Last Word First:
With Volkswagen’s new Arteon, the German carmaker has bypassed the junior executives of BMW’s 3-Series, the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4, and gone straight into the arena against the 5 Series, the E-Class, Audi’s A6, the Jaguar XF and the Lexus GS. Its long, sleek, coupe-styling also puts in against BMW’s 4-Series and the Audi A5 – so make no mistake, this is not a shy car.
With its coupe styling, the Arteon will invariably be compared to the Passat CC, but VW are very keen to quash such a notion, the four-door, five-seater Arteon cutting its own furrow in a segment with no regard for sentiment. As an indication of the space available 563-litres of luggage space awaits in the boot, which expands to 1,557-litres with the rear seats folded flat – enough space to declare it an apartment in D4!
With prices starting at €43,295 for the 2.0 litre TDi, six-speed manual, 150bhp model, methinks many will bypass this en route to some of the juicier offerings, particularly those with their automatic, DSG transmission.
Standing 4,862mm long, with a wheelbase of 2,841mm, the Arteon is 1,871mm wide, which when dressed in its distinctive bodywork, give the Arteon a street presence that will cause lips to smack and fingers to point – it is impressive. It stands on VW’s now familiar, modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform and has a drag coefficient of Cd figure of 0.265, meaning it will slip through the airstream with very low resistance.
The Arteon should not be confused with, but will invariably be compared to the Passat. This car is aimed at the premium segment with serious vigour and while it carries VW family resemblance, it jigs its own tune. The VW badge sits pride of place in the centre of the full width, chrome plated grill, the large bonnet draping over the sides. Day Running Lights and LED headlights sit wonderfully within, the styling capturing your eyes and taking them on a journey.
Strong shoulders are a life asset and the new Arteon is certainly equipped, the wing design and flared wheel arches, the bodyline low down from front wheel to rear wheel, a delight I would not tire of. There is much to ogle about the Arteon.
There is a VW familiarity to the Arteon’s interior, which on one hand works really well and on the other is not different enough. That said it is beautifully put together, the Elegance trim undoubtedly going to be the customer‘s choice. Here you sit onto Alcantara/leather seats, the space enough to nigh on demand an intercom from front to back. Wider than I expected, there is room for five adults, with those long of leg well catered for.
The driver’s and centre consoles are clear and comprehensive, the centre’s screen providing easy access to a myriad of information and entertainment at a touch.
On the road:
A brief test drive at the Irish launch was enough to whet the appetite, but only just. Being a big car, the Arteon felt well planted on my mainly city suburban drive, the suspension coping well with the idiosyncrasies of our capital's road surface. With three adults on board the ride comfort was without complaint and together with the materials and fit ‘n' finish, made the Arteon a very pleasant place to be.
There’s little doubt that the Arteon has it all to do to capture customers in the price range it operates in. The ever-increasing appeal of SUV’s also adds to the climb, but there is no doubting the Arteon’s quality and competency.
VW’s quality build has never been in doubt, so its entry into the premium segment with Arteon should be looked on as natural and accomplished. Keeping badges in segments where they cannot be seen to elevate themselves is a false restriction. Let the battle begin. Welcome Arteon.
Three Trim Levels.
The entry level Arteon comes with:
- 18” alloy wheels
- ErgoComfort seats
- 8” ‘Discover Media’ Sat Nav system
- Predictive cruise control
- Park distance control
- App connect
- Rain sensing wipers
- Security & Service subscription
- 3-zone Climatronic A/C with controls in the rear.
Customers choosing the Arteon Elegance, expected to be the most popular level get:
- Seat covers with ‘Alcantara’ cloth and ‘Vienna’ leather side bolsters
- Ambient lighting
- 18” ‘Muscat’ alloy wheels
- LED rear lights
- Voice control
- Active Info Display
- Rear View Camera.
The very tasty Arteon R-Line comes a tad sporty with:
- R-Line steering wheel
- R-Line Seats
- R-Line scuff plates
- R-Line exterior badging and bumpers
- 19” ‘Montevideo’ alloy wheels
- Running rear indicators
- Dynamic headlight range control with dynamic cornering light
- Voice control
- Adaptive chassis control on the 240 hp diesel. (Adaptive Chassis Control is a €1,201 option on other R-Line Arteon models).
Three power options of their 2.0 litre TDi are on the menu, 150bhp, 190bhp or for those with the need, a 240bhp unit, this one coming with 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard. The 2.0-litre TDI 150bhp version is available with a choice of 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG, while the 190bhp and 240bhp versions are only available with the 7-speed DSG.
- Arteon 2.0-litre, 150bhp, 6-speed manual €43,295 €2,200 extra for DSG version.
- Arteon Elegance, 2.0-litre, 150bhp, 6-speed manual starts at €45,995.
- The 190bhp, 2.0-litre Elegance model comes with the 7-speed DSG transmission only and costs €50,195.
- The R-Line, 2.0-litre, 150bhp, 6-speed manual starts at €47,795 (€49,995 for the 7-speed DSG transmission).
- The Arteon R-Line, 2.0-litre, 190 hp and the 7-speed DSG costs €51,995
- The most powerful engine, the Arteon TDi, 240bhp, comes with a 7-speed DSG and 4MOTION, plus Adaptive Chassis Control costing €55,895
- The Arteon is available from €499 per month with 5.9% APR, and the Elegance and R-Line models are available from €489 and €499 respectively with 3.9% APR.
- ‘Technology Upgrades’ are available on the Arteon range for a limited period. Customers who upgrade receive Keyless Access, a Heated Steering Wheel and a Rear View Camera. The RRP of this offer is €1,255 the upgrade cost €599.
- Customers choosing to upgrade their Arteon Elegance, receive Discover Pro Sat Nav with Gesture Control, a Panoramic Sunroof and a Heated Steering Wheel. The RRP of this offer is €2,460, with an upgrade price is €999.
- Upgrade the Arteon R-Line, and the new owner gets, Discover Pro Sat Nav with Gesture Control, a Panoramic Sunroof and a the Dynaudio Sound System. The RRP of this offer is €3,620 but the upgrade cost is €1,499.