What is it?

Volkswagen is well-known for models like the Polo, Golf and Passat, but in more recent years it’s aimed to inject some extra style and elegance into its line-up. A great example of this is the Arteon, which was introduced in 2017 as a more glamorous model designed to sit above the Passat in the VW range

Bringing a stylish design, well-built interior, it was designed to compete with premium executive cars like the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, it was a very tempting proposition. Now Volkswagen has lightly revised it, but should you consider it?

What’s new?

The Arteon formula was already a good one, so not all that many changes have been made. The main change is the addition of a more practical Shooting Brake model, but here we’re focusing on the regular Fastback bodystyle. 

Changes include light front-end revisions, additional technology – including Travel Assist and Matrix LED headlights – along with redesigned climate settings and a new more frugal plug-in hybrid model. 

What’s under the bonnet?

With a choice of petrol, diesel and hybrid models on offer with the Arteon, there is certainly no shortage of versions available. 

Let’s start with petrols, with a 148bhp 1.5-litre petrol kicking off the range, and being the only version available with a six-speed manual gearbox, as all other models get a DSG automatic transmission as standard. If you want more power, a 197bhp 2.0-litre TSI engine is available, while a full-fat 316bhp ‘R’ model uses a more powerful 2.0-litre petrol unit. 

Moving across to diesel engines, all models use a 2.0-litre turbocharged TDI unit. Outputs of 148bhp or 197bhp are available, with the latter also getting the option of 4Motion all-wheel-drive, as the rest of the Arteon range (with the exception of the R) are all front-wheel-drive. 

Plug-in hybrids are proving popular in the executive car class, and in the Arteon the combination of a 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor produces 215bhp. Once the battery is fully charged, Volkswagen says it can travel up to 35 miles, with Volkswagen claiming up to 217.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 30g/km. 

side view of vw arteon charging

What’s it like to drive?

The Arteon is a very solid choice behind the wheel. Refinement is very important in this class, and this VW’s quiet engines and lack of road and wind noise are impressive even at higher speeds. If you value comfort, it’s worth choosing an Elegance car too, as this is equipped with slightly smaller wheels and a more comfort-focused suspension setup. 

Down twistier stretches of road, the Arteon might be the most fun car to drive in its class, but the well-weighted steering and punchy engines still make it a respectable choice in this class. 

How does it look?

One of the best things about the Arteon is the way it looks, and it remains a stunning piece of design. With its sharp lines, intricate chrome grille and almost coupe-like profile, it’s one of the most stylish cars in its class, and arguably more attractive than many German rivals that might be considered to be ‘more premium’.A new LED light strip that runs between the standard lights and central VW badge at the front adds to the appeal too, while the sportier-looking R-Line version continues to bring additional street cred to the Arteon with its larger alloy wheels and more aggressive bodykit. 

rear side view of vw arteon

What’s it like inside?

There’s plenty to like about the Arteon, and with a large level of seat and steering wheel adjustability on offer, it’s very easy to get comfortable. The basic interior design is borrowed from the Passat, which is no bad thing, as it means you get a very smart and intuitive layout, with easy-to-use technology, though some of the haptic buttons on the steering wheel do take a little bit of time to get accustomed to.

The Arteon is also a very practical choice, with adults still able to get comfortable, though taller adults might find their head close to the roof lining. But there’s a very generous amount of legroom, while the 563-litre boot is a great size, if slightly smaller if you go with the plug-in hybrid, due to their batteries.

What’s the spec like?

The regular Arteon is available in two trim levels – Elegance and R-Line. There’s no shortage of standard equipment, either, with even these ‘regular’ versions coming with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, a reversing camera, large touchscreen and digital instrument cluster.

The R-Line model adds even more to the table, including its more aggressive body kit, large 19-inch alloy wheels, 30-colour ambient interior lighting and a panoramic sunroof.

interior of volkswagen arteon


The Volkswagen Arteon is a very appealing model in the executive car segment. Though the Volkswagen badge might have quite the same allure as some German rivals, this model’s combination of quality, technology and style really help it excel. 

Add in the Arteon’s great line-up of engines, pleasant driving experience and practical cabin and it makes it a great choice. 



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