Volkswagen has acquired a vast experience in the art of designing and building cars. When they decide to launch a top of the range four seater coupé, it is guaranteed to turn heads. And this the Arteon certainly does. It has stunning, well balanced looks, and the beauty of it is that it also delivers. When it comes to performance, mechanical perfection, economy and build quality, this car certainly reaches for the sky in its class. We had an extended drive in this superb VW… Just read on.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
The VW designers and stylists have translated the angular, clear cut and well proportioned styling language of the present VW range in a very well balanced manner into their top car. It shares the roomy MQB platform with the Passat, and therefore there were enough inches or centimeters to really go for an impressive, finely and elegantly stretched design. Also in the front and rear treatment the emphasis is on this discreet elegance, and this Arteon is never too imposing, too bold, yet evokes very well its premium character. Our test car was sprayed in Oryx White, and this suited the Arteon very well.
It has also beautiful light alloy wheels, especially in the R-Line equipment version we drove. They were so called Rosario 8J x 20 wheels, in matte dark graphite, which formed a nice contrast with the white bodywork.
This premium elegance is continued in the interior, where finely carved accent lines throughout dashboard and door panels evoke space and grace. “Silver Rise” aluminum inserts were found in door panels and dashboard surfaces. The seats were clad in Nappa leather.
Looking more closely one finds many familiar knobs and handles, with icons and virtual digital instrumentation also found on other VW’s and group products. But that does not spoil the pleasure. The materials used are top notch and the clarity of the instruments, dials and the intuitive way things work make you feel very good behind the wheel.
A good seating position was soon found, as the so-called “ergComfort” drivers’seat can be adjusted in not less than 14 directions with memory and massage function for the driver.
The clever use of the available space is also a craft the VW engineers truly master. This means that there is ample, if not massive legroom for the rear passengers, and the boot space is nothing short of cavernous. Its minimum volume is 563 liter…
Our test car came with the two liter TSI petrol engine, delivering not less than 206 kW or 280 HP. Don’t expect a nervous, hissing and roaring sports machine. In slow urban traffic, it is docile as a lamb and barely audible or noticeable, as it moves the Arteon smoothly forward, helped by the silky 7 speed DSG transmission. When you feel in a sporty mood, just choose the desired driving mode, and things really start to happen.
What to think of a 0 to 100 acceleration of 5,6 seconds, and then storming further in a wonderful thoroughbred four cylinder throb to a (regulated) top speed of 250 km/h? All this happens without any noticeable mechanical strain, and this makes the Arteon really a top notch driving machine.
Torque is plentiful, with 350 Nm available throughout a very wide rev range from 1700 to 5600 rpm, with peak power being developed between 5100 and 6500 rpm.
Moving a big powerful sedan through urban traffic can costs energy, if you let it. This means a lot depends on your driving style. We stayed around the 9 liter mark, which makes the manufacturer’s quote of 9,2 liter on the EC cycle quite realistic . On the open road, with more constant (legal) speeds, engine efficiency and high gearing come into play, and consumption figures between 6 and 7 liters can be achieved without effort. Of course, with the impressive stream of power being available, one tends to use it rather more, and this drives the consumption up… CO2 emissions are quite reasonable with 164 g/km.
Agile and predictable handling
All this means that this impressive four seater coupé with a total length of 4862 mm feels totally agile and nimble, despite its 1,7 ton kerb weight.
The MQB platform and superb suspension are of course a condition sine qua non to handle all this drivetrain power and provide premium level driving pleasure.
The Arteon handles quite benign and predictable, will never get you in trouble and can be driven with spirit on winding stretches. Of course, it is a true master on the Autobahnen, with superb straight line stability and spotless high speed handling. Predictive ACC completes the picture when cruising… Of course, the 4Motion 4WD helps stability when roads are slippery, and helps tp master the power of this Arteon…
Comfort is also of very high order, especially when one chooses the comfort mode. One is also soothed with beautiful sound, coming from the “DYNAUDIO Conference” sound system with 700 watt 10-channel digital amplifier, driving a subwoofer and 10 speakers…
Driver assistance systems also make your life more pleasant and safe, what to think of Area View and Rear View camera’s for instance. Our test car also came with the large 9,2 inch screen and the “Discover Pro” navigation. With the digital instrumentation, your chosen route can also be displayed within the instrument cluster, so your eyes can stay focused in line of the road, and don’t need to hover to the centre of the dashboard and back.
Of course there are media connections galore, like Discover Media, App Connect, etc.
If you want a timelessly elegant four seater coupé with plenty of panache, embodying the state of the art engineering and production skills of a global automotive master manufacturer like the VW group, then this car is for you.
It has a discrete elegance and grace, which will complement you for years to come, and is build with all the technical solutions which make it up to date for years, if not decades, as it combines its outstanding performance with an excellent environmental score.
Just enter its space, and let you be moved… as we did
Hans Knol ten Bensel
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