The new to the US Arteon replaces the Passat CC in the lineup, giving VW a competitor in the mid-size sedan market. The Arteon may be a contender in the class; offering forward-looking Design to compete against the Camry and Accord by bringing a touch of the luxury sedan to the game.
The four-door hatchback sedan sports a bold lateral bar grille that blends into the LED daytime running lamps. The sweeping roof design curves into the rear hatch giving the Arteon a dart like appearance, enhanced by the dramatic slope of the front glass.
Cabin room is good if a bit confining in the front seat. The sloping roofline hampers rear entry, but once in the car, there is more than the adequate leg and headroom. Our test car had Napa leather seating that proved very easy on the backside, and with the 12-way power adjustment could be moved to suit almost any size driver. There is an optional massage function available for the driver’s seat if you want to spoil yourself.
High-tech and comfort features abound. VW didn’t settle for dual-zone climate control; they divided the system into three separate comfort zones to allow rear seat passengers to select their temperature levels. The center stack infotainment system includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto, as well as a full range of built-in applications and navigation. The VW Car Net app provides communication with your smartphone providing everything from remote start and fuel level information to warnings if your sunroof is open and rain is forecast. Tunes come from a Dynaudio sound system powered by 700 watts and playing 12 speakers throughout the cabin.
Advanced safety systems including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic warning come standard.
The instrument cluster is reminiscent of the high-tech panel found in an Audi. The configurable digital cluster allows the driver to display the information they need in various formats. It will store and recall individual settings for up to four different drivers.
VW Arteon claims 268 horses
Power comes from a 2-liter, turbocharged and direct injected 4-cylinder engine making 268 horsepower coupled to an 8-speed transmission and the VW 4Motion all-wheel drive. Selectable drive modes allow the driver to pick the suspension response needed for the terrain. Normal and Comfort modes provide excellent soft ride quality on smooth roads, while the sport mode tightens the steering and shock response if you chose to push the European sedan. There is a custom mode that will allow you to pick and chose the adjustments you prefer.
Ride quality is good, particularly in the comfort or normal drive modes. In sport mode, the ride gets a bit jittery, but corner handling is improved. Visibility is hampered by thick front windshield pillars and over-large “B” pillars between the doors. The blind spot monitors help a lot to overcome the limited side sightlines. The black piano surround on the center stack picked up fingerprints but also reflected the evening sun causing a hard glare that under the right conditions bounced into the driver’s eyes.
Fuel economy is rated at 20 city and 27 highway on our top of the line test car. All Arteon trims use the same power plant and transmission, but those without the 4Motion drive get a slightly better economy rating of 22 city and 31 highway.
Trim levels include the base SE model at $35, 845, the SEL starting at $41,795 and top of the lineup, SEL Premium R-Line with 4Motion for a base sticker price of $46,210. To get most of the high tech and comfort features, you have to opt for the SEL Premium trim.
You can find our review of the VW Passat here.