Once you take a look at the Arteon’s underpinnings, VW’s want to separate it from the CC (or a minimum of hold it at arm’s size) begins to make extra sense. Whereas the CC was primarily a Passat with a decrease roofline and snugger cabin, the Arteon rides on the extra superior MQB platform. The chassis will get 5 extra inches of wheelbase, 2.9 extra inches of rear legroom, and almost double the cargo capability. This is one other clue to the modern 4-door’s place within the VW universe: Arteon’s identify derives from the Latin artem, which suggests “artwork.” The wordplay suggests extra of a design showcase than an equipment, a conveyance meant to make a press release and stand out. And stand out it does: from the Arteon’s grille strakes that cleverly combine into the LED headlamps to its uninterrupted character strains and elegantly tapered haunches, the engaging fastback manages to defy its comparatively affordable beginning price of $36,840. This isn’t your father’s Passat; The Arteon is a critical looker.
However regardless of its lavish styling, a number of the CC’s satan-might-care parts have been misplaced on the Arteon. Gone, as an example, is the gutsy elective VR6 motor, changed with just one choice: a humble, 2.zero-liter inline-four. Primarily a detuned Golf R mill, the turbocharged powerplant produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-ft of torque, mated to an eight-velocity torque converter-outfitted transmission that steps in for the predecessor’s twin-clutch DSG unit. The combo yields a mixed 25 mpg in entrance-drive type, or 23 mpg in all-wheel drive. Although the powerplant nonetheless eclipses the modest 174 horsepower engine discovered within the Passat, some will miss the choice of a meatier engine.
Entry-degree Arteon SE fashions can be found in entrance-drive ($36,840) or all-wheel drive ($38,640) configurations and get standard heated 12-approach adjustable leatherette seats, keyless entry, and 18-inch wheel, stuff you will not get on the $26,one hundred ninety starter Passat. The SEL fashions we sampled begin at $forty,990 (entrance-drive) or $forty two,790 (all-wheel drive), and step up with features like Nappa leather-based seats, a panoramic roof, distant begin, an eight-inch multimedia display and adaptive cruise management. All SEL Premiums get all-wheel drive and prime out at $forty five,940, bringing niceties like a massaging driver seat, a seven hundred-watt Dynaudio sound system, an influence operated trunk and an overhead view backup digital camera.
Minimalists will dig the Arteon’s clear strains and frameless doorways, although the theme that carries into the cabin is perhaps a bit too sparse for some. The Arteon lacks a few of the character of rivals just like the Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, and Kia Stinger. Regardless, there’s an trustworthy straightforwardness to the cabin that is nonetheless value one thing (and simply identifiable with VW), particularly contemplating the proliferation of gimmicky, over-styled interiors. Additionally noteworthy is the spaciousness of the rear quarters: seated within the again, my 5’eleven” body had a shocking quantity of area forward and above me, excess of within the CC.
Arteon sticks with VW’s acquainted mechanical shifter, solely providing paddles with the R-Line trim on the highest mannequin or the R-Line package deal, which provides particular trim, a spoiler, and 19- or 20-inch wheels for an additional $1,265 or $1,765, respectively. The DCC adaptive damping system that is standard on all fashions adjusts in modes together with Eco, Regular, or Sport, although it may also be calibrated utilizing an 18-setting slider. Annoyingly, the car have to be stationary to regulate the suspension in customized mode, which additionally permits you to designate settings for steering, throttle response, and some different parameters.
Tuned tighter than Passat, the Arteon’s suspension and 19-inch wheels tends to select up small street irregularities greater than the subsequent sedan, even when pushed in its softest setting. Whereas the busyness is especially noticeable on low high quality roads, the tune is welcome on stretches like California’s serpentine Freeway 33, the place we pitched the Arteon by means of a abdomen-churning sequence of apexes. The 4-door was capable of hold slightly respectably, regardless of its giant proportions and prolonged wheelbase. Whereas the Arteon reveals its heft nearer to the restrict, we suspect our drive would have been even sportier with out the all-wheel drive 4Motion choice, because it provides 199 kilos to the entrance-drive mannequin’s three,655-lb curb weight.
Of the array of test automobiles obtainable on the drive occasion, just one was outfitted with the 20-inch setup (additionally swathed in delicate, all-season Continental ProContact rubber). The steering felt extra exact with the 20-inch wheels, providing extra chassis engagement and really feel over the succesful however considerably numb 19-inch association. And whereas the two.zero-liter turbo engine presents sufficient energy to go as quick as we felt prudent on public roads, we do marvel how a extra highly effective engine may add to the Arteon’s general demeanor.
Whereas there is a sure pleasure to flinging sporty sedans throughout canyon roads, most Arteons might be tasked with city and suburban duties. Although the MSRP can get steep with SEL and SEL Premium fashions, the Arteon’s upsides consists of actual world usability with spacious rear quarters and 27.2 cubic ft of cargo capability (or cavernous fifty five cubic ft with the rear seats folded). The hatchback-like trunk provides to the sense of, ahem, utility.
However general, the Arteon is extra of an emotional play than a sensible one. Volkswagen factors out that although declining, the sedan market continues to be “monumental,” constituting four.25 million gross sales final yr, greater than your complete of the German market. For those who should go crossover or SUV, there are extra choices than ever to fulfill your wants. The Arteon goes its personal means, enjoying on the attract of cool strains, a glossy silhouette, and understated utility.
– 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Review –
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