In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Arteon review - Engines, performance and drive

Refined, comfortable and a great all-rounder, but don’t expect the Arteon to provide much in the way of driving thrills

On the road, the Arteon is a little softer than its aggressive styling might suggest, but it really excels as a long-distance motorway cruiser. The Passat is already supremely efficient in this regard, and the extra cabin luxury and slippery body-styling of the Arteon mean it’s even more comfortable, quiet and refined on long hauls. 

If you want driving thrills, there’s no doubt a BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe provides a more responsive experience. The Arteon’s steering offers little road feel, and switching the DCC adaptive dampers to Sport mode reins in the body roll but at the noticeable expense of ride comfort.

We ended up leaving the DCC system in Comfort – which can feel occasionally floaty ­– or Normal, most of the time. This last setting works very well, with a decent balance between ride comfort and body control, but it’s an acknowledgement that being a good all rounder is the Arteon’s strongest suit.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed 

The Arteon engine line-up starts with the 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI unit. It's only available with the six-speed manual gearbox and manages the 0-62mph sprint in 8.9 seconds. Upgrading to the 187bhp 2.0-litre version brings the time down to 7.7 seconds, while the e-Hybrid PHEV variant is just behind on 7.8 seconds.

The 316bhp R performance model is seriously quick, with its 420NM of torque helping it to 62mph from standstill in 4.9 seconds and onto a top speed of 155mph.

The entry-level 148bhp diesel is a little more sedate, taking 9.5 seconds over the same benchmark, although trading up to the 197bhp oil-burner means a faster 7.9 second time and a 147mph maximum.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 TSI SE Nav 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £31,615

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.4 TSI eHybrid Elegance 5dr DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,525

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI R 5dr 4MOTION DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £50,405

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