Aside from a few switches, lack of auto chestnut covers on front air vents, massage ac/heated seats all the way around and about $80,000 you can SETTLE for an Audi A8L or a Bentley Flying Spur. The Phaeton is amazing. All the above, with soft close doors, a 270 Watt Bose 17 speaker system, a great manu shift tranny w/ AWD makes it a dream car in stealth mode. Best thing I've ever driven. A True Luxury Rocket. Found a 2005 with 29k miles. Gotta go drive it. Get'em before they're gone. Best Lux Bargain Going. VW should try again with 2013. Sells well in Europe. Bring on the auto bahn.
Beautiful exterior; drive for sport, drive for comfort, in the rain, sleet and snow it's a champ, enjoy the sound system, massaging seats and share the story with those many inquirers. Some quirky issues correctly identified by other reviews just cannot outweigh the value of buying this car with some gentle miles, and really enjoying it. It's one of the few unique vehicles that not pretentious, but is truly luxurious.
I owned every luxury German car brand there is, plus some great Asian cars. This is the best bar none. The importer did a poor job of promoting the car and nobody know how good it is. VW has treaded the Phaeton a bit better in Europe, but their problems in the USA have caused it to be cancelled. They really hosed the owners, but this car is hard to belive. Its build quality is utterly fanstastic. It drives great, quiet and smooth with great handling, ride and acoustics. What a sound system.
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.
I have never owned a more luxurious vehicle. It has every option you could possibbly ask for in an up scale auto. The ride is as quite as any Cadilac, Mercedes, or BMW we have owned over the years. This is truley the auto buy of the decade.