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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

The Arteon engine line-up starts with the 148bhp 2.0 TDI that does 0-62mph in 9.1 seconds and 138mph flat out. The performance figures are all-but identical whether you pick the six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG gearbox. Next up is the 187bhp 2.0 TDI with the DSG box as standard and the option of 4MOTION four-wheel drive, while the twin-turbo BiTDI has 237bhp and 4MOTION as standard. It manages 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds with a 152mph maximum speed.

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Long-term review: Volkswagen Arteon

The petrol engine range comes in three guises, all equipped with the seven-speed DSG gearbox as standard. There's a 1.5 TSI four-cylinder with 148bhp and active cylinder technology that's designed to boost fuel economy. It's still pretty quick, with a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds. Next up is the 2.0-litre TSI with 187bhp. This propels the Arteon from 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds and on to 147mph. At the top of the range, the 276bhp 2.0 TSI has standard 4MOTION four-wheel drive and a rapid 5.6 second sprint from 0-62mph. It also manages an electronically limited 155mph top speed.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 TDI EVO SCR SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £32,245

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 TDI EVO SCR SE 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £32,245

Fastest

  • Name
    2.0 TSI 272 R Line Edition 5dr 4MOTION DSG
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £40,900
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