: People's Car vs. Royal SUV?



Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 01:13 AM
After alot of thinking and analyzing a bunch of cars in every possible category Ive come to a final two vehicles which Ive decided I want if I manage to get a job that is possibly being offered to me, or even if not, but just at a later time. Keep in mind this wouldnt be for at least six to eight months, and Ill probably still look for something cheap and interesting in the meantime. BTW... That 750.00 truck I mentioned previously... the owner called me back and apparently it runs fine, just needs the ball joints greased and a new tire in the back... thats still a possibility.

Anyhow, the two contenders are the 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12, and the 2003 Land Rover Range Rover. Both vehicles should be in the 35-39k range by the time Im ready to purchase one. The lesser the better of course, and an absolute steal on either one could decide the deal anyway...

So here are the pros and cons of both vehicles:

Ive had my eyes on the 2003 Range Rover since it was introduced stateside in 2003 and replaced the stodgier (but still attractive) 1994 era version. The BIG plus for this car is its an entirely BMW based platform, and part of what Ive wanted to get back to is the BMW driving experience I miss so much... BUT, with something bigger and more useful than my old shoebox sized 330i. The current 7 Series is still too much to catch my attention, at least in a decent condition low mileage version... and theres nothing too special about it anyway...

Cons for the Range Rover though are...
*They are common, almost as much so as your garden variety Navigator or Escalade. Thats not a bad thing necessarily, but it feels a little better not to see yourself on every street corner, and the Phaeton really takes the cake on this attribute.

*The Range Rover interior is beginning to get dated, not because the design overall is not timeless and well crafted, but just the devices within the vehicle are not much different than say what youd find in the previous generation 7 series. The navigation system for example is the old model that was in fact introduced in the previous 7 series. Its not 3D, and its CD based. I would prefer even I-Drive to something so old, and in fact Ford has since replaced it with a more modern Jaguar/Ford system. It also lacks creature comforts like heated and cooled seats or Radar cruise control... Things the Cadillacs and Lexuses of the world have been making more and more commonplace.

*Maintenance costs... The 2003 is not really a first year model because it existed in Europe since late 2001 as a 2002 model, but still this is a complicated vehicle with alot of stuff that just breaks, and can be expensive to fix. The Phaeton has a 4yr. 50k Scheduled Maintenance and warranty that makes this alot more bearable.

*Its relatively slow... In this era of 400hp family cars being ever more prevalent, a 70,000.00 SUV with only 280 horses worth of go power is a little disappointing. Granted its the BMW 4.4L unit under the hood, so it probably *feels* more like about 300hp or so. This may be a moot point, but Ive never driven one so I dont know.

Still one HELL of a truck no matter how you slice it.

2004 Phaeton W12...

There is not much I have to say about the Phaeton... This is a car I now admit I completely overlooked previously. I laughed at it along with everyone else and then it just snuck up on me recently. Ive really become drawn to it for many reasons. Firstly, the W12 version is very very nice inside and out... the press rags claim that the W12 sounds sneezy compared to the rumble of the V8... but oh well... Ill take the 420 horses over 335 for a tad more anyday. In a weird way, this car even reminds me of me a little bit. Its got tons to offer, its every bit as good as all of its classmates, yet its always been overlooked or kicked out of the club. My life seems to go quite the same! Finally... it is an uncommon car. You can say it looks like a passat all day long... but when you actually SEE ONE in person, the car has a menacing stance and sheer size that no one could mistake for a the pithy Passat. Its got a terrific broadshouldered appearance only comparable to the Bentley Continental GT it shares a platform with. The bottom line is, for a nearly NEW car with plenty of warranty and all the luxury you could ever want, the Phaeton is quite simply the best luxury car value on the market PERIOD. Continuing depreciation will only make this more evident, with W12's already being sold off for 42k. Also, while some might find the coming discontinuation of the car as a big negative... I argue the opposite. I think it will be neat to have an ultra-luxury luxo barge that only ever existed in the version I would own. There will never be any "better" or "newer" Phaetons, its like a time capsule sealed shut on the current model. Not to mention VW's reluctance to ever pursue that market again.

Cons:
*Questionable reliability and service network. While the car includes a comprehensive warranty and maintenance program, actually GETTING it serviced seems to be another ordeal altogether. I believe this is supposed to be alleviated by Audi dealers taking responsbility for working on Phaetons from now on. This will be a much more pleasant experience for dealer and owner alike. Unfortunately, the cars have also not proven to be very reliable. Some of the 04's on the used market are VW courtesy buybacks that had minor glitches the original owner was not satisfied with. Again however, the 04 Phaeton is NOT a first year model, the vehicle was released in late 02 as an 03 model in Europe.

*Sloppy handling. Alas, a VW is not a BMW, and the reports Ive read frequently complain that the VW has somewhat numb steering and doesnt communicate the road as well as a BMW or even a Mercedes. This could be an issue for me as thats one of the main reasons I LIKE the Germans in the first place. Cant be any worse than a Lexus though...

Thats all I can think of for now.

http://photos2.ebizautos.com/1186/742340_4.jpg

http://photos2.ebizautos.com/1186/742340_1.jpg

http://i4.ebayimg.com/02/a/05/7a/bd/03_4.JPG

http://i1.ebayimg.com/04/a/05/7c/17/96_4.JPG

Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 01:14 AM
My God that is a long post... Sorry about that.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-03-05, 01:51 AM
Phaeton...I dont like SUV's, but the Range Rover does have an excellent interior, and its a very nice SUV. I chose the Phaeton because it's very easy to afford (terrible depreciation) It's gorgeous, great interior, very well thought out, and you could get a V12 model :)

Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 02:07 AM
Youve got a point there about 12 cylinder thing. Thats practically impossible to get in anything less than 5 years old affordably, and by then its out of warranty.

Another thing we both forgot... the Phaeton is full time AWD, not just traction control... so any ground the Land Rover gains on the all wheel drive front the phaeton matches it on.

BTW... I added a poll. ;)

Caddy Man
12-03-05, 02:27 AM
Those 12 cylinders are gonna eat gas like crazy. My freinds dad has a 2004 S 600. We took it up and down this one street a few times, you could literally see the gas guage dropping.

slk230mb
12-03-05, 03:31 AM
I say the Phaeton, just because I want another car, not SUV. I'll still keep my truck, just add a car to the stable.

Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 03:59 AM
And see thats my problem... I loved my Avalanche, but it wasnt exactly what I wanted. I really want an SUV that is the best combination of agility and "SUV-ness", the Range Rover and X5 seem to be the best suited for this task, though the X5 isnt useful for much of anything off the pavement.

The Phaeton was really a total wildcard, but a terrific wildcard.

The gas issue doesnt bother me so much because fuel prices seem to be stabilizing again.

One thing is for sure... Unless something BETTER than the Range Rover or Phaeton shows up between now and then, Im pretty much decided on one of these two. And I really havent felt this strongly about in any car in a while. I considered the Jag XJs which are depreciating rapidly, the 04' Audi A8, the 2001-03 LS430 Ultra Luxury and the 05 STS, but the Jag is just too "mature" a car for me, the Audi's arent coming down fast enough, the Lexus is BLAND CITY (but still probably the best luxury car deal after the Phaeton with the Ultra Lux package) and the STS probably wont be that cheap by then, at least not a V8 one with Nav, HUD and Radar cruise, even though they are depreciating fast.

mccombie_5
12-03-05, 04:02 AM
I have both of these, a 2002 Range, and a 2005 Phaeton, and honestly, if you want a comfortable, well designed, smooth cruiser, get the VW, the steering and handling ISN'T as bad as reviews suggest, it seems the reviewers have issues with VW as a brand, and you can find anything bad on something you already have issues with. On suggestion though, my V12 Mercedes literally drinks fuel like coke. If you go for the VW, get a V6 or V8 model, they are just as smooth as the V12, even mine which is a diesel. The AWD on this car is aslo a great addition, it has tremendous grip.

The Range Rover is, fantastic, but it isnt a practical on road car, the air suspension makes up for this slightly, and it is equally as comfortable as an S500. The Range Rover is one of my favourite cars, it really is beautifull designed and built, and yes, I have the original navigation, and I dont use it anyway, but it isnt very good per say. The Phaeton is possibly the best designed car ever built, touches you dont notice until you own it, like the number of adjustments on the seats, they are AS comfortable as the ones in my house. The stereo makes you haer your favourite music as it was intended, not a crackle, buzz, skip, interference, anything.

If you will ever go off road, get the Range Rover. Unless you do, you will be much happier in the VW, its different but please DO NOT get a W12. Mine is the 3.0 Diesel, and it still looks the same as a W12 because I had them put a W12 rear bumper with those quad exhausts on it.

IMO, the Phaeton is the better car on the road, and if you get a V8 or V6 the fuels is as good or better than the Range Rover, i get 29mpg with my 3.0 V6 TDI. I know diesel isnt an option for you in the states, but the W12, despite being a fantastic engine, will bankrupt you when you go to fill up.

If you want a discrete, subtle, smooth car, that WILL impress, get the VW

If you want a big, smooth off roader, with no subtlelty but the best off road capabilites of any car, get the Land Rover.

Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 04:40 AM
Excellent analysis of both vehicles. I was hoping you would add your 2 cents to the topic...

Heres the deal with the W12 here in the U.S. As you probably can imagine, there isnt a great deal of these things stateside used, and HERE at least, I have not seen even one V8 that has some of the nicer touches of the W12, like the wood going all the way over the center console. On the V8 the wood only goes about halfway I think. I havent really noticed any other differences on the V8 though. I just think that if you get the W12 with the Comfort package, you pretty much have every option possible. Honestly though... the Magazines tend to agree with you... they say the W12 doesnt sound good, drinks fuel, and doesnt have that much of a performance advantage over the V8.

If the 12 Cylinder is really as bad as you say it is though, then I may have to reconsider the V8. The problem is... the W12 isnt that much more than the V8 right now... so it kinda hurts to pony up for the V8 when you know you could have the 12 for about as much... BUT... then again a SMART person would say "Hmm... why is that?, possibly because no one WANTS the 12 cylinder!"... it could very well be the reason due to the horrid fuel economy.

mccombie_5
12-03-05, 04:51 AM
Excellent analysis of both vehicles. I was hoping you would add your 2 cents to the topic...
Heres the deal with the W12 here in the U.S. As you probably can imagine, there isnt a great deal of these things stateside, and HERE at least, I have not seen even one V8 that has some of the nicer touches of the W12, like the wood going all the way over the center console. On the V8 the wood only goes about halfway I think. I havent really noticed any other differences on the V8 though. I just think that if you get the W12 with the Comfort package, you pretty much have every option possible. Honestly though... the Magazines tend to agree with you... they say the W12 doesnt sound good, drinks fuel, and doesnt have that much of a performance advantage over the V8.
If the 12 Cylinder is really as bad as you say it is though, then I may have to reconsider the V8. The problem is... the W12 isnt that much more than the V8 right now... so it kinda hurts to pony up for the V8 when you know you could have the 12 for about as much... BUT... then again a SMART person would say "Hmm... why is that?, possibly because no one WANTS the 12 cylinder!"... it could very well be the reason due to the horrid fuel economy.


Thanks, and yeah, i think thats why the 12 cyl is such and issue. If youre lucky, you MAY find a smaller engined model with the options of the W12, mine does, but i paid a pemium for them, so if i have, someone else may have too. My VW is lieterally a W12 in all but engine.

The 6.0 V12 in my Mercedes is blindingly thirsty, easily the least economical car I have owned. If you can afford the fuel get it, but you will probably regret it. I think the W12 model was designed specifically for the CEO of VW LOL. Nobody else can afford the fuel.

THere are also few in this country, although VW's website has a masssive inventory, i think thats because there are none on the roads but all at the dealers.

Dont get me wrong, the W12 is a fantastic engine, but you can get all you need in terms of power and economy in a nice balance with the V8. Its a good engine. Performance is great. I mean, it will do 155 easily, these engines have very little difference apart from the fact that one is four cylinders bigger. Or, to put it a different way, its the size of three Golf/Jetta engines.

It is actually two of the V6 engines put together. Thats mad IMO, because it would be like feeding both of them

You also have a point on WHY the W12s are so cheap. I think that sums it up well

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
12-03-05, 05:36 AM
I'd get the Range Rover due to the residuals.
I'd question its reliability if BMW were involved, but BMW sold up and now Ford own them.
As for BMW like handling, it's a 4x4, forget it.

I'm afraid I'm one of the people with probalems spending large wedge on a VW (yes I know it's great car I just can't get past the fact it's a VW).


I'd go with the Range Rover.


However,

From this and previous posts you seem to have a thing about Phaetons and if you do then you should have what you want, a Phaeton.

Playdrv4me
12-03-05, 05:51 AM
I do have a thing for the Phaeton, but Ive had a thing for the Rover for longer. The thing about the Phaeton is it sort of sprung on me all at once. I just realized what a terrific car it is for so little money as opposed to the other players in its segment. And I fully am with you, I am BIG on badges as much as I hate to admit to it, I like the prestige of a luxury nameplate, but for some odd reason, it doesnt bother me on the VW. I think its such a terrifically engineered and designed car, it transcends badges. Only thing I hate is the big VW badge on the Steering wheel.

I think of it as no different than the Ford GT, Nissan Skyline GT-R or the Chevrolet C6 Z06 Corvette. Smart people know something is special regardless of what the badge says. This just happens to be a luxocruiser instead of a sporty car.

In regards to the LR, I dont have unrealistic expectations of the Rangie... I KNOW its a 4WD vehicle, but then so were the X5s I drove... There is *still* a certain BMW quality to the driving feel that is hard to describe. Its something about the way the road is communicated through the driveline components. It certainly wont be as agile as my 330i, but Im sure it will maintain the overall BMW feel.

btw, I know this is going to sound INSANE to you guys... but I think I would take a W12 Phaeton over a current model Mercedes S600... I really do... maybe not a BMW 760Li, but certainly over an S600... weird.

Jesda
12-04-05, 02:55 AM
While I prefer the Phaeton, I think servicing it will become an issue. The Range Rover dealer network in the US is well-trained and well-established. VW North America isnt capable of servicing such a grand machine. Thats something to consider.

HotRodSaint
12-04-05, 10:56 AM
I'd stuff the W12 into a GTi!! It might have to go into the rear as a mid-engine set-up, but what the hay!

Then I'd part out the rest of the Phaeton and get the Range Rover to tow the GTi W12 to the track!

Or I'd get a Fleetwood Brougham and save lots of money (that can go into performance and tech mod's) and you'll get more compliments than either of those two vehicles ever will!!

It's amazing how many people in the automotive world have taken notice of my car.

Not sure you'd get that from either of your picks. But you probably wouldn't even get props for a W12 GTi either. :annoyed:

Leloz
12-04-05, 11:21 AM
I will have to say neither. Both vehicles suffer from horrible resale and less than stellar reliability and service. I can see that kind of money spent on a much better car. Just my .02$

Playdrv4me
12-04-05, 11:42 AM
The only vehicle I could possibly prefer over those two would be a 2002 or newer BMW 7 Series, and theres nothing particularly special about those. The current S Class isnt worth the metal its stamped out of either. Also, I dont think the 03 Range Rover suffers from quite the resale problem of its previous peers.

For example... a 2002 Range Rover in pristine condition with low mileage frequently goes for anywhere between 20-25k, while 2003's with low mileage can bring as much as 45-47k. Thats almost 25k difference between the two years.

Resale this time around isnt as big of a deal for me though, with the VW I plan to keep it for along time, and the Rover shouldnt be too hard to get rid of.

mccombie_5
12-04-05, 02:15 PM
I would take my 3.0 TDI over a current S600. I had an S500 in 2000, and really, it wasnt anything to write home about. Even the engine wasnt terribly exciting.

The Range Rover is no luxury car, and having owned BMWs i dont get the BMW to it either, feels like a Range Rover to me.

I can safely say I do not buy a car from the badge onwards, its probably the last thing i look at. If the car does what i wants it to better than anything else, i will buy it.

Ian, you must have some sense of this, you bought a Chevy Avalanche over a Cadillac EXT when they are the same car.

Also, the Range Rover is very very different in ownership terms to the X5. For a start one can go off road and one cant.

I think you will be happier in the VW

Think about it, you are getting what is essentially an Audi A8 or Bentley Contintal GT / FS for $25k

Playdrv4me
12-04-05, 03:22 PM
Ya, its just not an easy decision. Ive had my eye on the Range Rover as I said ever since it first came on the market... and I can finally POSSIBLY start to think of affording one. The problem is, this is pretty much it, whichever one I get will pretty much kill the other for good, because by the time I spend a couple of years with one, the other will no longer have my attention.

The reason that I say the Range Rover has a connection to the X5, is because from the waist down they share a great many components... Engine, transmission, I believe the steering and other chassis parts. It only makes sense to me it would ride/drive a little like the X5. Not necessarily a zippy BMW sedan, but more like the X5 4.4.

mccombie_5
12-04-05, 04:20 PM
Ya, its just not an easy decision. Ive had my eye on the Range Rover as I said ever since it first came on the market... and I can finally POSSIBLY start to think of affording one. The problem is, this is pretty much it, whichever one I get will pretty much kill the other for good, because by the time I spend a couple of years with one, the other will no longer have my attention.
The reason that I say the Range Rover has a connection to the X5, is because from the waist down they share a great many components... Engine, transmission, I believe the steering and other chassis parts. It only makes sense to me it would ride/drive a little like the X5. Not necessarily a zippy BMW sedan, but more like the X5 4.4.

It really is tuned differently though, being a Range Rover owner for many years, I can still sense original RR in the current car, something I have never been able to feel in an X5

Playdrv4me
12-05-05, 02:23 AM
Hmm... On that note... I completely forgot about the Porsche Cayenne... :lildevil:

Night Wolf
12-05-05, 03:02 AM
I would personally never consider either vehicle..... especially at those prices....

but, between the 2, it would be the VW.

Grand Cherokee SRT-8 > Cayenne, and half the price :)

powerglide
12-05-05, 03:04 AM
I put my vote in for the Phaeton.
Of the two, I think Phaetons the better vehichle in this scenario.

powerglide
12-05-05, 03:05 AM
Grand Cherokee SRT-8 > Cayenne, and half the price :)

Nooooo waaaaaayy!
Especially if compare both high performance models :SRT-8 vs Turbo.
Then again now thats more that a half price difference there.

Playdrv4me
12-05-05, 03:10 AM
They are both great cars. The Cayenne was kind of a joke... but even still I wont be buying any of these new... a GC SRT8 actually costs MORE new than any of these will cost me used. Im targeting 36500 and Im sure Ill be able to reach that number with some patience and doing my homework.

I think despite all the cons against it though, I will probably go for the W12 Phaeton if I go the Phaeton route. Its just too good of a deal to pass up for really having the opportunity to own the true best of the luxury category and I love technology. It may not be much of an issue though because the Range Rover interior details are really really pulling me in that direction.

Jesda
12-05-05, 04:29 AM
Please continue to forget the Cayenne. I drove a Cayenne S for two weeks, and it was thoroughly gay.

70eldo
12-05-05, 05:12 AM
I don't know if you decided yet. McCombie summed it up pretty nicely actually. So if you want to hear it from another with Phaeton experience: The VW Phaeton is a great ride! Maybe put slightly bigger wheels with less profile on it to get better feel, but it already has a very pleasant ride, also due to the 4-Motion!

I had the V6 and it was fully loaded. There were not many things the W12 would have more. Just some glitches here and there. I agree with McCombie that the W12 is a great engine. The only advantage you would have is the better acceleration. But the V6 isn't doing bad at all.

So for a better driving experience I would definately chose the Phaeton!

Also, I think it's a pitty that VW discontinues the Phaeton in the US. Overlooked is the right expression for that indeed. In the pictures it doesn't look that big, but it is indeed a big car! And I think it offers a lot of luxury for little money compared to the Audi A8.

So, you'll have to do with the new Golf in 2006 (boring!)

iametarq
12-05-05, 09:18 AM
I've been in both at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Phaeton all the way.

mccombie_5
12-05-05, 12:13 PM
I don't know if you decided yet. McCombie summed it up pretty nicely actually. So if you want to hear it from another with Phaeton experience: The VW Phaeton is a great ride! Maybe put slightly bigger wheels with less profile on it to get better feel, but it already has a very pleasant ride, also due to the 4-Motion!
I had the V6 and it was fully loaded. There were not many things the W12 would have more. Just some glitches here and there. I agree with McCombie that the W12 is a great engine. The only advantage you would have is the better acceleration. But the V6 isn't doing bad at all.
So for a better driving experience I would definately chose the Phaeton!
Also, I think it's a pitty that VW discontinues the Phaeton in the US. Overlooked is the right expression for that indeed. In the pictures it doesn't look that big, but it is indeed a big car! And I think it offers a lot of luxury for little money compared to the Audi A8.
So, you'll have to do with the new Golf in 2006 (boring!)

Yeah, event he V6 Diesel is a strong and surprisingly fast engine, 0-60 isnt anything to write home about, but it does feel sprightly around and can certainly stretch its legs well on the motorway. It is indeed a big car, it looks little more than a Passat in photographs, but realistically is is actually bigger than an S-Class. If you get the Phaeton you do look like you have made it.

fast66
12-05-05, 02:03 PM
Get the people's car

Playdrv4me
12-05-05, 02:59 PM
Get the people's car

Really? I was actually wanting to hear your opinion as well since you have one (Range Rover). Why do you say to get the VW?

Jesda
12-21-05, 02:31 PM
Phaeton factory in Dresden:
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_1.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_2.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_3.jpg

More:
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_4.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_5.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_6.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_7.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_8.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_9.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_10.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_11.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_12.jpg

mccombie_5
12-21-05, 02:37 PM
Not to state the obvious, but I thought Id get a mention

My car was made there :D:D:D

I~LUV~Caddys8792
12-21-05, 05:05 PM
Not to state the obvious, but I thought Id get a mention

My car was made there :D:D:D

Did you tour the factory when you picked it up?

mccombie_5
12-21-05, 05:07 PM
Did you tour the factory when you picked it up?

Unfortunately I didnt pick it up, they shipped it to me via my VW dealership.

I was very busy at that time, but I wish I had picked it up!

SilverFleetwood85
12-21-05, 05:24 PM
My vote goes to the Phaeton, I like SUV's especially the Range Rover but I prefer to drive a car.

fast66
12-21-05, 08:21 PM
Really? I was actually wanting to hear your opinion as well since you have one (Range Rover). Why do you say to get the VW?

I just wanted to be different. I only like SUVS so I would go with the Range ofcourse.

But if you like sedans I would say the VW is the best jump into the luxury sedan market. only the new 7 series and the VW appeal to me in the luxury sedans. I wouldnt buy either one but If I were you I would get the VW, cheaper with a bigger engine and same options.

Also the range already had an external facelift.

fast66
12-21-05, 08:22 PM
Phaeton factory in Dresden:

More:
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_4.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_5.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_6.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_7.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_8.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_9.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_10.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_11.jpg
http://www.hostdub.com/albums/PanEuropean/Dresden_12.jpg

I am going to be in that country in 24 hours! Then on to the Dam!!!