Volkswagen Arteon review
The VW Arteon is a dramatically styled hatch with a luxury feel that takes on premium executive rivals
For the style-conscious corporate executive with big miles to cover, there’s not much to criticise about the Volkswagen Arteon. It has all the style, technology and luxury required to take on premium-badged rivals like the Audi A5 Sportback or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, coupled with low running costs and reasonable company car tax bills.
OK, so it doesn’t provide quite as many thrills behind the wheel as a BMW, and the VW badge doesn’t have the cachet of some rivals, but the high-end cabin is beautifully built and covered in premium materials. Like all its style-led coupe-inspired rivals, the Arteon suffers from a lack of headroom in the back, but the refined ride and rakish styling will make it a winning choice.
The flagship of the VW passenger car range is the Volkswagen Arteon. It's the latest in a line of large executive models built by the German firm and follows on from the CC and Phaeton as a luxury car for the masses.
Like the CC, the Arteon relies on the Passat family car for its running gear, but it gets sporty, eye-catching bodywork that gives it a look in line with the latest breed of coupe hatchbacks, such as the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. These are the Arteon's main rivals, although it could also be considered an opponent to other compact executive saloons such as the Jaguar XE, Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mercedes C-Class.
Car group tests
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As the Arteon shares its running gear with the Passat, that means all cars come with either front-wheel drive or 4MOTION four-wheel drive. There are six-speed manual models available, but the vast majority of Arteons come with VW's fast-shifting seven-speed DSG twin-clutch auto gearbox. This emphasises the car's pretensions as an upmarket cruiser.
Engines comprise 1.5 and 2.0 TSI turbo four-cylinder petrols and VW's ubiquitous 2.0 TDI diesel with single or twin turbochargers. The petrol models range from 148bhp to 268bhp, while the diesels are 148bhp to 237bhp. The only model to get a six-speed manual is the 2.0 TDI 150PS - all other cars are 7-speed DSGs, while the auto is optional on the 150PS engine.
Reflecting the Arteon's upmarket pretensions, there are just two trim levels - Elegance and R-Line - and you won't find S, SE or even SEL models making up the numbers. Elegance trim is plush, with fully adaptive LED headlights, LED interior lighting, heated leather seats with electric adjustment for the driver's seat, an 8-inch sat-nav infotainment system, adaptive cruise control for DSG-equipped cars and VW's Active Info dashboard display instead of conventional dials.
On top of that, the R-Line gets a sportier look, with 19-inch wheels and additional exterior and interior trim. All engines are available in both trims, and prices for the Arteon range start from around £32,000. R-Line adds around £2,500 to some models, but the gap reduces to around £800 with the more powerful engine options.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe VW Arteon is a dramatically styled hatch with a luxury feel that takes on premium executive rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveRefined, comfortable and a great all-rounder, but don’t expect the Arteon to provide much in the way of driving thrills
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsGood value prices and efficient engines mean the Arteon shouldn’t provide any running cost shocks
- 4Interior, design and technologyContemporary, premium design is reflected in the Arteon’s extensive package of advanced driving technologies
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt’s a highly refined cruiser with plenty of luggage space, but the Arteon’s roof spells trouble for tall rear seat passengers
- 6Reliability and SafetyTerrific crash test results and a lots of technology make the Arteon look like a very safe bet