Feb 23, 2004
Reviewed By Bengt Halvorsen
Price as Tested approx. $98,000 in Europe
Likes

Unbelievable acceleration from 5.0-liter turbo-diesel V10 with 552 lb-ft peak torque; 20 mpg in town, excellent fuel economy for a 5,000-pound car; roomy and comfortable all around

Dislikes

Controls and displays unnecessarily confusing and cluttered; momentary hesitation when transmission needs to downshift more than one gear; steering feels lighter than expected

Verdict

The Phaeton is a great car, but it’s in a class where the hood badge counts. Only time will tell if high-roller Americans are receptive to a “people’s car” the price of five GTIs. The diesel would make a very desirable alternative engine, for torque-lovers, to the base V8 if Americans can get over the stigma of stinky, noisy past models.

Fun to Drive
4.0 rating
Fun to Look at
2.0 rating
Overall Experience
4.0 rating
Stats