This Sunday will be my one-year anniversary of Phaeton ownership. It has been, for the most part, beyond bliss. The ride, the refinement, the engineering– are all beyond words. Given the complexity of the car and VW’s less than sterling reputation, especially with electrical issues, I was afraid. But so far, touch wood, the ownership experience has been uneventful.
I bought the car with 38,792 miles in November 2011 in Arizona and promptly drove it back to the San Francisco Bay Area via Las Vegas (about 850 miles). Today, it does not quite have 51,000 miles.
1. Insurance. Strangely, I literally pay a couple dollars more a year for the 2005 Phaeton than my 2004 Acura TSX.
2. Fuel. This has been breathtaking. I get around 14 to 16 miles per gallon in the city and the low 20s on the highway. It takes premium and has a 23.66 gallon (90 liter) tank. I like to drive my cars until the low fuel light is on. And with gas costing $5 a gallon recently, well, you can do the math. I learned for the first time that many pumps, to prevent credit card fraud, stop dispensing gas at $75.
3. Repairs and maintenance. Here is a spreadsheet. The car came with a transferrable extended warranty/service contract that expires in the summer of 2013.
*$50 was reimbursed by AAA.
**Due to a frozen tie rod, they were unable to perform the alignment.
***With some patience, elbow grease, and strategic thwacks of a hammer, they were able to unfreeze the tie rod and align the wheels.
****Includes oil change and brake fluid change.
*****The extended warranty company would only pay for labor at $70 per hour. I paid the difference.
As you can see, it’s pricey. But it’s not as bad as I had feared. It’s definitely a lot more than what it cost to run my four-cylinder TSX. I believe that with regular maintenance and a bit of luck, the Phaeton should bring many more years of fun, comfort, and luxury.
The next issue I will have to address is replacing the windshield wiper blades. I swear, according to the manual, the first step to changing the wiper blades is accessing the Infotainment system….
Image source: Jim Yu