2005 Volkswagen Phaeton

  • 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton V8 Sedan

    V8 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.2L V8
    • MSRP
  • 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 Sedan

    W12 Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      6.0L W12
    • MSRP
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2005 Volkswagen Phaeton Review

A very luxurious Volkswagen with a focus on comfort rather than efficiency.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton is available in two models: the V-8 and W12. The V-8 has a 4.2-liter engine and the W12 has a 6.0-liter engine. The Phaeton has a less efficient fuel economy than most other Volkswagens due to the larger engine but is a more luxurious model with more power than most other Volkswagen models as well. Some features included are air suspension, four-zone climate control, all-wheel drive, and eight separate airbags. The audio system has a six-disc CD changer and the W12 model has a total of 12 speakers. A navigation system is standard on both models. The Phaeton is Volkswagen’s debut into the luxury car market and was only available in the United States as new models in 2004 to 2006.

The Range

Body styles: luxury sedan
Engines: 4.2-liter V-8, 6.0-liter W-12
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, six-speed automatic
Models: Volkswagen Phaeton V-8, Volkswagen Phaeton W12

What's New

New on the 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton is a newly designed front grill as soft close doors. Wiring for a mobile phone and active cruise control are standard on the W12 model. New on the V-8 model are 18-inch alloy wheels and Myrtle and Walnut wood trim upgrade options.


A chrome grill decorates the front end of the 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton. Both models also have 18-inch alloy wheels with an alloy spare wheel and an all-season full-size matching spare tire mounted on the inside. The windshield wipers are speed sensitive and rain sensing for extra convenience for the driver. The rear window is equipped with both a rear defogger to keep the window clear and a power rear sunshade to keep the sunlight from blinding the driver. A power glass sunroof and manual shades for the rear passenger windows are also installed as extra luxury conveniences. Cargo tie downs are available on the outside if the trunk does not have enough cargo carrying capacity to prepare for long trips or vacations.


The 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton V-8 model has massaging front seats that are 12-way power adjustable with multi-level heating devices installed. Power adjustable lumbar supports are also installed for extra comfort and to reduce back pain on long trips. The seats are bucket seats with leather upholstery. The W12 has an 18-way power adjustable front passenger and driver seat. In the rear seat of both models, ventilation ducts are installed with the extra feature of fan controls installed on the W12.

Performance & Handling

The 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton is available with two different engine sizes. The 2.2-liter V-8 produces 335 horsepower, and the W-12 produces 420 horsepower. Coupled with the V-8 engine is a six-speed automatic with manual shifting capability and coupled with the W-12 is a five-speed automatic transmission. Its price puts it in the class of luxury cars, and the driving experience is much better than the average Volkswagen models. The ride is very smooth and with the independent suspension, most road imperfections are barely perceptible. The engines deliver plenty of power for quick acceleration and easy passing and merging onto highways. The steering and handling are also much better than the average Volkswagen model and reflect the Phaetons high-end pricing.


The 2005 Volkswagen Phaeton comes with an impressive list of safety features installed. The front and rear head airbags and the front and rear dual side mounted airbags total eight bags. The anti-lock brake system is equipped with electronic brake force distribution and is supplemented with stability control and traction control to ensure even balance and predictable, easy braking. The headlamps are dusk sensing, self-leveling, have high intensity headlamps and also turn themselves off with a timer. The post-collision safety system ensures a quick emergency response time, though with all the airbags it is unlikely there will be serious injury in the case of an accident. Additional safety features include a tire pressure monitoring system, rear-center three-point seat belt, fog lights, emergency braking assist, a tire pressure monitoring system, front child safety locks, rear child safety locks, and an emergency trunk release.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Phaeton V8: 14/21 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Phaeton W12: 11/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Surplus of luxury features
  • Extensive safety features
  • Exceptionally smooth ride
  • Sharp handling
  • Spacious interior

You Won't Like

  • More expensive than other Volkswagens
  • Less efficient fuel economy than other Volkswagens

Sum Up

A very luxurious Volkswagen with a focus on comfort rather than efficiency.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Audi A6
  • BMW 7-Series
  • Lexus ES
  • Lexus GS

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