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Volkswagen Phaeton Saloon review

2003 - 2015 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

At a glance

Price new £42,457 - £80,285
Used prices £682 - £11,992
Road tax cost £395 - £695
Insurance group 45 - 50
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Fuel economy Not tested to latest standards
Range 376 - 653 miles
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Pros & cons


Great long distance comfort, masses of rear passenger space, outstanding diesel engines


Expensive for a Volkswagen, complicated interior on early models, lacks image of more illustrious luxury cars

Written by David Ross Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019


Volkswagen’s first real attempt at a true luxury car is technically brilliant. The Phaeton comes packed with technology, is incredibly refined and there are some great engines available too, including impressively powerful TDI units. It’s not the most striking of designs – in fact it is fairly anonymous and guaranteed not to attract attention – ideal if you want to travel incognito.

There’s masses of passenger space while a long wheelbase version is available for even more room. It’s an expensive buy if new, particularly for a Volkswagen, which means it’s never been particularly popular in the UK. Depreciation is steep – especially on the entry-level 3.2-litre – which means it’s a great used buy and more affordable than you may think.

It was given a mild facelift in September 2007 that included subtle exterior tweaks and a more modern cabin design. More changes took place in January 2009 including a new touchscreen satellite navigation and climate control system.