Spotted: 2007 VW Phaeton V8
Is the plutocrat's people's car an exec bargain or an unwanted luxobarge?
Like the Audi A8 before it the Phaeton has fallen short of sales expectations and has slipped almost unnoticed into the used market, but there is an upside to this. Like the A8 it's a bloody good piece of kit (same underpinnings as the Bentley GT) that you can get now for buttons and which will be capable of another couple of hundred thousand miles of well-equipped, smooth, executive V8 wafting.
This one from our classifieds was up for £17,450 last week, but as of Friday the vendors have reduce that to £14,950 (which, assuming they still have profit in it at that price makes you wonder just how much margin was in it at £17,450...)
What makes the new figure all the more interesting is that the vendors are a VW main dealer who have just carried out the latest service to add to the rest of the main-dealer history and given it a full MOT.
Of course if you really want to get noticed then this might not be your kind of thing, despite the 19-inch upgraded rims.
But if you're looking for a 'full-size' car that is smooth, value for money, fully equipped, and which features a superb engine and top build quality then you might want to consider one - especially at this kind of price.
Believe it or not VW is still persisting with the Phaeton; they've even given it Passat-look facelift. You can read what Riggers thought about it below
Despite the tweaks, the 'anti-Bentley' (it's the sober accountant brother to the Conti Flying Spur's flash stockbroker) is beginning to feel its age a little.
It's mostly in the details, too. The intricate electronic boot-opening mechanism is still truly a wonder to behold, the air conditioning is as cold as you like, and there's no doubting the quality of the construction, from the thunking of the doors to the solidity of the dash materials.
These are all things you expect of a top-end luxobarge these days, especially one costing £82k, as our W12 test car did, and the big Vee-Dub just can't deliver them.
Talking of engines, VW has now quietly dropped the W12 from its line-up (despite having kept it on the UK price lists long enough for the UK press office to order a car) and so, what with the W12 now gone and the V8 having shuffled off some time ago, the only option left is the airport taxi-spec 3.0-litre V6 diesel.