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Volkswagen Phaeton for sale at the Buggy Bank

Jim Yu June 28, 2012 For Sale

Ever since I bought my 2005 Phaeton last year, I have been keeping track of the Phaeton used car market. My reactions have alternated between patting myself on the back for getting a great deal to questioning whether I paid too much solely because it had 3X,XXX miles on it.  Well, after months of trawling Craigslist, eBay, etc., this purple burgundy 2005 V8 4-seater may be the most unique.

The car is for sale at the Buggy Bank* in Berkeley.  The biggest argument against buying this car is that it is very close to the psychologically prohibitive (at least for prospective Phaeton owners) mark of 100,000 miles.  But, there are plenty of arguments for picking it up.

First, this is the 2005 model.  This has soft-close doors and trunk lid.  The 2004 doesn’t.  The rims are much fancier and better looking on the 2005s than the duller ones on the 2004s.  Minor glitches from the 2004 have been identified and corrected.  But most importantly, the air suspension system will cost just $2,500 to repair (assuming it’s bad at only one corner) for the 2005 model versus $10,000 for the 2004.

Second, this is the 4-seater model.  This is about as luxurious as you can get with a Phaeton, and the base Phaeton ain’t too shabby either.  I have never seen this exterior color on the big VW before and it looks positively regal in conjunction with the leather and wood trim.  

Third, it comes with an extended warranty/service contract.  And you’ll definitely want that if this ever happens to your Phaeton.

If this car comes with a clean bill of health from a PPI and the car has been religiously maintained, this may be a great deal.  Plus, you can always negotiate.

Check out the Phaeton ad here.

* Buggy Bank is a not-quite-a-consignment business in Berkeley, California.  You pay the place a fee, leave your car there, and set an asking price.  The people there advertise it and let people test drive it and take it to the mechanic.  When the prospective buyer is ready to make an offer, Buggy Bank gives them the owner’s contact information.  A deal is negotiated, the parties then meet at the Buggy Bank, sign the documents, and exchange the money and keys.  As an example, I paid Buggy Bank $410 to sell my Acura TSX and it sold for a fair price (for both the buyer and the seller) quickly and without hassle.

Disclaimer: Neither I nor Hooniverse have been paid, whether monetarily or in services, by Buggy Bank or the current owner of this Phaeton to post this.  

Image source: Buggy Bank

Currently there are "16 comments" on this Article:

  1. Van_Sarockin says:

    Handsome, and cheaper than a Kia.

    • Savant_Idiot says:

      Many an Italian exotic owner have told themselves the very same…

      "That Ferrari is beautiful! Low miles and cheaper than a new________________! What could go wrong?"

      • Van_Sarockin says:

        The logic is impeccable. The experience from my one Kia rental is enough to avoid them for the next decade.

  2. taborj says:

    A guy I know who runs a European dealership has had this 2004 V8 Phaeton on his lot for a while now: http://www.freemanmotor.com/portland/vehicle.php?…

    87k miles, and $14,995. All his cars are well sorted, and he doesn't sell cars that need work. I'd buy it, but the wife just gave me "the look" when I suggested it.

  3. NoKetchup says:

    so what is the fair market range for the phaetons right now??? (I was just having this conversation with the GF)

  4. Remdog says:

    A wise friend once said, buy a phaeton, put a Jetta (Golf, Fox, Polo, Lupo, Up, its your choice) badge on the trunk, and nobody would be the wiser. Except for you, of course, sitting in your cooled, massaging leather seats. I want one.

    • Mad_Hungarian says:

      I'd rather figure out a way to fab up enough sheet metal to put a Cadillac grille and headlights on it, take off all the other VW badges and replace them with Caddy crests, and add some "Eldorado Brougham" emblems — then tell everyone I have an extremely rare early 2000's prototype for a revived Eldorado Brougham . . .

    • taborj says:

      Haven't read it yet, but apparently in William Gibson's book "Spook Country," there is this line:

      "The agency has Phaetons," he said. "Good sealth cars. Mistake them for Jettas, at a distance."

    • Jay says:

      Yeah, except people who can tell apart V8 and W12 models without looking at the badges. Every time I see one drive by I almost always hear someone exclaim behind my shoulder "omg, look, a Phaeton!"

      Used Phaetons are the first-gen Audi A8s of the 2000s. Except the A8s didn't have nearly the amount of electronic gizmos that will get up and leave at 50K miles or sooner, never to be fixed again cause it's not economical to even spend the time to track down the problem. Having said that, I love these dearly, and there's even a facelifted version for CDM with very cool LED lights. Check it out.

  5. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

    I still, to this day, want a W12.

    I can't explain it, but the engineering behind it reminds me of Mercedes with the W126 machines.

    Not as robust, but we'll not likely see said build quality, again.

    • Maxichamp says:

      My 7 year old car has zero squeaks, rattles, vibrations. None.

      • C³-Cool Cadillac Cat says:

        That doesn't surprise me, but I've heard nightmarish tales of electrical and engine/drivetrain woes.

        Of course, you hear only about the bad ones.

        My 17 year old, 175K mile W124 sedan also has not a squeak or rattle. Not only that, the driver's seat could pass for 25K miles of use, easily.

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