The Volkswagen Phaeton impresses with a refined ride that parallels a luxury limousine ride. But the cost could cripple even the biggest budget, as costs continue even in maintaining and running the ride. So how does the VW Phaeton perform overall with interior function, exterior design, and ride plus engine capability considered.
The latest VW Phaeton sports the latest exterior alterations from 2011. Although they are modest next to its previous generation, the Phaeton’s new look is able to catch up with the image of the Volkswagen range. Elegance, class, and purpose are emphasized by the car’s improved design. Parts such as the front wings, bumper, and bonnet sport new panels, while the LED tail lamps out back have been renewed according to features similar to the Eos and Passat. The new look doesn’t disappoint in performance either: the car’s 20mm height addition adds air pressure on the suspension cylinders.
Firmness and ride height are easily adjustable thanks to the Phaeton’s air-sprung suspension. The car’s level is also kept over roads or streets with poorer conditions. A smoother ride is also assured thanks to the vehicle’s top-notch body control.
If you want a smooth and full ride that will complement the Phaeton’s size and weight, go for the 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine. With this engine’s six-speed torque converter automatic transmission, you can enjoy smooth transitions between gearshifts and the right timing as you go about the torque.
You can also expect great overtaking capability at higher speeds and a throttle response that makes this car enjoyable at any speed and roadway. Refinement is another great feature: at a 30.1mpg comparable fuel economy against the Jaguar XJ diesel, the 90-litre tank is able to reach over 660 miles. Throughout each ride, a nice, peaceful quiet takes over the cabin and only a little noise can be heard from the diesel engine.
Stability is assured thanks to the high speeds that are lowered by the self-levelling air suspension. The car’s heavy weight is controlled even on motorways.
Only one engine is available for the Phaeton: a 236bhp 3.0-litre V6 TDI diesel. Even with this default, you can expect the right balance among performance, power, low-running costs, and a four-wheel drive plus automatic transmission.
Unfortunately the Phaeton features some setbacks despite the smooth ride. Suspension becomes unsettling as the car thumps due to springs that can’t quite absorb road disturbance or maintain body control. This is the case for all of the Phaeton’s damper setting, so you can expect that the difference among them is negligible. Although the car can absorb large bumps and sudden undulations in most road conditions, there have been better performances from the Phaeton’s competitors. The vehicle’s incredible weight is another setback: the ride sometimes feels like a soggy limo instead of sporting multi-faceted features experienced in other brands.
The Phaeton may perform when it counts, but how it fares against the more advanced changes of its competitors is another matter. Only slight changes are featured and only do so much against its overall potential.
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