The basic problem with the VW Phaeton is its image— many people, despite their inflated income level, would find it hard to drop almost $100K for a Volkswagen, given the fact that they could drop the same kind of coin on a Mercedes or BMW or Audi, all companies that have proven themselves in the large luxury sedan market. Edmunds, in its thorough wringing of the 12 cylinder ultra-luxe Phaeton, finds that the Phaeton has much in common with the other land barges: a lusty 420-hp engine providing constant power, a highly-competent 4-motion all-wheel-drive system, an electronically controllable suspension that creates a sense of "unflappable stability", and an impeccable interior packed with luxury comforts and put together with spectacular attention to fit and finish. But the review concludes by suggesting that while the car is certainly an excellent vehicle and worth the money, it's hard to be compelled to choose it over one of its similarly-priced competitors.

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