2005 Volkswagen Phaeton V8 4dr Sedan (4.2L 8cyl 6A)
While some would argue that VW is the maker of inexpensive economy cars, it has been gradually making its way upmarket. The Phaeton is the company's attempt to match Mercedes and BMW's flagship sedans directly. For the most part, the experiment works. The Phaeton can best be appreciated from the inside-out where the driver and passengers are coddled in top-quality materials and a pleasant environment. The styling is sublimely understated to the point where it might be considered the Passat's big brother. Still, it won't confuse anyone out there with an S-class or 7-series. Its performance is quietly competent but certainly no M-5 bahn-burner.
The fantastic seats, great dashboard and interior environment. The exterior paint is as close to flawless as one gets.
If the VW was perhaps $10,000 or so less expensive, it would then be a major value. Otherwise, one would be concerned as to its market depreciation - it might be safer buying the Bimmer. W12 engine is a HUGE step up in performance but also price.