Review: Volkswagen Arteon (2017)

Rating:

High quality interior with impressive amounts of space, comfortable on the move.

Nothing special to drive. It's not got an Audi badge...

Recently Added To This Review

30 July 2019 New entry-level SE specification for Volkswagen Arteon

The Volkswagen Arteon is gaining a new entry-level SE specification, with prices starting at £33,085. The Arteon SE adds a third level to the Arteon’s trim line-up. With the existing Elegance... Read more

15 July 2019

Ongoing issues with the 1.5 TSI engine with no resolution from Volkswagen. Read more

13 June 2019

Volkswagen Arteon awarded the overall prize at the Practical Caravan Tow Car Awards, claiming the top trophy for its towing talents, in addition to winning its 1,550-1,699 kg weight class. Read more

Volkswagen Arteon (2017): At A Glance

You could describe the Arteon as a posh Passat, but Volkswagen would rather you didn't. It's a replacement for the Volkswagen CC, which in turn was a replacement for the Volkswagen Passat CC - essentially a four-door coupe version of Volkswagen's Ford Mondeo rival.

In truth, the Arteon's more of a rival to the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback than a Passat with sleeker looks. That partly explains the price - the cheapest Arteon you'll get will set you back more than £30k. But if you want a decent slug of performance to go with the image, you'll be looking at spending closer to £40,000.

As a comparison, the A5 Sportback and 4 Series both start at roughly £33,000. Sure, they're not as well equipped at that money, but for most people, an Audi or BMW badge still has more status than a Volkswagen.

So what do you get for the cash? Well the Arteon is certainly very spacious, with huge reserves of rear legroom, a big boot and uber-comfortable seats. It's also refined and relaxing to drive. Ticks a lot of boxes then - but so does a Skoda Superb. And that's a lot cheaper. The question, then, is this: is the Arteon more than just a Skoda in a posh suit?  

Inside it feels like it's got that bit extra. Yes, all the switches and controls are familiar Volkswagen, but there's a new Discover Navigation Pro system - basically a big touchscreen that dominates the dash.

With its glass surround, it feels like a high-end bit of kit and it works very well too, helped by a nicely designed interface with neat graphics. The Arteon also comes with a digital instrument cluster called Active Info Display, which is the same as Audi's virtual cockpit.

There's a wide range of engines to choose from, including an entry-level 1.5 TSI with 150PS. A 2.0-litre TSI with 190PS will be a better choice for most buyers, or you can also choose the same engine with 280PS - because a baffingly powerful engine is what people want in a car like the Arteon, apparently.  Diesel options are made up of a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 190PS, or a 2.0-litre BiTDI with 240PS.

Even in more powerful variants, the Arteon isn't exactly a thrilling drive. But that's not what you buy an Arteon for. If you're looking for something that stands out, feels extremely upmarket but you're not too worried about the badge on the bonnet, the Arteon could be the car for you.

What does a Volkswagen Arteon (2017) cost?

List Price from £37,495
Buy new from £30,097
Contract hire from £212.39 per month

Volkswagen Arteon (2017): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4862 mm
Width 2127 mm
Height 1450 mm
Wheelbase 2837 mm

Full specifications

If the way the Arteon drives leaves us feeling lukewarm, the same can't be said for the interior. It's cosseting, with a superb driving position for even the tallest of drivers.

There's loads of room in the rear, too, despite the swoopy roof which you may expect to hinder headroom. Fitting three in the back might be a struggle, but for two adults it's very comfortable.

The boot is similarly huge, although access is slightly hindered by the high lip which might be challenging for lifting heavy things over. The rear seats are easily dropped should you need to carry bulkier items.

The Arteon gets all the basics right. The driving position is spot-on and taller drivers will appreciate just how far back the seat adjusts. There's also good under-thigh support. The back seats are even better with acres of legroom and once again, very comfortable. That said, the central tunnel means it's a squeeze with three in the back, but headroom is good despite the swoopy roof. The build quality is - as you'd expect given this is Volkswagen's flagship model - impeccable.

You'll struggle to find a cheap-feeling material anywhere in the Arteon's cabin. There's quite a lot of buttons, but that's simply hinting at the high amount of standard equipment. There's an eight-inch colour touchscreen multimedia display in the centre of the dash providing access to navigation, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while a 12.3-inch display behind the steering wheel replaces conventional dials.

The infotainment is easy and clear to use, as well as being fast to react. We'd prefer a physical button for things like the volume control, but that can also be controlled easily on the steering wheel. The landscape screen is easy to read and adds to the premium feel of the cabin.

As a car to spend hours and hours in while covering long motorway journeys, the Arteon is extremely pleasant. It's also well-equipped, with buyers able to choose from just two trim levels: the luxurious Elegance or sporty R-Line. 

Standard Equipment:

Elegance features 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, climate control, Nappa leather heated front seats, Discover Navigation infotainment system with 8-inch colour touchscreen display, LED self-levelling headlights and the 12.3-inch Active Info Display.

R-Line adds 19-inch alloy wheels, Nappa leather and 'Carbon Optic' side bolsters with contrast stitching and R-Line logo, R-Line styling pack and badging.

Child seats that fit a Volkswagen Arteon (2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volkswagen Arteon (2017) like to drive?

The Volkswagen Arteon is good to drive, if not exciting. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, it accelerates perfectly fine and stopping isn't an issue either. Even going around corners is surprisingly civilised for a car of this size with little sign of body roll.

But try to press on and it'll resort to tyre-squealing understeer and make you question your senses. It's just not as rewarding as a BMW 4 Series or Kia Stinger.

For most of us, that won't be an issue. What is more of an issue is that the ride quality lets it down, transferring thumps into the cabin all too eagerly. It's not what you'd expect from a car that appears to major on being a competent and comfortable cruiser, but it could partly be attributed to the 19-inch alloys which are fitted as standard to the R-Line model.

Dynamic chassis control is standard on four-wheel-drive 4Motion models and optional elsewhere in the range. This lets you pick from Eco, Normal, Comfort or Sport modes, firming up the suspension depending on your requirements. Even left in Comfort, the ride is on the brittle side.

There's the usual line-up of Volkswagen Group engines, starting with an entry-level 1.5 TSI petrol producing 150PS.

If you're after a petrol, the 190PS 2.0-litre is the sweet spot in the line-up. Paired with the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox as standard, it's quick enough to make motorway sliproads a breeze, while the claimed  47.1 MPG is pretty good for a car of this size.

You could also opt for a 280PS four-wheel-drive model but, in truth, it's a little pointless. The diesels will sell in much bigger numbers, ranging from a 2.0-litre TDI with 150 or 190PS, or a 2.0-litre BiTDI with 240PS.

Although the diesels are generally refined, they do make quite a grumble under hard acceleration. It's not enough to ruin the quiet nature of the Arteon, but it's noticeable.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.5 TSI 150 54 mpg 9.0 s 119 g/km
1.5 TSI 150 DSG 47 mpg 8.9 s 131 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 67 mpg 9.4 s 112 g/km
2.0 TDI 150 DSG 63 mpg 9.1 s 116 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 61 mpg - 119 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 DSG 61 mpg 8.0 s 122 g/km
2.0 TDI 190 DSG 4Motion 55 mpg 7.8 s 134 g/km
2.0 TDI 240 DSG 4Motion 48 mpg 6.5 s 152 g/km
2.0 TSI 190 DSG 47 mpg 7.7 s 135 g/km
2.0 TSI 240 DSG 4Motion 39 mpg 5.6 s 164 g/km
2.0 TSI 272 DSG 4Motion - - 159–160 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volkswagen Arteon (2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

83%

Real MPG

35–55 mpg

MPGs submitted

19

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.