2012 Volkswagen Phaeton V8 Review

By on March 15, 2012
submit to reddit

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.

It may look too big and heavy to handle itself, but the V8 is powerful enough to propel the Phaeton forward at any speed, regardless of whether you’re at a signal or cruising at highway speeds. The 4.2 liter V8 powering the new Phaeton pushes out a respectable 335bhp and a very impressive 430Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm. This much power is enough to propel the Phaeton V8 from 0 to 100kmph in 7 seconds flat. The power provided by the V8 is indisputable, although some may consider the 450bhp W12 engine instead.

While the Phaeton V8 was mostly designed with the primary objective of being driven in luxury, what with the automatically adapting air suspension which also compensates for weight differences between the 4 passengers and adjusts the level of the car accordingly, there’s just enough in it to make the driver feel special too.

The 4MOTION all-wheel drive system ensures a firm drive, keeping the body roll in check, across all road conditions; even off-road if you’re feeling a bit too adventurous. Complementing it is the automatic damping system that firms up the ride while taking corners and makes it comfy again when driving straight on the road. The effect is subtle, and you’ll really have to focus to be able to notice the difference.

At highway speeds pushing the Phaeton, should you want to overtake someone, happens with absurd ease as the V8 easily delivers almost equal power to you across the entire RPM range and 6-speed gearbox shifts almost unnoticeably. The Phaeton V8 just carries itself with grace, giving the passengers a truly special treatment regardless of how and where the car is being driven. But that’s a given since the Volkswagen Phaeton shares the same base as the Bentley Continental GT.

So at AED 450K the full options VW Phaeton V8 is a bit of a stretch for the money. Especially since its cousin, the Audi A8 L with a similar 4-passenger style setup, same engine which is actually faster and all-wheel drive comes in at only AED 350K. Then again the Audi A8 is still a road enthusiast’s car, whereas the Phaeton just radiates exclusivity.

It all comes down to the exclusivity factor in the end. To date I have seen maybe two Phaetons on the streets of UAE. In fact most of the sales for the Phaeton happen in Germany itself. So owning something that delivers what it promises, a luxurious experience for the executives, that no one else has, is somewhat of a status symbol in itself. Ultimately whether the Phaeton V8 is ‘worth it’ depends on how refined your taste is, and how deep your pockets go.

« Previous Page Next Page »


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.

Most Read
Most Commented
Win two Toshiba AT200 tablets

This festive season Toshiba has 2 tablets to giveaway.

Win an MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Motherboard

Thanks to MSI we have an great AMD FM2 motherboard to giveaway.

Win a Nokia Asha 311

Thanks to Nokia we have a great entry-level smartphone to giveaway.