Volkswagen conceived and built the Phaeton under the premise that it could actually make the very best car in the world. And most would agree it's a magnificent piece of engineering, but the world's best car? Probably not. That's not the issue here, though; the issue is that even if VW had made a car so fantastically superlative that nobody could dispute it was the world's best, it still has a whopping great VW badge on the front.
And people with enough money to buy the world's best car generally don't want their neighbours to think they've bought a Passat, which is why VW has only flogged a couple of thousand worldwide - and also why the Phaeton is possibly the used car bargain of the century. Underneath VW's flagship limo sits a Bentley Continental, basically, except because of the whole VW badge and unpopularity thing, you can get a used Phaeton - the pinnacle of VW engineering excellence - for about the price of a Kia Picanto. That's like Megan Fox agreeing to marry you on the condition that she can wear a Primark shell suit at all times.