2012 Volkswagen Phaeton V8 Review

By on March 15, 2012
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Welcome to the layer cake son.

Good: A rarity to own, handmade attention to detail, extra-spacious and luxurious back seats, all-wheel drive, adaptive suspension, great sounding V8
Bad: Competition is cheaper (and slightly faster in some cases), outside styling is too conservative
Price: AED 304,000 (base)/ AED 450,000 (full options)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

The Volkswagen Phaeton is a car rarely seen on the roads of UAE, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. In the past, I guess, it was a mixture of underwhelming external design and a high price point, which when competing against the likes of the Mercedes S class or Audi A8, seems like an uphill battle. However, with the 2012 redesign of the Phaeton, Volkswagen hopes to breathe new life into this platform that seemed destined to wither away with time.

The new 2012 Phaeton carries over the same corporate design on other Volkswagen vehicles, like the Touareg, Tiguan, Jetta, Golf, etc. Ironically the Golf GTI, which started this design phase, remains the most distinct from all the other 2012 redesigns, whereby the SUVs and sedans look too close to each other.

Coming back to the Phaeton, the second thing you’ll notice is how big the car is. Well, it is an executive luxury sedan, so it’s supposed to be big. Accordingly our long-wheelbase V8 model was stretched out to an impressive 5.2 meters.

The rest of our tester Phaeton had a piano black finish which looked beautiful with the rather minimalistic look of the car. There are chrome trim lines on the door, on the window linings, the front grill and the tailpipes. The only other color on the Phaeton are the silver colored wheels and the red LED tail lights, also inspired by the half curve from the GTI, except upside down.

All in all there’s not much to talk about the exterior of the Phaeton. It looks simple, it looks big, but more importantly it looks suave. The new Phaeton was engineered to deliver an exceptional experience while being driven, so there’s no need to flaunt sporty or aggressive looking designs outside.

Two more external features I’d like to mention are the solar paneled sunroof, which keeps a ventilation fan running at minimum when the Phaeton is off, as well as its insulated windows. Combined, these two features kept the inside temperature absolutely normal, despite the car’s pure black color. I wasn’t gasping for air, afraid of touching the hot leather seats as I do in other cars when they’re parked out in our lovingly baking sun of UAE.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

  • Ymp101010

    fantasti automobile

  • Kuwaity

    I own one and planning to get this face lifted Phaeton again, After 8 years I’m still in love.
    Actually I was working in UAE for 3 months and I drove all the way from Kuwait to UAE. I used it there and drove around 16,000 km in just 3 months!
    The 1000+ km trip plus the long weekend trips proved for me again that this car is unbeatable and really rare. In UAE, I have seen only one white W12 Phaeton in Abu Dhabi and the other one is, well, mine.
    Recommended? Of course!

  • Shmule Shekelsleeves

    I loved the Phaeton in 2003- but it has become stale. In need of a full refresh, especially the interior.

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