did the Corolla leave the Elantra class to the Genesis? So I guess the Camry is an Equus rival then right?

  6. no business case for this VW here…social climbers will just buy an Audi for less cash and more cache.

  7. THIS is the luxury car I would buy now if I could still afford a luxury car-the LWB version with 4 separate bucket seats. Understated and capable beyond belief—suits me to a T. oh well.

  8. "Aside from its dealer and brand recognition shortcomings, the Phaeton is truly is spectacular. The Hyundai Genesis has a cheap veneer of luxury and is nothing more than a Corolla in comparison."

    Let me get this right…The Phaeton didn't sell because people didn't know anything about it. Not because was double the price of VW's second highest priced car at the time. Well, everyone is entitled to their own opinion but let's face it, price was a BIG contributor to the Phaeton's downfall. The Genesis is succeeding BECAUSE of price. That's the real difference.
    The car's platform was based off a Bentley, great. Do you see a lot of Bentleys on the road?

  9. For my dough, I'd take a Genesis and invest the price difference.

    There's something about spending $80,000+ for any VW that's silly……….no matter how good the car is.

    The only reason for spending that much for a car is to gain snob appeal, and that's just not going to happen with that VW logo in front.

  10. Absolutely LOVE the A8 interior (except for the Lexus-generic instrument cluster). Buick Lucern tail end is a bit long-in-the -tooth though. Grill is not improved-just different. A lot of car for the price when compared to German or Japanese competetors. But can it compete with the Genesis??? Probably not.

  11. "Do you see a lot of Bentleys on the road?"

    In my neck of the woods, yes. Bentleys are as common as a Mercedes E Class. I've seen maybe ten Genesis on the road, and they aren't impressive. They're good for the low level realtor, or caterer. But let's get real, the Genesis is for poseurs and I wouldn't be caught dead in the stupid looking Equus. The Phaeton didn't sell, not because it wasn't an excellent car, but because you can get an Audi A8 for within a stone's throw of the price. Plus, as mentioned, VW dealerships are trashy and VW doesn't have the brand equity to pull it off. All of 1960s hippies who used to drive VW buses and can afford these cars will still opt for a Subaru or Volvo. Not a car that might suggest that they are an evil captain of industry.

  12. They should have named it the Incognito. There IS a market for a Bently-quality interior wrappped in a Camry-cheap exterior. For the wealthy individual who wants to blend in without giving up the luxury. It's a small niche–but it's there. And this is the only player.

  13. All the criticisms levelled here are EXACTLY what was being said at the car's release ten-ish years ago. I note it's a facelift, not a new design or style. Unsurprising.

  14. "Bentleys are as common as a Mercedes E Class." – Anonymous

    There're only a few places I can think of that would have a few Bentleys. Not surprisingly, the New York City area isn't one of them. I see a bit of everything except Bentleys. One per season maybe? I have seen a number of Genesis however. People want a good car at decent price. It's your opinion. Anyone buying a Genesis is a "poseur" but what does that say about people who bought the Phaeton? A Bentley chassis, but not one. As costly as an A8……but not one. A poseur car for the non-poseur!?
    Again, let's just call it like it is. People didn't want to buy it because it's was either too expensive or, as you mentioned, they bought something else for the money. It was a fine car but they wanted too much money for it.

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