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(2004 model shown)
Volkswagen's largest, costliest and most luxurious vehicle continues into its second model year with a number of tweaks, including a restyled front grille, new "soft close" doors, a cell-phone prep package included with the top W-12 model (and optional on the V-8 version), revised alloy wheels and wood trim on the V-8, and newly available laser-guided active cruise control. The still-stately standard model offers a 335-horsepower 4.2-liter V-8 engine and a six-speed-automatic Tiptronic transmission, while the more posh Premiere comes with a 420-horsepower 6.0-liter W-12 engine and a five-speed-automatic. A four-corner air suspension, all-wheel drive, stability and traction control, a four-zone climate-control system, rear power sunshade and a satellite navigation system are all standard, as are eight individual airbags. A Park Assist system, keyless access and start functions, and a heated steering wheel are optional.
2004 Volkswagen PhaetonEnlarge Photo
2004 Volkswagen Phaeton V-8 by Marc K. Stengel
Volkswagen tempts fate with the introduction of its Phaeton luxury sedan.