Volkswagen Phaeton tyres
You won’t notice very many Phaetons on British roads. This reflects not only their comparative rarity but also their rather anonymous styling. For many, that’s a plus point, one which distinguishes the car from other luxury limousines. However, the popularity of those other cars (the BMW 7 Series, for example, or Mercedes-Benz S-Class) was something which VW hoped to capture with the Phaeton. In terms of sales, though, the car has sadly failed, something no doubt caused by brand snobbery than any inherent shortcomings with the car.
Just as is the case with the Audi A8, with which this car shares a chassis and many components, the Phaeton is just about the most aspired-to car in emerging markets such as China. In the UK, though, the Phaeton is a wonderful car but suffers from its image as a larger version of the more everyday Passat saloon.
The Phaeton is only available new with a 3-litre diesel engine and four wheel drive. This is a thirsty enough setup. When driving one with the larger petrol engine previously available you can presumably see the fuel gauge drop as you put your foot down. There may be an irony in this statement, but a massive cost of the Phaeton is its depreciation. Thus if you can afford to run one, second hand models are cheap to buy. The car certainly doesn’t lack for any comfort, safety or performance features. It also features build quality of an indestructible nature.
Needless to say, a big and heavy all-wheel-drive car like this demands a premium tyre. You could fit a cheap tyre but the car would undoubtedly eat it for lunch, proving a completely false economy. VW’s choice of factory-fitted tyres for the Phaeton is restricted to those from the better-known brands. It follows that these tyres will also be the most popular as replacement tyre options.
The most common choice, relatively speaking, of these with etyres customers is Pirelli’s P Zero range. This is one of Pirelli’s older tyre types but recent improvements have given it a new lease of life. It is a tyre very much aimed at large and high-performance cars, making it suited to the likes of the Phaeton. Grip levels are high on both wet and dry surfaces, an important safety issue for a heavy car like this. It may not be the best-rated tyre for fuel economy, but naturally that’s a sacrifice many Phaeton drivers will be happy to make. These tyres are also available in Audi-approved versions, marked ‘AO’. Since the Phaeton shares almost all of its components and chassis with the Audi A8, these will suit it well.
Michelin Super Sport and Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres have also proved popular. However, they are tyres with an emphasis on sporty performance rather than the long-distance comfort which is the key feature of the Phaeton. Various Bridgestone, Continental and Dunlop ranges have been factory-fitted to this car and seem obvious starting points when considering new tyres. In contrast, we’d always repeat the advice given above, that cheaper tyres and the Phaeton will prove unhappy bedfellows.