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Volkswagen Phaeton



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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    One of the most pleasant surprises awaits you...This automobile will grow on you...You will enjoy it more and more everytime you get in and turn the key...

    I have been driving for 37 years...from a '62 Beetle Convertible, AH 3000, 911S Porsche, Audi Quattro, 10thAE Honda Accord, and new Passats from'98 on...the only similar experience was with a 1985 BMW M6...Grey Market.

    At first the window conrols will take some getting used to, but after a couple of days that extra reach will become second nature...BTW...The famous Touareg flashlight is packed into the Owner's Manual...Make sure that you get it!!!
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    merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    It is really interesting to read about people buying this car. It looks like VW sold about 80 Phaetons last month. Please post back after living with the car for a while and especially if you have a problem with its ride, because several mags have said this is a problem. I'm curious to know if it's true with the actual production cars.

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Ride level is set to comfort and you raise the shocks a soft ride results...go for sport and lower the shocks and that is what you get...Do not believe some reviewers "got it"...
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    anyone here had the opportunity to drive the Phaeton? At the "W" Hotel, or elsewhere?
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    franklinwolffranklinwolf Member Posts: 5
    It's a conservative and subtle design that's pleasing to my eyes. While roomy, it could have more head room. One VW dealer is offering a 39 mo lease for $699 p/m and 3,500 down for the V8. Since only the long body is being imported to the US, and the short body V6 isn't, I can't help but wonder if the new Passat will be the short Phaeton V6 with f/w drive since the new Passat is rumored to resemble the Phaeton. We'll see.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Lease is with a 65% Residual for the 36 months!!!

    In addition, that payment is based on the Base Model...
    although "loaded" by anyone's standards, does not include
    Upgraded Sound System with DSP, Electronic Park Assist and a few other goodies, but they don't really add that much to the payment...
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    profvhprofvh Member Posts: 31
    I have looked at the new Phaeton at two Houston
    dealers. The car has "presence", especially in
    black. It is much more attractive than Lexus 430,
    which is a cross between the last generation S
    Class Benz and a fat Toyota Avalon. My only
    complaint is that the VW logos on the truck and
    front are too large. Should be more subtle.
    Interior is especially attractive. The upcoming
    new generation Passat looks alot like a small
    Phaeton according to European pics that I have
    seen. Both cars look good but may have to much
    similarity between the two for the luxury buyer.

    So far there has been very little marketing of this new car, at least here.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    The emblem comment has been made before...heard this from some visiting European Dealers that I hosted lasted year...

    When we were at the Four Seasons in San Diego for the Dealer Launch in October, and getting to see the Phaeton for the very first time, up close and personal, there was of course much dialogue about design, etc. Obviously many choices were available to the acrchitects and my feeling is that, at the end of the day, the decision was made to execute a design that would leave no doubt that regardless of luxury appointments and all of it's refinement this too is a Volkswagen. And, I applaud that decision. The goal here, including the launch of the Touareg, was to make VWAG/VWOA a Full Line Car Company, and now we are...
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    raoulschraoulsch Member Posts: 1
    Had the chance to test drive a W8 model on Sunday in San Francisco as part of the "W" hotel deal. Impressions: nice understated styling makes the car look smaller than it really is. Certainly did not attract attention, which might indeed be a good thing as alternative to MB and BMW. Handling is superb - felt like a sports car when driving through the Santa Cruz Mountains - suspension and level adjustments are cool and very effective. W8 very responsive. Very comfortable on the freeway. Cabin is very quiet - thanks i.e. to double-pane glass - makes listening to music really enjoyable. Seats are superb - especially the massage feature. Lots of space in the back. Excellent climate controls. Overall best car I have driven - but can only compare to current MB E 6-cyl and older Jag XJ 6-cyl in this class. I am wondering though how VW's service will meet the expections this car sets.
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Did you mean you drove a V-8? Or was it a W-12?

    The Phaeton V8 is a 4.2 liter normally aspirated unit sourced from Audi and raised to 335HP perhaps to offset the Phaeton's higher weight when compared with the A8L which is lighter due to extensive use of aluminum compared to the VW.

    Another way to tell is the transmission -- the V8 Phaeton has the 6spd tip and the W12 the 5spd tip.

    Which one did you drive? It almost sounds like it was the W12.

    As far as I know the only W8 in the US is currently in the Passat and it is supposed to be discontinued when the new body Passat comes out due to space contstraints. The W8, a fine engine, but its days are numbered.
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    randomthoughtrandomthought Member Posts: 8
    Anyone know how the Phaeton will show in safety tests compares to others in its class?
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    have scored extremely well in both IIHS & NHTSA since 1998...Touareg & Phaeton should certainly meet or exceed expectations...
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    carjunkcarjunk Member Posts: 10
    what is the payload info on the phaeton?
    do the models vary and does the diesel have more?
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Can only really speak to the US Market...We have no specs on the V10 Diesel because we don't have them to sell here...V8 has a curb weight of 5194#s and a payload capacity og 944#s...W12, a bit heavier...5399#s with a payload of 968#s
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    samphoebe1samphoebe1 Member Posts: 13
    Wow!!! I loved my test drive of the Phaeton. I just bought a Touareg in early October and have been thrilled with it. I have a 2000 S500 that I am considering selling and drove the Phaeton yesterday for a couple of hours and I am amazed. It drives SO LIKE A DREAM. I enjoyed the experience and now find my Mercedes not up to par. Looks like I will be purchasing another new Volkswagen.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Thanks for sharing your entusiasm...And, it gets better the more you drive...Quiet, fast, comfortable, and very easy to live with...
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    jamesfletcher2jamesfletcher2 Member Posts: 127

    I am interested in exactly what else you liked about the VW Pheaton in your test drive other than the "dream ride". I am interested in the Pheaton and welcome any feedback.

    Also, did you drive the V8 or the W12?

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    rsr742002rsr742002 Member Posts: 64
    In all honesty, this car puzzles me. Actually, what puzzles me is VW's thinking. Having a luxury division (Audi) to cover the up market segment and having a top-level A8 to combat MB S-class & BMW 7 series, why, oh why, would VW introduce Phaeton?

    Phaeton is nearly identical in size and driving dynamics to A8, except it is not made of aluminum but uses conventional steel. VW creates a very ambiguous overlap between its two divisions. I am not going to argue that VW is not perceived to be a luxury car marque, hence not commanding $70K stickers, it is pretty obvious to anyone even vaguely familiar with the auto market.

    Low key? Sure, but I don't think A8 is that super flashy to begin with. Actually A8 seems low key enough for someone who doesn't like the image MB and BMW are projecting.

    VW sells $15,000 cars. How can they justify selling a model for $70k?
    Stick with your market segment, VW: affordable sedans, hatchbacks, classic beetles, moderately priced SUV's even (not Touareg though). Let Audi cover the mid-upper segment: A4, A6, A8, Pikes Peak SUV.

    Another mistakes are the W8 Passat ($41,000?!), Tuareg (>$40,000)?
    Wake up VW or be crushed by smarter companies like Toyota & Honda, who have their luxury divisions to cater to the up market audience and offer most of their models well bellow $40,000.
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    VWGUILD probably has the real statistical poop, but the spirit of what I know is not inaccurate, at least.

    Audi, a few years back, had "sand kicked in its face" by BMW. Audi -- well its management -- decided to compete with BMW; Audi didn't see Mercedes as THAT much competition. Those who consider Mercedes generally don't consider BMW or Audi (espcially Audi was the "market research" results, anyway.)

    So the grand plan -- evolutionary when looked at based on announced plans -- VW will evolve into a Classic Luxury (German style) marquis that will compete with Mercedes at the 90 - 95% CONTENT level but at the 80 - 85% MSRP level.

    I think the V8 US bound Pheaton does this -- in spades. Look what Mercedes has for about $65K and compare it to the VW Phaeton. The plan -- more or less -- is working.

    Audi, often thought of as an upscale VW, has been for years breeding a new line of cars for its future -- a line that is "more dynamic" and more of a suitable competitor to BMW. The Audi A8L and the upcoming A8 and presumably S8 and hopefully RS 8 are poised to do battle with BMW's 7 series (for example). The RS 6 competes or was designed as a statement -- certainly not a statement aimed at VW buyers (even the Phaeton crowd) nor even at Mercedes buyers (although the AMG crowd is at least a superficial competitor). The RS 6 was aimed at the BMW M5 (which had previously kicked sand in the Audi S6's face -- notice NO S6 sedan was ever brought to the US in recent years; Audi did not want to be percieved as bringing a car that never was meant to compete with the M5 to compete with the M5 in the automotive press).

    The BMW division called "M" will find Audi competing with it with their RS line mainly. Currently there is still some of the morphing of the message and the cars from "standard, to S-line, to S to RS" -- the four lines might look like this an available A4, A4S, S4 and RS 4 to compete with a similar "package" of offerings from BMW.

    New news, only 4 or 5% of Audi/VW buyers cross shop -- so the Phaeton should not steal A8 buyers from Audi -- at least so the market research says.

    The Touareg will soon have a third sibling -- the Pike's Peak -- the platform will then be Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Pike's Peak. Each will approach its marketing in an attempt to differentiate itself from the rest of the market and from its kissing cousins (fraternal twins or triplets according to some authors).

    So the grand plan, a plan that I personally hope pans out is VW = Classic German Luxury and Audi = Dynamic and Sporty German Luxury. Aimed at Mercedes = VW; aimed at BMW = Audi.

    In some respects this is working already.

    There are Phaetons being sold -- and there has been a deliberate attempt (aluminum vs steel, for one example) to differentiate the cars. They are not a Taurus and Sable they are unique (but related) efforts.

    At this moment, I believe that you "get more with a VW than with a Mercedes -- talking Phaeton and Touareg only -- and ditto Audi vs BMW." This statement is PRICE weighted, content weighted and a consequence, currently, of perceived pecking order.

    To the person who looks at a Passat V6 4motion, an Audi A4 quattro and a 3 series "X" BMW (all wheel drive configuration, that is), the VW and Audi products have "higher content" at similar or lower dollars.

    Thes REST is yet to come -- some think it is the BEST is yet to come.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    You have said it all quite well...The only thing that I can add is the fact that the basic underlying strategy is to keep our Customers with the Brand...From the cradle to the grave...

    The 4% cross shop number that you site is totally accurate...Typically as our Customers mature both chronologically and financially they have been forced to leave the brand for MBZ or BMW if they are seeking a powerful, luxurious sedan...now they have the Phaeton...I have been driving one for the past two weeks and I can tell you, without question, it is a superb automobile...Fit, finish, power galore, driver friendly controls, a perfectly awesome surround sound system, dual pane glass, the most perfect 4 zone climate control system of any automobile, a truly unique & powerful appearance...All are present here...

    And, Mark you will be pleased at the fact that all scheduled maintenance is included...;)
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    docroger1docroger1 Member Posts: 3
    Having just taken delivery of my Phaeton last night and as a former and current Audi customer (1999 A6, 2001 TT 225) I can weigh in here... I needed to get something that would fit my 3 kids in the back (2 in car seats) from time to time and the TT was clearly not cutting it. Decided to look for a "large" sedan; as a skier I needed 4 wheel drive. That left the A8L and the Phaeton (not interested in the Mercedes). The two cars drive very similarly. The interior of the Phaeton is stunning; the A8L is a bit more understated but still fantastic. The exterior appearance is a matter of personal taste; I think that they are both attractive vehicles.

    Clearly, the VW gives you more "gadgets" and I'm a gadget freak. However, gadgets should not make you choose a car.

    In this rarefied price range, dollars still make a big difference and really sealed the deal for me. The lease on the Phaeton was $200 less per month than the A8L; the sticker price was within $3000 of each other.

    So, the VW is a considerable value at this point. That makes a big difference. Would I have gone with the A8L if there was no Phaeton in existence....probably.

    Thats my experience; I'm not trying to cause acid reflux at VW/Audi headquarters but I do represent a "crossover customer" -- and a happy one at that!

    Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah to all!!
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Enjoy your new sled...Happy Holidays!!!
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    ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    i have driven the v8 phaeton and i am interested .
    not really a great car ,but interesting and i just love the dashboard and the gimmicks.

    the power is not that great given the 5000 lbs.it weighs.
    i could not get it to perform like a 745 or s500.
    just too heavy.--but something about it i like ....

    just got a quote from my dealer which seems high at $5400 down
    $753 a month
    48 months
    and $34,900 BUY OUT after 48 mos.
    mileage allowance 18,000 per year

    insurance on car is $2,400.per year ,and i own 8 cars alltogether. very high given my multiple car discount.

    total comes out to $ 75,770 .(not incl.insurance)

    comparing this to lexus,
    when lexus first came out they priced it at 20 g 's below mb and bmw

    they then established a reputation ---the best luxury car out there but somewhat boring to drive....---
    and increased their prices.currently their dealer profit is $7,800 per car so there is room to deal.

    vw is doing it backwards.

    and ,worst is the fact that i know people who own passats and golf and they are totally dissapointed with vw service,quality and reliability.......

    regardless,i may buy one next week ,but only if i gat a better deal and the total price drops from $75. to about $55.000.

    i will pay up front or if the cost of money is low i may decide to lease.

    on the other hand i may just end up buying the lexus with the sports suspension and have a trouble free car. i do tend to keep my cars over 250,000 miles (6 so far ) and need peace of mind as far as reliabilty is concerned which i doubt the vw will give me.

    but,at the right price i may just take the plunge.

    i notice that there are vw employees on this board .
    so, tell me why i should disregard the reliability issues of vw vis-a -vis the high price and buy one versus the lexus......
    and note that i have already eliminated the bmw 7 and mb500 because of their serious reliability prob;ems which have been documented by consumer reports and jd power.......

    i want to get the phaeton .......i am jsut scared to hell ......
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    nwbearnwbear Member Posts: 20
    I've been considering the purchase of a luxury car and am baffled by the Phaeton's pricing and marketing. I've owned both German and Japanese vehicles, including VW's, and would have to be coaxed into risking any significant sum on a VW. Pricing it above a Lexus is simply not going to work for the vast majority of potential buyers out there.

    Until it is proven that VW can establish itself in the luxury market the cost of ownership on this vehicle (even if operating costs are ignored) will be extremely high. Just driving the car off the lot will likely cost 10 - 15K in depreciation.

    This is not even factoring in the abysmal reputation most VW dealers have for service. This I've experience first hand, as have other members of my family. Neither my father nor my brother will ever buy another VW of any kind.

    I expect the Phaeton will sit on most dealer's lots until the price drops substantially. There will be BIG rebates on this one.
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    toyo_ztoyo_z Member Posts: 47
    I have to concur with nwbear. VW has got the strategy and pricing all wrong on this one.

    I'm probably the type of consumer they are looking for, but i doubt that i'd give the phaeton the time of day. I was a former Audi owner, so i understand why german metal is so appealing (I drive a lexus now... reliability is important to me, and to many other consumers. before the japanese entered the high-end segment, you put up with bad reliability and mind-numbing repair bills because there was no choice, but now, it's unacceptable.)

    My fiance dumped her 2001 jetta for a subaru, and after watching her experience with VW dealerships (and a car that was, frankly, built very badly), i don't associate VW with cars costing $80,000.

    The phaeton may be the perfect machine (i've yet to see one), but VW's dealer network has such a bad reputation, and their current batch of products so dodgy in the reliability department, that I do not see an $80k car selling.

    Drop the price to $60k, employ the strategy that lexus used when breaking into the market -- underpromise, over-deliver. THEN maybe in a few years, when the product has some credibility, push the price upward.

    The incentives on this one are going to be massive, but they may not help. If the product is as reliable as current VW product, repair bills will be massive and residuals low. (like a 7-series,but way, way worse..)
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    to add a few facts to the guesses and opinions...

    Phaeton pricing starts out under $65K, and that includes All Wheel Drive, Air Suspension, NAV, Full Scheduled Maintenance for 48Months/50,000Miles, 8 AirBags...All new products take a bit of time to become accepted...The Jetta is, and has been, the largest selling European import for decades...Only 200 out of 600 VW Dealers are Phase I Phaeton Dealers...VW outsells Subaru better than 2:1...December Residual Value on the V8 Phaeton for 36 month Lease is 62%.
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    ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    well,after my post ,above ,i went back to the dealer today. i am just in love with this car and he had just received a third car in black piano or whatever finish.
    the list on this car was higher than the one he had quoted me on. $73000. versus 68.0.

    i took it out ,again,for a second test ride. i brought my checkbook with me getting ready to just buy the thing and ignore my aprehensions about reliability and dealer service......

    the ride was fine up until a point when i entered a round about on the road,a circle, and i decided to just go around it 2 or 3 times to see how the car stuck and a little faster each time.....

    on the second drive around at about 40 mph ,the car decided to ignore i was steering left and decided to plow straight ahead ,is this oversteering ????

     a common trait with front wheel drive cars.....i experienced this before in my nephew's honda prelude.....

    but i never expected this on this phaeton.....
    with all wheel drive .

    the salesman went palid ....his face was really white........i was able to recover and bring the car back on line but way over the original line..
    i did not hit anything and luckily there were no cars on the circle at this time.

    i headed back to the dealeship and ,i have to say that i decided not to buy the car at this time .

    let me add that it was a brand new car.never driven before,but it had been prep. and i had set the suspension to maximun hard.

    i still like the car,and do want to buy it . but,i am now even more concerned about it...

    has anyone test ridden this car ??

    and,how about the vw guy here . why did you not reply to my first post. is this the way i expect to be treated when and if ever i become your customer ?
    if you want i will give you my telephone number and you can call me .
    or ,we can meet at my dealer in connecticut and go for a test drive again.
    i do like your car but i am very concerned .
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    really clear what you were doing, at least to me...But... The Steering is Servotronic which means that the faster you go; the tighter it becomes...At slower speeds it is softer for parking etc.

    I have been driving one on a daily basis for the
    past two + weeks, and my experience is that the steering is almost intuitive...Although I must confess I have not driven it around in circles...I also had the experience of driving it with Professional Drivers at Qualcom Park in San Diego where we hit speeds of up to 100MPH and made pretty acute turns...

    I would suggest that your experience was secondary to lack of familiarity with the car...Your Sales Person also exhibited a fair amount of lack of experience as well...When putting any car through the paces it should be on a well known course and with the factory rep or sales person driving first so that the new driver knows what to expect and what to do in every situation...

    AND...Edmunds Town Hall Rules strictly forbid any type of post that could, in any way, be construed as solicitation...Hence no response!
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    toyo_ztoyo_z Member Posts: 47

    i don't doubt that the phaeton is a fantastic car to drive. All i'm saying is that from my vantage point, it doesn't yet look like it will be a fantastic car to -own-.

    There are many concerns, that I don't think you (or anyone else) can properly address at this point.


    1. VW dealers in general treat their customers badly. I have first-hand experience with this. This may be due to the sudden popularity of several models (huge #s of new clients in the late 90's -> stressing the dealer's ability to handle service requests), plus some shoddy build quality on certain models (the jettas & beetles built in mexico for example... again, i have first-hand experience.) Unless phaeton customers will have a separate entrance, with dedicated service advisors, i smell trouble brewing. The service experience needs to match or exceed lexus, and I don't see that happening within the current dealer network .

    2. Complexity. I've seen the phaeton, it looks complicated. Really, really complicated. Being a 'first model year' owner of any car is dangerous, but in a car this complicated, it's almost a guarantee that you'll get to know the service advisors at the local dealership quite well. (Look at all the problems BMW and Mercedes are having with their 'flagships'. It's horrifying.) The super-complexity also reduces the chance that the dealer will be able to fix the thing when it breaks. If they have problems with Jetta electrical systems, this is going to be a whole different ballgame....

    3. Residuals. The residual figures you quoted aren't real; the car hasn't even really been in service in the US... in a year or two, we'll see what the numbers actually look like.
    My gut tells me (and i hope i'm wrong) that the depreciation schedule for this car will look very similar to a BMW 7-series -- massive depreciation in the first 4 years, due to the fact that the car will be uber-expensive to repair. No one will want to touch one in the used market unless the price is low. (Look at 5-year old 7-series as a guide; Great cars, but require tons of bankruptcy-inducing maintenance because of their inherent complexity. A valve job on a 750 can run several thousand dollars. A computer barf can cost another few grand, and so forth... )

    What does VW offer in the way of extended warranties? what kind of loaner car does the phaeton owner get when their car goes in for service?
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    tariktarik Member Posts: 344
    It is no secret that the Phaeton plows, thanks to its "very" front engine layout. Not one European test report that didn't indicate the car's bulk to make itself felt in corners.

    This is from an US test:

    Just don't get too frisky in the corners. At 2.5 tons, most of which lives north of the front wheels, the Phaeton is genetically predisposed to terminal understeer.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    1. For regular scheduled maintenance we plan to take a Phaeton to the customer's home or business, pick up their Phaeton, service it and reverse the process.

    The Phaeton is being produced in a state of the art facility that builds Phaetons exclusively...A simple search will allow you to visit the plant online.

    Scheduled Maintenance was deleted from the Warranty Pkg. in 2002 for the rest of the carlines because of the reasons you state...unprecedented numbers of customer increase between 1998-2001...Better than 1.5 Million customers looking for an oil change & maintenance at 600+ Dealers can ceratinly cause a bottleneck and an atmosphere that is less than perfect...Not that ANYONE is perfect. I have requested, more times than I can remember, insight from anyone with a 100% perfect customer satisfaction rating...so far no takers!!!

    2. Complex it is...for sure. But sophisticated computer technology has also made it simpler than you might think...additionally, there is substantially more testing done at the factory prior to shipmemt
    than anyone might imagine.

    But, in fact, only time will tell...However; after a couple thousand miles of Phaeton driving I have seen nothing untoward so far.

    3. The Residuals that I quoted are quite Real...they are actually in print...My experience tells me that most of these automobiles will leased for 36-48 months, and I am sure that Volkswagen Credit will keep these residuals attractive, even subventing them if necessary.
    The corporate investment here has been better than substantial, and the product is just too good to orphan like the W8 Passat, which was conceived as a transition vehicle configuration anyway...BTW...married to the six speed manual is a Fantastic drive
    and has no real competitor.

    Finally, it should always be kept in mind that this is a niche product...it was not intended to be another Jetta. We wanted a product that dedicated VW fans could upgrade to instead of leaving the Brand for a BMW or MBZ. If others find it an attractive alternative to these brands; we welcome them also...
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    ffb13ffb13 Member Posts: 181
    well, i had posted a reply and an inquiry to your reply but the site administrator contacted me advising that he was removing my post because he found it outside of the post agreement.

    so here i will try again......

    after having read the above posts i think that i have the answer that i was looking for from---tarik and --toyo----
    their concerns and explanations make sense.

    and,if you think that i made a mistake in the way i went around the circle ,making the car plow straight ahead instead of following through the steering input,.......i will give you the benefit of the doubt........

    and,i will go back and take another test drive.

    as i said i love the car specially with the 4 seat set up and i do want to buy one.

    but,i will go back to the circle and repeat the drive i did yesterday and see if the thing still plows straight ahead instead of turning.

    obviously ,something is wrong here .
    is it the car that i want so much ,or is it me.
    we will see.

    by the way,if it is the car that fails to follow through the steering input ,and not me,i think that there may be a serious issue here,but what do i know.

    for your info. i do own 4 european sport cars including a 1955 porche 550 with its infamous handling ,so i think that i may know what i am doing .but maybe not.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    was not that you had made any type of error...instead, I was trying to point out that whenever performance handling is put to a test, with any car, it is best to be familiar with the car and the course...It is also advised to do this on a "closed course".

    I am also unclear on what type of driving situation, emergency or otherwise, you are trying to replicate...
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    patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Vwguild is participating in our discussions as a community member, same as the rest of us. He is NOT here as a "VW rep" or in any capacity that involves selling this vehicle or any other. If he were, he would be in clear violation of the Membership Agreement - and he has indicated that he is well aware of that.

    Folks here need to understand that he will answer questions to the best of his ability, but to put him on the spot as a "VW rep" and demand that he promote this or that for the Volkswagen brand is not fair to him.

    Ask your questions and post your comments to our membership in general. If vwguild has a relevant comment, I'm sure he will make it, but please do not demand that he speak for Volkswagen or that he use this discussion or this community to sell vehicles.

    If anyone has any questions or comments about what I'm saying, please feel free to email me.

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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Thank you...
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    rsr742002rsr742002 Member Posts: 64
    Just wanted to add that Phaeton was deemed unacceptable by Car & Driver for the unusually harsh and bumpy ride (the body of the car shook every time it hit a bump).

    In my book, it makes it a vehicle to avoid. Top- rated Lexus LS430 is cheaper and much, much more plush, reliable, has a certain (vs. VW) residual value and class. I don't see any reason for people throwing 70 large on a VW that doesn't cut it in terms of a basic and expected feature of a luxury car: a well-balanced, plush ride.

    The bitter truth is Paheton will vanish from production very soon due to low customer interest.
    Wanna bet?
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I read and re-read the post pertaining to going around in a circle faster and faster and faster until the car could no longer "go where it was pointed."

    This means understeer. Audis and VW's tend to understeer because there is more than 50% of the weight of the vehicle on the front half of the car.

    Understeer or Oversteer? Well, most cars have SOME understeer because it is deemed more benign than oversteer. Even perfectly balanced steering (meaning the chances of understeer or oversteer are about the same) seems to be dialed out of cars.

    Part of the reason for understeer in many cars has been the use of front wheel drive.

    For years -- in the US -- about the only car you could get that wasn't rear wheel drive was the Toronado. Then for a bunch of reasons, many of them economic, some of them ergonomic and some of them "drive-ability" related, cars shifted from predominantly RWD to FWD. Audis in the US have always been either 100% FWD or, over time, AWD.

    Nearly neutral steering with a hint of understeer is what most folks would prefer. The Audi and VW family has more than a hint of understeer. Over the past decade or so they have been working toward less and less understeer -- via suspension mods, electronic aids and engineering changes.

    The rumor mill states that Audis (and one would presume this will carry over to VW) will move closer and closer and closer to 50 - 50 weight distribution over the next 3 - 5 years (BMW look out!?!).

    A current Audi or VW that is AWD and has ESP and the suspension settings that these cars have engineered in them are not ideal, I would grant.

    However, the only time I can imagine that the understeer you "forced" would be an issue would also be an issue in most other cars in this class. Most of the cars on the road, in any class (other than some pure sports cars) will have at least a little understeer. AWD can offset -- somewhat -- the lopsided weight distribution in the Phaeton.

    Under even aggressive circumstances, the Phaeton should be very competent and safe.

    Although I did not participate in the Audi A8 driver training on ice in Austria, I have participated in the A4 training and have had the opportunity to watch the A8 being put through its paces on ice (as we put the A4 through).

    If the Phaeton is "similar" to the A8, which I presume it is, it will be able to successfully navigate through all but the most extreme "stupid" attacks we civilian drivers may have. In any case, I would suggest trying an SCLASS on the same traffic circle at the same speed -- I assume the results would be telling.

    Understeer tends to "come on" a little at a time, oversteer can "come on" all at once. One would presume that understeer is almost immediately corrected by simply slowing down (which can be as easy as releasing the accelerator, or as complicated at releasing the accelerator and stabbing the brake pedal which will shift more weight to the front tires which will increase their ability to negotiate a turn at a higher speed but since the net result is a reduction of speed stabbing the brake generally instantly brings the car back into control. Correcting oversteer can be far more challenging to a civilian (i.e., non race driver) driver.

    While your concerns, otherwise, about the VW dealer body or the Phaeton per se may still have merit, if you really liked this car other than your understeering adventure, I suggest that the Phaeton is not quite the handling "pig" as you may have concluded previously.
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    ctdwctdw Member Posts: 13
    I read the review in Car and Driver and as a Phaeton owner, I don't agree with the complaints on the ride quality. It may be more firm then an S Class or Lexus, but it's far from harsh when set to the comfort mode. Coming from an Audi S8, I actually leave it set in the first sport setting and that is still a lot more comfortable then my S8 ever was.

    Car and Driver may have given top honors to LS430, but it was on the bottom of my list. I don't like the styling at all. There is nothing sporty or interesting about it. I am also not sure I agree about it being more plush...have you been in a Phaeton?

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    rsr742002rsr742002 Member Posts: 64
    Granted it is subjective, I usually trust the opinions of C&D staff. Amazingly A8L had a similar issue: bad ride. Again, this is something you do not expect in a car of this class.

    Have I personally tested Phaeton? No, I really have very little interest in VW as well as Audi.
    But being a car fanatic, I still believe that Hitler did not create VW to build luxury barges.
    Even that monster realized that VW was to cater to the common folk.

    Again, nothing personal: I am just trying to understand VW's philosophy behind Phaeton and cannot see any.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    of the Phaeton is to provide VW fans, who have matured both financially & chronologically, a place to go rather than being forced to leave the Brand for an automobile of this caliber...MBZ or BMW.

    It also speaks well that VWAG is flexible and as the 4th largest Automobile Mfg. in the world, we are now a Full Line car Company...Think cradle to grave...
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    rsr742002rsr742002 Member Posts: 64
    In all honesty, VW is not likely to succeed with the goal you stated. Public perception is a marketing nightmare. For decades VW has been manufacturing basic, no frills autos and now, all of a sudden, we have a mature, luxury S-class fighter? Not going to happen. VW's myopia will be cured but at a cost. Yes, VW is a cash-rich company, but a few costly mistakes like this and it will take many Jettas to pay for. VW portfolio has enough Luxury cars to fill the gap: Bentley,
    Audi, even Lamborghini (exotic category).

    VW still sells plenty of cars in Europe, but mind my words: Japanese will dominate the field in the near future. Why? Clear strategy.

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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    For what it is worth, I have no clue if the VW master plan will work.

    However, I believe it CAN work and, I, for one apparently, like it! It will surely "strengthen" the breed and the brand.

    I remember the first Toyota's, I remember the Lexus, I remember the first (US) BMW's too.

    The market is crowded; VW -- at least in the US -- has a horrible dealer reputation (to be kind); and, yet -- the Phaeton hits the ground running as at least a contender.

    It apparently is not yet a winner -- but it is priced attractively and I agree with the posters who just don't want the "same old" high end high buck car.

    At this moment in time, if I were in the market for such a class car, I would ONLY look at the A8 and the Phaeton. But that is me. Acquiring a Phaeton at some of our local VW dealerships would require a leap of faith, but I still think VW will stand behind the product.

    A short wheelbase A8, A8S or S8 may ultimately be my "when I get older,losing my hair, 20 years from now" car -- oh wait, I am losing my hair.

    My view of the VW brand makes this current product line: W8 Passat, Touareg, Phaeton and RS 32, seem not at all far fetched.

    Without starting the discussion again, I still think simply going to 100% included maintenance would quickly begin eroding the perception of poor quality issues and indeed some of the dealer issues (perception IS reality, after all -- this simple change would alter the perception and perhaps buy a year or two to improve the "reality!") I understand your numbers issues and since -- in our town hall capacities at least -- we do not speak for VW, I guess my only question is how do I, Mr. John Q. Buying Public get this opinion expressed to VWoA?

    Thanks for all you do to keep this board lively, Peter.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    I think I understand what you are saying...Change and growth are bad things...Stay the course and never vary from it...We should never try to evolve and improve or make better products.

    That is what you mean, is it not?
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    The Phaeton comes with a Full Maintenance Program...

    We abandoned Free Scheduled Maintenance just 1 model year ago because the numbers rendered it impossible...This is a case of simple math...We sell far too many cars to offer this benefit across the board...If it soothes at all, we will be offering in 2004 as part of an optional warranty package, scheduled maintenance...My best guess...very few will step up and pay for it...

    Can you imagine Free Scheduled Maintenance being added by General Motors? Or Honda or Toyota?
    I don't think so...
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    toyo_ztoyo_z Member Posts: 47
    hi vwguild,

    does that mean that the maintenance is totally paid for by VW for the first X years -- including everything?

    How long does that run for? What's the total length of the warranty on the car?

    Do you think VW has considered offering a long warranty, standard, on this car, in order to improve residuals & put people's minds at ease? (If the korean manufacturers can offer 10 year warranties, won't everyone else have to follow eventually?)
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    markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    My understanding, as both an Audi owner and, over the years, several VW's -- is that Maintenance+Warranty coverage for X time and/or miles means literally $0.00 out of pocket costs for a certain period of time and miles.

    The VWoA/AoA Advantage program means 100% of all maintenance is included in "the price." This means that the maintenance is performed, your car is washed and vacuumed (if needed) and the "loaner" car is "free" (excluding the gas you use during the time your car is in for service). Free washes for life seem to be part of the program too -- at least here in River City. Many xtras go with the territory "if you but ask."

    If I need my car serviced and I have called in advance, my car is picked up and a "loaner" left for my use -- the service is performed and my clean car is returned to me (when they know I will be there so they can retrieve the loaner).

    Annual plate changes are included, e-check (but not the $8 - $20 fee are included too).

    Light bulbs, wipers, alignment, tire rotation, EVERYTHING (but nothing more) is inculded.

    This time the Audi oil change interval is 10,000 miles, so my 7,500 mile Mobil 1 change habit means I always pay for the oil difference and I get 3 of every 4 changes "free" and pay for 1.

    There doesn't seem to be any issue with all wheel alignments; if you hit a pot-hole and you even think the alignment is off, they check and correct it.

    I hit a pot-hole and bent one of my wheels -- everything was covered, except the new wheel and tire ($800) -- since this was neither a maint or warranty issue.

    If VW offers this level of maint for an extra charge (and it is Phaeton - level), I would pay for it -- because I "feel better" when I am not "nickle and dimed" as the saying goes.

    I know my Audi does not have FREE maintenance -- but I don't pay "extra" everytime I have something done or looked at -- and with 3 wiper blades on an allroad (and they need replacing about 4 times annually), it just plain feels good to pull in have the blades changed and even, if I have time, have the car washed and it is, at that moment, "free."

    The car seems trouble free or at least appears that way in my mind.

    The RS 32 for 10K less than a TT 3.2 just got more attractive with the option of hassle free maintenance, for example.
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    JBaumgartJBaumgart Member Posts: 890
    "We abandoned Free Scheduled Maintenance just 1 model year ago because the numbers rendered it impossible..."

    If what you mean is that VW dealers do not have the servicing capacity to perform included free maintenance on all of the vehicles sold that are still under warranty, this begs the question: where do most VW owners take their cars for routine servicing otherwise? I would think that VW dealers would want to "wean" new owners into getting them into the habit of taking their cars into the dealer, rather than the local Jiffy Lube, as most would probably continue to take their cars in after the free maintenance runs out. Sounds like this was a decision made more on cost issues rather than a capacity situation, unless most dealers' service areas are way undersized in the first place and they need to focus on more serious breakdown-type issues. Also, including the servicing as part of the warranty would encourage owners to have their required maintenance done on schedule, I would think, which would result in fewer serious repairs having to be made later on. On the other hand, neither Lexus or Infiniti offer free maintenance, and their cars seem to be very reliable, so maybe there is no relation here.

    Sorry for the off-topic post. I do like the looks of the Phaeton and am curious to see how it holds up and fares against the competition.
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    was 24Months/24/000Mile Bumper to Bumper, 24/24 RoadSide Assistance & Trip Interruption Protection, Free Scheduled Maintenance @ 5K,10K,15K for 2.0L & 2.8L, and 5,10,15,20 for 1.8T, 12Years/Unlimited Miles Outer Body Rust thru, and 10/Years/100,000Mile PowerTrain

    In 1993 VWOA delivered ~50,000 new VWs...In fact VWAG was seriously considering pulling the plug altogether and leaving the No. American market.

    Service capacity was never an issue obviously during '93,'94,'95,'96,'97...And, it must also be kept in mind that VW Dealers, even the ones that had been in business since the late '50s and early '60s, were not overly enthusiastic about making capital improvements in their facilities during this period...

    Then the Passat was introduced in Q4 of '97, the New Beetle on Mar. 14th 1998, the A4 Platform Jetta Q4 1999, a new Golf soon followed...

    The rest, as is said is, history. The period that followed put well over 1,500,000 new Volkswagens on the road. A far cry from what had come before.

    Because the Maintenance program is part of the Warranty it was scored as part of Sales & Service Customer Care scores...Dealers scrambled to handle the enormous work load...scheduling became a nightmare...There were not enough trained techs, there were an insufficient number of service bays.

    In 1999, at the Dealer Principal Meeting held in Palm Springs, Ca.,
    the MarketPlace Initiative was introduced, as well as the initial presentation of the Touareg(Colorado)and the Phaeton(D1)concepts.
    Dealers were pretty much put on notice that VWAG was going to be investing millions in new reasearch, facilities, and products, and the Dealers were expected to do the same...

    Because of all the success, and because we were attracting a huge number of "Conquest Customers"...former Honda, Toyo, Nissan, etc.
    customers...the feedback was quite strong that the New Vehicle Warranty was certainly inadequate and not competitive. So, in 2000 &
    2001 using focus groups, surveys, and more, a New Warranty package was introduced for our 2002 MY cars...Literally doubling the most important components and adjusting the remainder...Zeroing in on the component parts that were found to be of greatest concern to a customer base that no longer really kept a car for 10 years or 100,000 miles...And, who ranked the Maintenace component much lower than raising the primary to 48 Months & 50,000 Miles and adjusting the PowerTrain to 60 Months & 60,000 Miles.

    The Phaeton Protection Plus component has been added for the exact same reason...to be competitive, and because it is doable. To provide this extra layer to the remainder of the carlines is just arithmetically impossible...
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Maintenance should be posted as 5,10,20 for 2.0L
    & 2.8L and 5,10,15,20 for 1.8T
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    vwguildvwguild Member Posts: 1,620
    Look for coverage of the Phaeton beginning 1/7/04
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