Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton

2006 Volkswagen Phaeton
List Price Estimate
$3,306 - $6,732

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful engine lineup, superb interior craftsmanship, standard all-wheel drive, more passenger room and simpler interior controls than competitors.
  • Excessive weight impedes handling, poor fuel economy, premium price for a non-premium brand.
Volkswagen Phaeton years
Volkswagen Phaeton for Sale

Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton is a well-executed example of VW's ability to construct a proper luxury sedan. Too bad no one's buying it.

Vehicle overview

Proudly wearing the VW badge, the Volkswagen Phaeton is the German automaker's flagship sedan, first introduced in Europe in 2003. The Phaeton is assembled at Volkswagen's "transparent" factory located in Dresden, Germany, which opened its doors in 2002. Instead of being a dark and dirty manufacturing plant, the transparent factory is built largely of glass windows and walls with wood floors, without a smoke stack in sight. The very nontraditional atmosphere seems only fitting for this very nontraditional Volkswagen car.

The Phaeton rides on a 118-inch wheelbase, which gives the flagship sedan plenty of legroom for both front and rear passengers. At nearly 204 inches long and 57 inches tall, the VW Phaeton is nearly identical to the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 745Li in length and height. VW's luxury sedan has full-time all-wheel drive, an abundance of safety features, plus numerous unique creature comforts, including a four-zone climate control system with humidity sensors and separate temperature controls and an onboard computer system that can be operated from the rear seat.

There's no doubt that the Volkswagen Phaeton is a full-size luxury sedan of the highest caliber. Like every other premium luxo-cruiser on the market, it delivers heaping amounts of power, faultless construction and enough luxury amenities to keep four passengers content even on the longest of trips. There's a reason it costs as much as it does, and those with the means to buy it aren't likely to be disappointed.

But the question remains: Why buy the Phaeton and its Volkswagen baggage when you could get one of its equally competent and more prestigious rivals for roughly the same price? Rational reasons are few and far between. The Phaeton doesn't offer anything that the others don't and its slightly lower price has little relevance for this class of car. Since its launch in the fall of 2003, the Phaeton has by all accounts been a sales flop. Then there's the question of its future. In the likely event that VW decides not to build a second-generation Phaeton, owners of this Volkswagen car will be left holding the keys to a very expensive experiment. If that's a risk you're willing to take, the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton will most likely reward you with many years of faithful service. If it's not, buy one of its equally qualified rivals instead.

Volkswagen Phaeton models

The full-size Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan is offered in one long-wheelbase body style with a choice of a V8 or W12 engine. Equipment levels vary depending on which engine is chosen, but all Phaetons come standard with a four-zone automatic climate control system, high-intensity discharge headlamps, heated windshield washer nozzles, entry-exit lights at all doors, an oversize sunroof and a 10-speaker premium sound system with a glovebox-mounted six-CD changer. Choose the V8 Phaeton and 17-inch alloy wheels will adorn the exterior, while interior features include 12-way power front seats with memory, heaters and four-way power-adjustable lumbar support; eucalyptus wood trim; a hand-stitched, leather-wrapped steering wheel; a full set of self-dimming mirrors with memory; stainless steel pedals; a full set of rear sunshades; and a trunk pass-through with ski bag. The 12-cylinder Phaeton adds 18-inch alloy wheels, walnut wood trim, an upgraded 12-speaker sound system with digital sound processing and additional window tinting. The W12 also benefits from 18-way power-adjustable front seats that are heated and ventilated and have a 10-minute massage function. The rear seats are heated, too.

2006 Highlights

The VW Phaeton's W12 engine gets a bump in horsepower this year. It now produces 444 horsepower, a 24-hp rise from last year. Other minor changes include Bluetooth connectivity (delayed introduction) and power height adjustment for all outboard headrests.

Performance & mpg

The VW Phaeton is available with two engine options: a 4.2-liter V8 that delivers 335 horsepower or a 6.0-liter W12 that makes an impressive 444 hp. The V8 engine comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift capability, while the W12 receives a five-speed automatic that also offers manual shifting. Both cars are electronically limited to a top speed of 135 mph. All-wheel drive is standard on all Phaetons.


The Volkswagen Phaeton has a total of eight airbags, including full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard are four-wheel antilock disc brakes with emergency brake assist, stability control and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Electronic park assist is optional.


Fine-tuning the ride for the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton is an air suspension that includes continuous damping control, which allows the vehicle to automatically adapt to the road surfaces and driving conditions without the driver's input. The competent suspension, along with the standard all-wheel-drive system and eager engine, makes for an entertaining ride, but the car's excessive weight keeps it from delivering the athletic feel of its competitors.


Inside the VW Phaeton, the luxurious cabin is trimmed in wood ranging from chestnut to eucalyptus, Italian leather, and chrome and brushed metal. Buyers can choose between a four-seat or five-seat configuration, with a wood-trimmed console resting between the rear seats on the four-passenger setup. An integrated vehicle management system uses a 7-inch color screen that incorporates the navigation system, onboard trip computer, stereo system and climate control system. It sounds complicated, but the Phaeton's controls are actually much more straightforward than those of other high-dollar luxury sedans.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton.

5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 5.0 stars based on 7 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance
  • ride quality
  • driving experience
  • transmission
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • interior
  • comfort
  • fuel efficiency
  • dashboard
  • value
  • spaciousness
  • climate control

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.875 out of 5 stars, Consider yourself spoiled
Nothing like it,

Previously I have owned a 7 series, a few acuras, lexus, and cadillac escalade. This vehicle has definitely trumped them all! The massage seats for instance, the heated and cooled seats. The hidden vents, the adjustable seats, the programable keys, the power trunk...should I continue? EVERYTHING on this vehicle is powered. Mileage. Well, it could be better of course, but it is a awd vehicle and a very heavy one at that. If you are driving in snow, there is no better vehicle to protect you and your loved ones. I average about 330- 345 per tank and that is combined driving (mostly city though). I love when people do not even know what it is. They think jetta/passat until they get close!

5 out of 5 stars, VW Phaeton- Lux Lux Lux**

I did a lot of research and compared the Phaeton to the Mercedes-Benz CLS- / S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Lexus 430 and Audi A8u, and have to say that the Phaeton won - hands down. What a great car to drive. You combine the fact that it is " hand " built on a Bentley Continental Chassis; and that they used only the finest leather, wood, chrome and talk about features! The car can either be your "Limo" ride or in a quick shift, can become as sporty as any luxury sportscar. It is fun to drive in any of 3 shift modes / 4 suspension settings / 3 ride heights - etc. It provides the most bang for the buck and hey - it's not seen on every corner. It is the epitome of quality and style. If your confidence needs the "Lexus / Benz / BMW label - go and spend more to get less!

4.625 out of 5 stars, Review of Phaeton

The Phaeton is a very no nonsense luxury vehicle. It has all the appointments of its competitors, but has the practicality of a VW. The uniqueness of the big VW has many on lookers, wondering if this is a Jetta on steriods. The interior appointments are first rate with the exceptions of a couple of cheap buttons. The heated and cooled seats are very comfortable. The exterior shape is very clean, simple, and attractive. The interior cabin shuts out most unwanted noise and the upgraded sterio is unbelievable. The VW network is very proud of this vehicle and is very helpful when servicing the vehicle.

4.875 out of 5 stars, Outsanding Machine

This car is the epitome of understated elegance. Since I've previously owned the A8L, 740IL, S430 and 3.5RL but yet the Phaeton has been the most refined and pleasant of them all. I have had fewer gremlins show up and the service experience has been excellent.

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Features & Specs

V8 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
V8 4dr Sedan AWD
4.2L 8cyl 6A
MPG 14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
335 hp @ 6500 rpm

W12 4dr Sedan AWD features & specs
W12 4dr Sedan AWD
6.0L 12cyl 5A
MPG 11 city / 17 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
444 hp @ 6000 rpm

V8 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats features & specs
V8 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats
4.2L 8cyl 6A
MPG 14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
335 hp @ 6500 rpm

W12 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats features & specs
W12 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats
6.0L 12cyl 5A
MPG 11 city / 17 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
444 hp @ 6000 rpm

See all Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton features & specs


Is the Volkswagen Phaeton a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2006 Phaeton both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Volkswagen Phaeton fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Phaeton gets an EPA-estimated 13 mpg to 16 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Phaeton has 13.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Volkswagen Phaeton. Learn more
Is the Volkswagen Phaeton reliable?
To determine whether the Volkswagen Phaeton is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Phaeton. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Phaeton's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2006 Phaeton is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton?

The least-expensive 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton is the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton V8 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $66,700.

Other versions include:

  • V8 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A) which starts at $66,700
  • W12 4dr Sedan AWD (6.0L 12cyl 5A) which starts at $96,600
  • V8 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (4.2L 8cyl 6A) which starts at $74,350
  • W12 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (6.0L 12cyl 5A) which starts at $101,300
Learn more
What are the different models of Volkswagen Phaeton?
If you're interested in the Volkswagen Phaeton, the next question is, which Phaeton model is right for you? Phaeton variants include V8 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A), W12 4dr Sedan AWD (6.0L 12cyl 5A), V8 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (4.2L 8cyl 6A), and W12 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (6.0L 12cyl 5A). For a full list of Phaeton models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton

Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton Overview

The Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton is offered in the following submodels: Phaeton Sedan. Available styles include V8 4dr Sedan AWD (4.2L 8cyl 6A), W12 4dr Sedan AWD (6.0L 12cyl 5A), V8 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (4.2L 8cyl 6A), and W12 4dr Sedan AWD w/4 Seats (6.0L 12cyl 5A).

What do people think of the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2006 Phaeton 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2006 Phaeton.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2006 Phaeton featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton?

Which 2006 Volkswagen Phaetons are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton.

Can't find a new 2006 Volkswagen Phaetons you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Volkswagen Phaeton for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $18,268.

Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $22,777.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials