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Volkswagen Arteon Review

Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon
Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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Volkswagen Arteon

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1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Elegant and upmarket people’s car

Best bits

  • Elegant looks, inside and out 
  • Huge practicality, comfort and space 
  • Comprehensive equipment across the range

Not so great

  • No hybrid option for now
  • Residual values not as good as premium rivals which impacts running costs
  • Upmarket infotainment system from Elegance not as intuitive as the SE’s version

Read by

Volkswagen Arteon Front Side View

Overall verdict

Volkswagen Arteon Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Arteon Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Arteon Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Arteon Front View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Volkswagen Arteon

"If there were a BMW roundel or a Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star on its smart grille nobody would question the validity of the Arteon’s claim to operate in the premium class, but some brand snobbery, even towards Volkswagen, does mean some can’t see past the badge, particularly at the price point that the Arteon occupies. Elegant, comfortable and spacious, there’s a great deal to like about the Volkswagen Arteon."

Volkswagen Arteon Front Side View

Volkswagen might translate to people’s car, but the brand equity is strong enough that it’s not just for the mainstream masses, with cars like the Arteon competing in the premium sector. It arrived in 2017, Volkswagen denying it was a replacement for the previous Passat CC, even if the timing suggests otherwise, instead that the Arteon is a model that’s more distinct from its Passat relation, which goes some way to explaining the new name. 


The Arteon is to be seen as a rival for cars like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback, cars which manufacturers somewhat uncomfortably refer to as four-door coupes, when in fact they’re simply elegant hatchbacks – or inelegant, in the case of the 2020 BMW. 


The word hatchback conjures up mainstream sensibilities and practicalities though, so Volkswagen would prefer to describe the Arteon as a fastback. 


Nomenclature aside, there’s no denying the Arteon is a fine-looking thing. Far wider and more rakish in its lines than the Passat it’s based on, it’s certainly got the looks to cut it among its premium branded contemporaries, indeed, their ubiquity works in the Arteon’s favour, making the big Volkswagen the stand-out car among them. It’s undeniably an elegant car, regardless of its trim level, but for the greatest impact the R-Line really stands out in the company car park. 


The exterior looks aren’t subterfuge to an interior that’s not up to the lofty standards witnessed in the class that the Arteon aspires to. Yes, the cabin is largely lifted from the Passat, but given it’s a car we consider to be at the top of its class, and indeed capable of rivalling and in some cases bettering, the interiors of cars in the premium sector above, that really is no complaint. 


It might lack the flair of some inside, but there’s a lot to be said for the Arteon’s understated elegance, its simplicity here a virtue, especially in relation to longevity – it's still certain to look good in years to come. 


That interior doesn’t just exude a feeling of neat classiness, but plentiful space and comfort, the Arteon’s cabin being big, which means there’s space for four adults in real comfort, even with its rakish rear profile. There’s practicality, too, the Arteon sharing that with its Passat relation, only here the massive, good shaped boot is accessed by a large hatchback, making the Arteon a useful load carrier. 


Underlining its upmarket status is an engine range that does without the smaller 1.6-litre turbodiesel and 1.5-litre TSI engines from the Passat, instead only featuring 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel choices. 


There are no six-cylinder options like those premium rivals, nor, for now at least, is there a plug-in hybrid version, despite the Passat being offered in GTE plug-in form. That looks certain to change, as from mid-2020 Volkswagen will refresh the Arteon line-up, with a plug-in hybrid and range topping R performance version set to join the range, likewise an Arteon shooting brake (estate) is set to be offered, for those upmarket buyers wanting a little more practicality from their stylish Volkswagen.


Is the Volkswagen Arteon right for you?

There are a number of ways you can look at the Arteon, and whichever path you take it’s undoubtedly attractive. As an anti-premium machine you can revel in all the luxury and style that you’d usually have to go to an upmarket showroom for, and enjoy it all with a badge that doesn’t irk the hoi polloi. 


There’s something inherently appealing about the Volkswagen badge and the sensibilities and design that comes with it, that redouble when applied to such a big, elegant car. 


So, yes, there’s a good chance the Arteon is for you, it’s arguably the thinking person’s upmarket car, and one that comes without any of the negative – perceived or real – baggage that some of those upmarket brands are burdened with. No, it’s not as sharp to drive as those premium machines, which when your daily reality is more likely to be mundane motorway monotony and cursed commuting its more comforting bent is actually a good thing.

What’s the best Volkswagen Arteon model/engine to choose?

There’s choice in the line-up, but then we reckon there’s only really one to go for, at least when it comes to the engine. We’d go for the long-legged ease and economy of the 2.0-litre TDI SCR turbodiesel in 190PS form. Why not the 150PS version with its even better economy? 


Because the Arteon deserves the easier nature of the bigger output version. With it you get the seven-speed DSG automatic as standard, which is, again, correct for a car like this. Regarding trim, it’s a toss-up between the Elegance or the R-Line, the decision down to whether you prefer the more overt assertive style of the R-Line over the Elegance’s relative understatement. We’d go R-Line, but that’s just us.

What other cars are similar to the Volkswagen Arteon?

The Arteon’s pitched as a classier, more rakish alternative to the mainstream premium saloons, which means it’s up alongside cars like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback, but the reality of its, sorry, posh Volkswagen Passat status, does mean it’s arguably a rival for any of the premium players in the saloon marketplace, too. So, think BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Jaguar XE. Against its intended four-door coupe rivals it’s appealing, against the premium saloon norm it’s even more so.

Learn more

Volkswagen Arteon Front Interior

On the inside

Volkswagen Arteon Front Side View

Driving

Volkswagen Arteon Rear Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volkswagen Arteon Front View

Prices, versions and specification

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