2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2004 Volkswagen Phaeton - Road Test Specs

2004 Volkswagen Phaeton Sedan

(6.0L W12 AWD 5-speed Automatic)


Model year2004
StyleW12 4dr Sedan (6.0L 12cyl 5A)
Base MSRP$94,600.00
As-tested MSRP$101,915.00


Drive typeAWD
Engine typeW12
Displacement (cc/cu-in)6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)420 @ 6000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)406 @ 3250
Transmission type5-speed automatic


Suspension, frontFour-link independent air suspension w/ auto leveling & damping
Suspension, rearTrapezoidal wishbone independent air suspension w/ auto leveling & damping
Steering typeElectronically-controlled rack-and-pinion
Tire brandMichelin
Tire modelPilot HX
Tire size, frontP255/45R18
Tire size, rearP255/45R18
Brakes, frontFour-wheel electronically controlled disc

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)4.3
0-60 mph (sec.)6.4
0-75 mph (sec.)9.3
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)14.78 @ 97.45
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)32.9
60-0 mph (ft.)129.09
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)65.9
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)Not tested
Sound level @ idle (dB)Low
@ Full throttle (dB)73
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)70

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsThe W12 is probably the single most impressive feature of the Phaeton. This engine seems to possess an endless amount of horsepower and torque, yet it produces acceleration in an almost covert way. The Phaeton weighs in at over 5,300 pounds, but the ultrasmooth engine masks that tonnage by catapaulting the car to 60 miles per hour in a little over 6 seconds. Crisp upshifts occur at 6,300 rpm (redline is 6,000 rpm) and the power band is as flat as an American Idol audition. I did manage to slice two-tenths off the zero-to-60 time by powerbraking the car to 2,000 rpm.
Braking ratingGood
Braking commentsThe Phaeton's rear tires emitted more noise during maximum braking than I expected. They didn't quite lock up, but they were close throughout the stopping tests. However, the two-and-a-half-ton vehicle stopped consistently in around 130 feet, with the best distance (129 feet) coming on the final run, confirming that brake fade wasn't an issue. The pedal offered progressive response and feedback, with ABS noise about average -- maybe a little high for a luxury car. Overall, the brakes were very good, but for this kind of money they should probably be a little better (in terms of ABS noise and rear tire squeal).
Handling ratingExcellent
Handling commentsThere's a fair amount of body roll dialed into the Phaeton's suspension at its default setting, but you can make it softer or stiffer to suit driving style and needs. Turning the suspension up to maximum "sport" setting put body roll at a minimum and gave the car an almost nimble feel through the slalom. The impressive slalom speed backs this up, though placing the vehicle was tricky, because it felt smaller than it really was and many cones were crunched on the way to a clean run. Steering feel and response were excellent -- almost Audi-like.

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 12/19 Manual /
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)23.8

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)5399
Length (in.)203.7
Width (in.)74.9
Height (in.)57.1
Wheelbase (in.)118.1
Legroom, front (in.)41.7
Legroom, rear (in.)43.1
Headroom, front (in.)37.2
Headroom, rear (in.)38.1
Seating capacity5
Cargo volume (cu-ft)13
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)13


Bumper-to-bumper4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain5 years / 60,000 miles
Corrosion12 years / miles
Roadside assistance4 years / 50,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenance4 years / 50,000 miles


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsStandard
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsElectronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard
Rollover protectionNot Available
Emergency assistance systemStandard
NHTSA crash test, driverNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, passengerNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side frontNot Tested
NHTSA crash test, side rearNot Tested
NHTSA rollover resistanceNot Tested

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