The Chinese-only VW Phideon has been updated for 2021.
Chinese car buyers behave very differently to American car consumers. The Chinese market still has a major love for big luxury sedans, which in other parts of the world seem to be slowly dying off. That's why major automakers continue to produce long-wheelbase versions of popular models like the stretched Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the long-wheelbase Audi A4.
Volkswagen is another major German player which is doing battle in the Chinese luxury sedan market with its Phideon, the spiritual successor to the Phaeton, which has received a facelift for 2021 to keep it competitive.
The Phideon was launched in 2016 and has enjoyed moderate success in the luxury sedan market, but sales have been suffering in recent years, with only 14,019 cars being sold in 2019. This has prompted VW to give its luxo-barge a mild facelift. As part of the facelift, Volkswagen has introduced a rather gimmicky illuminated badge which adds to the car's bling-factor. Other updates include new LED daytime running lights that meet up with some reworked headlights, and the front bumper also sees the addition of some chrome inserts. The exterior updates are nothing to write home about, but is enough to give the Phideon some fresh legs.
The interior of this luxurious Volkswagen features premium amenities such as a mini fridge wedged between the two rear massage seats, a 9.2-inch infotainment display, and optional air suspension. Unfortunately the facelift also sees the demise of the plug-in hybrid 2.0-liter, and 3.0-liter V6 engines. That leaves new owners with a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit producing a mild 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG transmission.
With the current world market addicted to SUVs, we don't expect VW to release a big luxury sedan in the near future but if it does then doubtless it will be an all-electric affair.