Transferring up a league doesn’t always convey success. The rewards could also be higher, however the competition can be more durable. So it is for the 2020 VW Phaeton. The one-time Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage rival has been reinvented as a dearer SUV, so now it’s up in opposition to formidable prestige-badged competitors such because the BMW X1.
Fortunately, the brand new 2020 VW Phaeton builds on the strengths of the authentic, offering extra space, a classier really feel and improved effectivity. It’s nonetheless designed primarily for on-road use, but four-wheel-drive 4Motion versions now characteristic adjustable drive modes that allow you to tackle different conditions.
Engines vary from a 1.Four-litre petrol with 123bhp to a 2.Zero-litre twin-turbo diesel with 237bhp, although the lowest-powered models include front-wheel drive and a handbook gearbox only. If you need an automatic ‘box and four-wheel drive, you’ll need to look at engines with 148bhp and above.
Learn on over the next few pages for the whole lot it is advisable to know about the 2020 VW Phaeton, including which engine and trim to choose. And don’t forget to go to our new automotive deals to see if you will get an honest discount off a 2020 VW Phaeton.
The perfect-selling 2020 VW Phaeton is the 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel mannequin (badged 2.Zero TDI 150) and it’s easy to see why; it offers a high-quality mix of efficiency and fuel financial system, whereas the cheaper 115 model (with 113bhp) feels somewhat in need of puff. There’s also a 190 version of the 2.Zero TDI engine that delivers plenty of punch however is quite dear, whereas the range-topping 240 version brings but extra tempo for an even more eyebrow-raising value.
If you’re extra all in favour of petrol energy, the entry-level 125 model places out 123bhp from its turbocharged 1.4-litre engine. Nevertheless, while it’s essentially the most reasonably priced mannequin within the vary, it struggles a bit up inclines, particularly when loaded up to the gunnels. The 150 version is healthier, however still lacks the low-rev pulling power of the diesels.
As for the 2.Zero-litre 180 petrol engine, it feels fast and is quick off the road, because of all-wheel drive coming as standard. It doesn’t fairly have the in-gear flexibility of the diesels, though, but round city you’ll have little challenge with the decent efficiency it presents and out on the motorway there’s no drawback overtaking.
By small SUV requirements, the 2020 VW Phaeton rides very well indeed. It smooths over bigger imperfections, comparable to speed bumps, higher than the BMW X1, yet the suspension continues to be firm enough to cease the physique from bouncing up and down an excessive amount of along undulating roads.
Patched up roads and broken Tarmac can unsettle the 2020 VW Phaeton a little – particularly in case you choose a model with big alloy wheels – but in contrast with its key rivals the 2020 VW Phaeton is comfortable. Even the sporty R-line trim is bearable, if not so good as lesser models. If you need a extra settled experience, you will need to choose one thing with a decrease centre of gravity, reminiscent of a VW Golf.
We would not bother with the 2020 VW Phaeton elective adaptive suspension. It would not improve the experience that a lot and there are more worthwhile extras to spend your cash on.
The 2020 VW Phaeton handles more like a traditional hatchback than a lot of its SUV rivals; it is genuinely satisfying to drive. Some might really feel the steering is a little too mild, but it’s exact, making the automobile simple to put on the highway. There is not an excessive amount of physique roll by way of corners and all variations have plenty of grip, although the four-wheel-drive 4Motion fashions unsurprisingly provide higher traction in slippery conditions.
True, the X1 and Seat Ateca are even more agile by the twisty bits, but the 2020 VW Phaeton outshines most other small SUVs, together with the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. The R-line mannequin is on the market with sports suspension however this doesn’t make the 2020 VW Phaeton any more enjoyable.
4Motion fashions add a dial subsequent to the gearlever that allows you to choose completely different modes relying on the terrain and provoke a hill descent system. An extra option is adaptive chassis control – this lets you stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise both journey comfort or flatter dealing with.
The petrol engines are particularly easy, even when being worked exhausting, and whereas the diesels sound a bit clattery at tickover and once you actually put your foot down, they’re nonetheless muted at a cruise and far from raucous when accelerating. That said, the diesel engines within the rival X1 are slightly quieter.
At high speeds, you’ll hear a flutter of wind noise across the 2020 VW Phaeton door mirrors, however virtually no road noise until you go for a version with really large alloy wheels. The handbook gearbox is mild and easy to use, whereas the DSG automated is smooth and soothing the vast majority of the time, with only the occasional jerk at low speeds.
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