Volkswagen has been too well known for their beetle, but there’s a new kid in their varied line that might surprise you.
The VW Arteon is a svelte, classy, German precision quality sedan with hatchback qualities.
Arteon is VW’s flagship sedan with an overall length of 191 inches. It’s offered in SE, SEL, SEL Premium and R-Line performance package. We tested the SEL that comes standard with VW’s 4Motion AWD system, a most needed capability here in the Snowbelt.
Arteon’s cockpit is as sleek as it’s exterior with a racy flat bottom heated steering wheel, Nappa leather seating surfaces and an 8-inch display. The latter provides a host of apps including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink, but all must be connected with a smartphone through App-Connect. However, the display does provide for a rearview camera, weather map, 5-day weather forecast and a few more niceties.
The vertical stack is nicely laid out with large easy to use major HVAC controls. Below them is a small item storage bin that could have been better used for a wireless phone charger.
A console mounted shifter for the 8-speed automatic transmission, is flanked by a Mode switch that provides Comfort, Normal and Sport modes, with the latter tightening up the suspension and steering and ups the trans’ shift points somewhat.
Front seats are Euro firm and very supportive with contrast stitching on all seams. Back seats are similarly taut and suitable for two adults as a high transaxle hump precludes a third adult. But three youngsters can fit comfortably.
Now comes the real surprise. Arteon’s trunk is huge. It’s rated at 27.2 cubic feet with the 60/40 rear seatbacks upright that measures 45 inches deep, 40 wide and 21 high. Flip the seatbacks and capacity increases to 55 cubic feet for an impressive 78 inches of cargo loading depth. That’s 6.5 feet of lengthy storage space. Take Arteon camping and a tent wouldn’t be needed as two adults can sleep back there, albeit a bit snugly.
Arteon gets it grunt from a 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder that puts out 268-hp and 258 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 20 city, 27-highway mpg. And that’s with the assist of start/stop engine technology that can be shut off when not needed. With this powertrain, there’s no want for power from a dead stop to highway passing maneuvers. The combination was independently tested at 6.6 seconds for a 0-60 sprint – not bad for a 3,854-pound sedan.
Handling wise, there is some body lean in sharp, hairpin turns. But select Sport mode and it tightens the suspension and keeps the car stable when driven aggressively.
Arteon’s steering provides a good amount of road feel and makes parking a breeze with a relatively tight turning circle of 39 feet by a mere 2.8 turns (lock-lock) of the steering wheel.
Arteon is shod with Continental 18-inch tires for a smooth ride on smooth roads however on bumpy roads and highways with pronounced pock marks, the suspension seems to be a bit overwhelmed at times.
Road and tire noise are nicely dampened depending on road conditions and speed. Overall, it makes for a relatively quiet interior.
As for price, Arteon came with an extremely long list of most desired convenience and safety features such as rain sensing wipers, outside mirrors automatically fold in when locking doors, forward collision warning, emergency braking with pedestrian alert, blind spot monitoring, remote engine start, adaptive cruise and many more. And get this. There were no optional costs. The base price reflected $41,795 and after adding a delivery charge of $995, the bottom line came in at $42,790. Yes, this is a premium price for a premium car. But it goes beyond what most sedans offer space and traction wise. Added to this, Arteon carries a 7 year/100K mile general warranty and includes a 3/36K mile 24-hour roadside assistance warranty.