Sunday, December 04, 2011

Phaeton ownership: +1 month

Today marks a month of Phaeton ownership.  Since at least one of yous is interested in buying one, here are some observations.

The Popemobile is a supremely solid car.  It's comfortable, quiet, and anonymous.  Here are some reactions from my fellow man:

  • Oh, you have a Volkswagen.  I used to have one too.  A carbureted Rabbit.
  • (From a car nut): So how do you like your Passat?
  • What is that thing?
My only complaint, which comes with the territory of having a large car, is maneuverability.  If I'm going to be parallel parking or parking in cramped spaces, I leave the Phaeton at home and take the wee Civic.  Earlier this week, I literally had a Jeremy Clarkson-trying-to-park-his-Grosser-in-London-experience (jump to 5:48).

Mechanically, the only minor issue is an alignment issue that may or may not have to do with the tie rods.  It has certainly been eye-opening.  First, the local VW dealership that has two master technicians trained to work on the Phaeton told me that they can do everything on the Phaeton, except alignments.  Apparently, their machine is not big enough to handle the Phaeton.  I've asked them a few more questions over the phone and they've stopped answering my calls half the time and stopped returning my calls the rest of the time.  If it is a tie rod issue, it has come to my attention that the part costs 10 times more than your average tie rod.  I'm having a local mom and pop shop (that has worked on another local Phaeton) look into the issue next week.

The mass of the car is apparent whenever I push hard on the brake pedal (and when I'm at the pump).  The following bit of trivia really puts large-car ownership in America (versus Europe) into perspective.  According to the window sticker that came with my car, the gas guzzler tax was $1,300.  In the Netherlands, the gas guzzler tax (called the BPM CO2) for this car would have been 43,174 euros ($57,874).  

Go here to calculate how much your car's guzzler tax would be in the Netherlands.  H/t to duuurtlang for the Dutch info.

1 comment:

jesse said...

I don't have your email to send to you direct, but am responding to your comment about hte Mazda Cosmos.. no, their aren't many if any at all (old foreign cars) at SEMA. It's mostly new stuff, or "retro" of muscle cars... Some hot rods, and lots of big rims on everything. Lots of rim companies trying to get attention