Volkswagen may not be synonymous with luxury, but that isn’t stopping this German manufacturer from fielding the premium Arteon sedan. This new model replaces the previous CC, once again giving Volkswagen a toehold in a niche segment with a handsome coupe-like vehicle.
What’s New This Year
Introduced in 2019, the VW Arteon returns unchanged. Volkswagen offers the 2020 model in five trims with prices starting around $37,000 and reaching $48,000 with the top trim. The Arteon comes with a turbo engine, an automatic transmission, and supplies available all-wheel drive.
Competing models include the Buick Regal GS and Kia Stinger GT. Both competitors feature rear hatchbacks (also known as fastbacks), which is the same layout as the Arteon.
Coupe, Sedan, or Hatchback?
The Arteon brings together multiple styling elements from a coupe, sedan, and hatchback body styles. Its four doors indicate it is a sedan, but its falling roofline matches the angle of many coupes. The big surprise is that the Arteon is actually a hatchback, with its large rear window hinting at that truth.
Up front, the Arteon’s bold fascia delivers a luxurious and sporty look with its broad grille marked by multiple horizontal slats and pressed in by elegant headlamps. The LED accent lights add distinction, while huge cutouts counteract the lower air intake. Sweeping character lines, restrained body sculpting, and touches of ornamentation add substance. The Arteon is roughly the size of the Passat sedan, but it raises the premium quotient accordingly over its brand stable-mate.
Natty Interior Bordering the Sublime
Inside, the Arteon’s cabin is large with generous legroom front and back. Tall passengers, however, should take note of the sloping roofline as it impinges on rear-seat headroom.
Volkswagen utilizes soft-touch and high-end materials inside, including available leather-trimmed seats. Hard plastics are below eye level with chrome trim scattered throughout. All cabin control knobs, buttons, and switches are sensibly placed and uncluttered.
The top-end model pulls out all the stops with its heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats, ambient lighting, and panoramic power tilt-and-slide sunroof. The rear seat climate control panel is a welcome feature.
Technology & Safety
On the tech front, VW supplies the Arteon with an 8-inch touch-screen display. An 8-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and two USB ports are included. Smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are managed through the standard VW Car-Net app suite.
Starting with the SEL trim, VW adds a digital cockpit, navigation, and a security system. The SEL Premium model supplies a 12-speaker Dynaudio sound package.
As for safety features, the 2019 Arteon has standard forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring. Side assist and rear traffic alert are included.
Adaptive cruise control with stop and go is included beginning with the SEL trim. Features such as lane-keeping system, parking steering assist, and an overhead view camera, are only available on the range-topping SEL Premium.
Arteon on the Road
Every Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Notably, power is sent to the wheels with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Performance is steady off the line, but power quickly builds up under full throttle. Adaptive dampers adjust to changing road conditions with only a slight amount of understeer noticed. Fortunately, it’s managed by the sedan’s torque-vectoring brake system, which keeps the nose centered. A smooth ride and quiet cabin are among this model’s strengths.
VW Arteon Considerations
We think the Arteon with all-wheel drive, an $1,800 option on most trims, is the best choice. VW’s 4MOTION system rivals corporate cousin Audi’s heralded quattro all-wheel-drive arrangement, which translates into superior control on twisty roads while cornering, and when navigating wet surfaces. If there is one demerit of note is that most driver-assist features cost extra and are available only with the pricier models.
See Also — End of the Road for the Volkswagen Beetle
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