Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton

2006 Volkswagen Phaeton
List price range
2006 Volkswagen Phaeton

Pros

  • Powerful engine lineup, superb interior craftsmanship, standard all-wheel drive, more passenger room and simpler interior controls than competitors.

Cons

  • Excessive weight impedes handling, poor fuel economy, premium price for a non-premium brand.
Volkswagen Phaeton years

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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.

2006 Volkswagen Phaeton configurations

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Consider yourself spoiled
Nothing like it,11/17/2010
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!
VW Phaeton- Lux Lux Lux**
clrevitup,04/25/2006
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!
Review of Phaeton
MichaelNoda,09/08/2005
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.
Outsanding Machine
Malcolm,02/24/2008
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

MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
335 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
11 city / 17 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
444 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
14 city / 21 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
335 hp @ 6500 rpm
MPG
11 city / 17 hwy
Seats 4
5-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
444 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton features & specs
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's a good price on a Used 2006 Volkswagen Phaeton?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2006 Volkswagen Phaetons are available in my area?

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

Find a used Volkswagen Phaeton for sale - 10 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $19,369.

Find a used Volkswagen for sale - 10 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $19,688.

Find a used certified pre-owned Volkswagen Phaeton for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $22,926.

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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
Check out Volkswagen Phaeton lease specials