4 out of 5 4.0
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Volkswagen’s updated flagship is a desirable mile-eater

Volkswagen Arteon Coupe (17 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 155 photos

At a glance

New price £32,305 - £42,105
Lease from new From £366 p/m View lease deals
Used price £12,545 - £32,120
Used monthly cost From £313 per month
Fuel Economy 33.2 - 256.8 mpg
Insurance group 21 - 33 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Glamorous five-door coupe style
  • Loads of space for people and luggage
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Great on the motorway

CONS

  • Ride is too stiff in R-Line form
  • Can’t match premium rivals’ image
  • Not an especially green choice
  • ...not so great on B-roads

Volkswagen Arteon Coupe rivals

Written by Keith Adams on

In a world filling up with SUVs of all shapes and sizes, it's great that Volkswagen has brought us the refreshingly sleek and purposeful Arteon to stand out from the crowd. Described by its maker as a five-door 'gran turismo', which plain English means it's a five-door coupe alternative to the Passat, it's undeniably stylish. And it's received a mid-life facelift to gain new trims and a revised engine line-up.

We're glad they haven't messed with the styling of the Arteon, which really does set it apart from the Passat – a car that's so similar to it under the skin. Volkswagen has put a great deal of effort into this car – it might not be the company's flagship as that honour goes to the Touareg, but it's the most glamorous.

Is it smart enough to compete with premium rivals? If you're in the market for this, you're also likely to look at the soon-to-be-replaced BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, its in-house rival the Audi A5 Sportback, and the good-looking Peugeot 508. These are five-door fastbacks, like the Arteon, but you might also want to consider the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar XE and Alfa Romeo Giulia.

What's under the skin?

Although it's similar to the Passat under the skin and shares its dashboard, and many of its engines and transmission options, the Arteon is a very different beast. The roofline is lower and tapers into a practical hatchback, and the doors have frameless windows which contribute to its overall sleekness.

Arteon buyers get a reasonable choice of engines, with a spread of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid (PHEV). All models come with fast-shifting twin-clutch DSG automatic gearboxes as standard, bar the entry-level 150hp petrol and diesels, where you have to pay extra for a self-shifting ‘box.

The mainstays of the engine range start at the 1.5 TSI petrol and 2.0 TDI with 150hp, the 190hp 2.0-litre TSI petrol, and the punchy 200hp 2.0-litre TDI. The TSI eHybrid 220hp PHEV will appeal to tax-conscious buyers when it goes on sale in the spring of 2021, and uses technology shared with the Passat GTE and Golf GTE. Sitting at the top of the range is the 320hp Arteon R, which is also due to go on sale in the spring of 2021.

The range-topping models – the 320hp 2.0-litre petrol and 200hp 2.0-litre diesel – both feature VW’s 4Motion four-wheel drive as standard, which provides strong traction on slippery roads.

What's it like inside?

For anyone who's sat in a Passat, the Arteon will feel very familiar indeed. As they share the dashboard and major controls, how could it not feel samey? But the 2021 facelift has introduced a raft of small changes that help separate the two models.

The Arteon now gets touch-sensitive controls for the climate control system based on the same system used in the Golf 8. It looks more modern and cohesive, while matching the new touch-sensitive controls for the stereo and cruise control system mounted to the steering wheel.

Otherwise it's business as usual with extensive use of high-quality materials and grey trim giving this car a very purposeful air on the inside – even if it fails to match the glamour of its coupe body.

Volkswagen Arteon trim levels

The Arteon is available in four trim levels: SE Nav, Elegance, R-Line and R. The SE is far from entry-level in how it's equipped, and as their names suggest, the Elegance places an emphasis on luxury, and the R Line and R offer a much sportier experience.

Whichever Arteon you go for, you get plenty of equipment as standard, including lots of in-car tech, safety kit and luxurious touches. These include a 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and heated leather seats. R-Line models, meanwhile, gain bolder styling and bigger wheels for a sportier feel, while the R adds even larger wheels.

Other equipment on the options list includes an advanced adaptive Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system – which lets you adjust suspension and steering settings – opening panoramic glass sunroof, a head-up display and upgraded 9.2-inch sat-nav system.

Click through the next few pages to read everything you need to know about the Volkswagen Arteon including its practicality, how much it costs to run, what it's like to drive – and whether we recommend buying one.

Volkswagen Arteon Coupe rivals

Other Volkswagen Arteon models: