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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Made a poor decision today and drove a 2004 VW Phaeton.

It's one hell of a car, and the "friendly," massive VW badges certainly don't scream "show off" or "loaded."

I've always been attracted to the VW for some strange reason, and today's tire kicking was eye-opening - now I really, really want one.
 

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1990 500SE
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VW's are known for their electrical gremlins and spotty reliability.This big VW with it's V8 will be expensive to maintain once problems arise.They had these V8's in the Passat for a few years but ceased production.Nice looking car overall but I worry about maintenance costs down the road. Gee, is'nt a MB just the same. Just kidding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, let me put it this way -

The Phaeton is what the W220 should have been.

A nice, low mileage Phaeton with a 10 year warranty can be had for the low to mid $20k range.

I think I'd rather have a Phaeton over a W220 any time, regardless of a warranty.

I noticed cabin noise from the engine and exhaust, but at the same time, I found myself looking at the speedo because the way the VW cruises at speed is amazing.

And yes, the only problem is actually finding one. There were only ~5,000 sold in the US over three years. It is still being built for the rest of the world, but it won't be back into the US until 2011.
 

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which engine did you get to test on the phaeton w12 or v8?
 

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99 Merc S420 (80k Mi) 07 Lexus LS460 (21k Miles)
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If you like unreliability at its best and a car that 99% of people think is just a Passat, then go ahead and get one. Its also depreciates like a rock falling off a cliff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The V8...

It has some serious grunt on the low-end. And with the all-wheel drive (I assume it's the quatro from the Audi A8), it's just so planted. There's no body flexing, either, which gives the VW a more vault-like feeling than the W220. The W140 is still a tank, I must admit.

The W12, from what I've heard from Audi owners, is to be avoided. The average MPG of the W12 is 18 combined - so this won't help me on 1,000+ mile road trips. The V8 gets the same 25 mpg on the highway that I get on the W140 (without even trying to be economical).

The VW's suspension settings are noticeable too. There's four modes, all of which I was able to discern. "Sport" gives the impression of less body roll, squat, and dive. In the W220, the sport mode was just "hard." The VW's comfort mode, although not as "old man" comfort as the W220, did soak up bumps.

The seats in the VW are also more comfortable... they are wider and have articulated backs. The massage mode is out of this world. And I don't recall which year the W220 or which models came with drive dynamic seats with massage. But in the VW, the massage, heating, and cooling was available in front AND rear.

When I compare a Phaeton to the W220 for the same price, the Benz doesn't hold a candle to the VW.

Depreciation is a nasty thing! I'm sure when the W221 hits the $20k range, I'll be wanting to dump a Phaeton for it.

It's just so tempting...
 

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1993 W140 500SEL Black/Black, 12014 Ford Fiesta ST Blk/Blk
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The V8...

It has some serious grunt on the low-end. And with the all-wheel drive (I assume it's the quatro from the Audi A8), it's just so planted. There's no body flexing, either, which gives the VW a more vault-like feeling than the W220. The W140 is still a tank, I must admit.

The W12, from what I've heard from Audi owners, is to be avoided. The average MPG of the W12 is 18 combined - so this won't help me on 1,000+ mile road trips. The V8 gets the same 25 mpg on the highway that I get on the W140 (without even trying to be economical).

The VW's suspension settings are noticeable too. There's four modes, all of which I was able to discern. "Sport" gives the impression of less body roll, squat, and dive. In the W220, the sport mode was just "hard." The VW's comfort mode, although not as "old man" comfort as the W220, did soak up bumps.

The seats in the VW are also more comfortable... they are wider and have articulated backs. The massage mode is out of this world. And I don't recall which year the W220 or which models came with drive dynamic seats with massage. But in the VW, the massage, heating, and cooling was available in front AND rear.

When I compare a Phaeton to the W220 for the same price, the Benz doesn't hold a candle to the VW.

Depreciation is a nasty thing! I'm sure when the W221 hits the $20k range, I'll be wanting to dump a Phaeton for it.

It's just so tempting...
But if you say the VW suspension is nice you might not like the W221s suspension, I drove one, it soaked up undulations, not sharp dips or expansion joints/settled slab decks. IMHO they should think about a better tire set up, enough with the low profile stuff.
 

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I really don't want to be rude, but the appalling depression on the Patheon is a clear sign of what the car really is: a VW CEO wet dream come true: nothing more, nothing less.

I have always considered Audis an overpriced VW, but the Patheon is really a bad joke.

If you really want to sink your money on an unreliable torpedo, buy a 7-series, at least the BMW badge stands for something more in line of what the car stands for.
 

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When I compare a Phaeton to the W220 for the same price, the Benz doesn't hold a candle to the VW.
I drove both, and ended up with the better car.

The phaeton interior didn't have the same high quality look and feel, the exterior is boring, and the material quality was not superb.

The rear options were nice, but Im not back there much.

As to engine performance, it was about the same as the M113, and the suspension on the phaeton was very A8ish. Nice, taut, but less compliant than the S500 on convenience. I didn't test all the sport modes out.

I guess for the $25k they are going for, they are not bad, but it felt a bit like a combination of a low rent A8, and a high rent Passat.
 

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You got full orthopedic seats in both front on the W220 too.. And in some V220' also in the rear.
But there were two different systems. One for the early models, and one for the 2003-05 models. The later one with even more buttons, and functions..
All W220 models was available with heating/cooling in the seats, both front and back.

If it wasn't for the weaker suspension.. (Maybee better in comfort and handling, but still with a shorter life-span than the MB)
And of course, not to mention all the little electrical faults, AirMassMeter faults, light faults, and prices at the dealer.. (Pricing looking more like the MB-prices really)
Local VW dealer takes 185USD/hour, MB takes 165USD/hour..(Here in Norway that is)

Both the Audi A8 and the Pheaton are nice drives. But also the A8 needs replacing buchings and lower control arms once/year..
 

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You got full orthopedic seats in both front on the W220 too.. And in some V220' also in the rear.
But there were two different systems. One for the early models, and one for the 2003-05 models. The later one with even more buttons, and functions..
All W220 models was available with heating/cooling in the seats, both front and back.

If it wasn't for the weaker suspension.. (Maybee better in comfort and handling, but still with a shorter life-span than the MB)
And of course, not to mention all the little electrical faults, AirMassMeter faults, light faults, and prices at the dealer.. (Pricing looking more like the MB-prices really)
Local VW dealer takes 185USD/hour, MB takes 165USD/hour..(Here in Norway that is)

Both the Audi A8 and the Pheaton are nice drives. But also the A8 needs replacing buchings and lower control arms once/year..
You forgot the chronic rust the W220 suffers from...
 

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only before about 2002 when they started to use galvanized steel.
Well then isn't that just peachy for the three years before 2002...who would have thought that when you're designing a car for cold climates where they are exposed to winter conditions and salt that you might want to galvanize it? :surrender:
 

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Well then isn't that just peachy for the three years before 2002...who would have thought that when you're designing a car for cold climates where they are exposed to winter conditions and salt that you might want to galvanize it? :surrender:
They probably forgot to ask the "Benz" side of the company at that time on how to do things like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Phaeton uses aluminum for hood, doors, and trunk. Rear quarter panel, frame and roof are steel. Front fenders and bumpers are plastic.

The 2004 Phaetons in Europe, and some in the US are showing a corrosion on the doors, supposedly spawned from the stainless steel trim. VW is covering this corrosion under warranty.

Let's see MB cover the rust on W220 fenders and such... under warranty - in the US.
 

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Phaeton uses aluminum for hood, doors, and trunk. Rear quarter panel, frame and roof are steel. Front fenders and bumpers are plastic.

The 2004 Phaetons in Europe, and some in the US are showing a corrosion on the doors, supposedly spawned from the stainless steel trim. VW is covering this corrosion under warranty.

Let's see MB cover the rust on W220 fenders and such... under warranty - in the US.
Mercedes does cover it for the W220 but it's dependent on being dealer maintained and a bunch of other stuff. Because obviously if you don't maintain at the dealer the car will rust. :rolleyes:
 

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The hood on W220's are also aluminium.. IFAIK..
They copied the idea from the C126 models, wich I know had alu. hood and trunk..
And, yes, unfortunatly the W220 rust a little bit here and there.. A real shame..

Stainless steel combined with aluminium or with ordinary steel is not a good idea..
 

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They probably forgot to ask the "Benz" side of the company at that time on how to do things like that.
Yeah Mercedes was being run with Chrysler mentality at that time:

GalFa-whuuuuuuut?

Somne DaD-GGum paint will taike caire o'dat... it will cuver the rust raight uup... YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAA!!!
 
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