2019 VW Arteon
It’s got the looks, but…
- 관리자 (firstname.lastname@example.org) --
- 21 Oct 2019
By James Park
Allow me to be blunt.
This writer has not been impressed with the exterior styling of the latest VW products. Atlas, Tiguan, Jetta, Golf… you name it. They are boxy, uninspired and ordinary enough to hide in plain sights everywhere.
In this arid landscape of cynicism, the Arteon comes across as an oasis for the parched mind. Replacing the discontinued CC, this mid-size sedan soothes the eyesight of even the most jaded critics. This is one handsome vehicle. Personally, the Arteon, on looks alone, trumps anything even Audi – VW’s corporate cousin – can muster.
The car attracts attention as stylish without being overdone. Its flowing lines and wide stance suggest athleticism. Its hatchback design points to practicality. Personally speaking, Arteon looks better than other ‘4-door coupe’ hatchbacks as the Audi A7 and the Kia Stinger.
Unfortunately, as pretty as it is, the Arteon fails to back up its fantastic facade with any sort of serious muscle. Despite being the top dog in the VW lineup, Arteon’s only engine in North American market (at least so far) is a 2.0 litre turbo four.
Good for maximum 268 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque, this engine produces respectable enough power for everyday situations, but no enthusiast’s heart will flutter at these numbers. The said power plant does not stand out from any number of now ubiquitous turbo fours.
One wishes for the turbocharged 3.0 litre V6, at least as an optional engine, to motivate the Arteon, but that would be encroaching into the Audi territory and probably frowned upon by some of the executives. Let’s move on.
South of border, the customers can order Arteons with front-wheel-drive (FWD). In Canada, all Arteons are equipped with AWD – ‘4Motion’ in VW speak. Also in Canada, the Arteon comes in Execline (the top trim) only and starts from $47,995 before taxes and mandatory fees.
The test-car provided to this writer adds the Drive Assist package ($2,095) and the mostly cosmetic R-Line package ($2,995) to kick the price up to $53,085.
Much cheaper than the Audi A6/A7, corporate cousins of similar size, the Arteon’s price point jumps ahead of other mainstream rivals as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and the Hyundai Sonata. For many consumers, the obvious question would be – Is Arteon that much better than the Accord, Camry and Sonata?
One thing for sure is this: not too many consumers purchase automobiles based on logic alone.
By itself, the Arteon is not an undesirable vehicle. It does a decent impersonation of proper sports sedan, except for being little underpowered. Its eight-speed automatic transmission also feels bit clunky at times.
The car’s interior looks and feels adequately upscale. The VW interior’s familiar sombre mood is somewhat ameliorated by the leather seats’ partial white surfaces. The steering wheel, gear-shift lever, gauge cluster, touch-screen infotainment system would all be familiar to VW customers. These are mostly intuitive and easy to use.
The front seats are both heated and ventilated and even have massage function. The rear seats are also heated. Even with the sloping roofline, the rear passengers get enough headroom and ample legroom.
The R-Line package consists of 20’ ‘Rosario’ alloys, aluminum door sills and heated steering wheel with paddle-shifters. The Driver Assist includes 360 degree ‘Area View’ camera, Lane Assist and Park Assist.
The car also comes with power lift-gate, power moonroof, 700 watt Dynaudio with 10 speakers and subwoofer, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, navigation, remote start, auto stop/start (you can turn this off), etc.
The Arteon gets off the line without hesitation and builds steam smoothly. Think of it as a family sedan – which it is – and you’ll be fine with its performance. The car makes up for its average straight line hustle with better-than-average athleticism around corners and fairly communicative steering wheel.
Enthusiasts always want more power but the Arteon shines with eye-catching exterior and more than adequate motivation to satisfy family-sedan buyers who want something a little different. (James Park is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.)
2019 VW Arteon
As tested: $53,085
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo four
Power: 268 hp/258 lb-ft
Transmission: 8 spd auto
Fuel: 12.0 litres per 100km (city), 8.6 litres (highway)
Best: stylish exterior, hatchback practicality
Worst: average power, pricy
Competition: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Stinger, Mazda6
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