Volkswagen Arteon First Drive Review

Volkswagen's new flagship has arrived in Ireland

Volkswagen Arteon
The 2017 Volkswagen Arteon

The Volkswagen Arteon has just arrived in Ireland and is a new flagship model for the brand. This five seat ‘fastback’ sits above the Passat in the Volkswagen range. It might look like a logical replacement for the Passat CC, but Volkswagen does not see it as a direct successor, citing it as an entirely new model.

Styling

The styling is indeed a big step up from the Passat and they won’t be confused side by side. The new Arteon has elite styling and is the most avant garde model Volkswagen currently produces. The Arteon has the presence of a large business class ‘gran turismo’ on the road, with graceful coupé like styling. LED headlights and 18” alloys are standard. There are currently six colours available for new Arteon, including the striking Turmeric Yellow, with more to join later.

Interior

Inside, the cabin borrows a little from the Passat, but there is a greater feeling of space and width, and the driving position is more sporty. An 8” touchscreen comes as standard with a glossy black surround, though a larger 9.2” version is also available. An impressive full digital instrument panel (‘Active Info Display’) is standard on all but the base model. Alcantara and leather seats are standard on Elegance and R-Line, with full leather an option.

Volkswagen Arteon
The interior of the new Volkswagen Arteon

Practicality

The passenger space in the Arteon is very impressive and it is bigger internally than a Passat. There are large footwells in the back and the hatchback style boot holds 563 litres.

Engines

In Ireland, the Volkswagen Arteon is offered with a 2.0-litre diesel only with 150hp, 190hp or 240hp. The 2.0-litre TDI 150hp is expected to be the biggest seller and is available with a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The other engines are exclusively fitted with DSG. The range topping model is the 2.0-litre TDI 240hp with 4MOTION all wheel drive. The 2.0-litre TDI 150hp falls into tax band A4 with motor tax of €200 per year and the official fuel economy is 4.5l/100km on DSG models.

On the road

I had limited time to test the new Arteon on the road, so I will share my driving impressions after carrying out a longer road test.

Equipment

The new Volkswagen Arteon is available in three trim levels in Ireland: Arteon, Arteon Elegance and Arteon R-Line. Standard equipment includes 8“ touchscreen with navigation and eight speakers, 18“ alloys, ErgoComfort seats, predictive cruise control, park distance control, rain sensing wipers, tri zone climate control and a three year free subscription to Car-Net ‘Security & Service’, a new concierge system that can call the emergency services should you have an accident and allow you to remotely check data about your car, among other functions. The Elegance model adds leather/Alcantara upholstery, ambient lighting, voice control, Active Info Display and rear view camera. R-Line models add 19“ wheels, sporty ‘R-Line‘ steering wheel and seats, running rear indicators, dynamic headlight range control with dynamic cornering function, and adaptive chassis control on the 240hp model.

Volkswagen Arteon
The Volkswagen Arteon has gone on sale in Ireland priced from €43,295

Pricing

The Arteon range starts at €43,295 for the Arteon 2.0-litre 150hp with a six-speed manual transmission and there is a €2,200 price walk to the DSG version. The 2.0-litre 150hp Elegance model with a manual transmission starts at €45,995. The 2.0-litre 190hp Elegance model comes with the 7-speed DSG transmission only and costs €50,195.  The top-of-the-range R-Line Arteon starts at €47,795 for the 2.0-litre 150hp with the 6-speed manual transmission and rises to €49,995 when a 7-speed DSG transmission is added. The Arteon R-Line with 190hp and the 7-speed DSG costs €51,995 and at the top of the Arteon range, the flagship version is the 240hp 2.0-litre TDI R-Line, which comes with the 7-speed DSG and 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard, as well as Adaptive Chassis Control. This model costs €55,895.

Rivals

The Volkswagen Arteon is pitched against cars like the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé.

Verdict

The Volkswagen Arteon has enough prestige and kerb appeal to command its price tag and with generous space and spec, the new Arteon could work out as very good value indeed.

The new Volkswagen Arteon is in dealers now.

Caroline Kidd

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