I would buy a new one today...
November 26, 2018
I learned of the Volkswagen Phaeton several years ago, did some research, and realized I wanted one of them. In 2012, I found a 2004 Phaeton for sale on EBay in Connecticut. My bid was $9,250, or roughly 12% of its original cost. I flew to Hartford, test drove the car and completed the transaction. The drive back was on interstate highways all the way, and the car performed beautifully, using no oil and getting 22 miles per gallon. Not bad for a large, heavy luxury vehicle! Granted, I have dealt with some expensive repairs, such as the air suspension system and the AC system, but I did not see that as an unusual problem for a car with now having 220,000+ miles. I plan on maintaining and driving this car until I am no longer able to drive. My wife likes it, too. If we’re taking a trip, she prefers my Phaeton over her MB E350.
If a person can find a clean Phaeton, I recommend having the local Volkswagen dealer give it a thorough check. If it Is in good shape, buy it. They are wonderful cars. One downside - not all VW dealers have technicians trained to work on these cars. They are NOT your normal VW. If you are some distance from qualified dealers/technicians, consider moving closer. ’