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Percy and the new VW Arteon long termer

Welcome to the Parkers. VW's super stylish Arteon Coupe

It’s time for a new car on the Parkers fleet. This time Production honcho Percy Lawman smartens up somewhat and joins the gilt-edged world of the slightly higher class.

Over the past year or so, I’ve had a good share of SUV’s and dinky city cars. That’s not to say that I haven’t enjoyed any of them. Far from it, especially the little Suzuki Ignis which propelled me from Land’s End to John O’ Groats not in style but on £60 worth of fuel and bags of fun in the process. I’d do it again tomorrow.

However, it’s time to ramp up a notch and enter a slightly more sophisticated arena.

Time to dump the jeans and T-shirt’ instead grabbing my swanky Eton shirt and a splash of Hugo Boss Intense. So now we’re smart, looking the part and smelling pretty good (well better than usual) – let’s take a look at VW’s brand new Arteon Coupe and see if we’re suave and debonair enough to mix in this elite club.

Percy smartens up

VW’s new Arteon was released in September of 2017 and was the replacement for the now defunct VW CC which ran from 2012 to 2016. When you first look at the car, it looks really long and sleek. Well it would especially with a wheelbase of nearly 3m and an overall length of just less than 5m, its long that’s for sure. On styling it’s more like a ‘Fastback’ than a Coupe, having a large elongated and stretched ‘hatchback’ style boot lid just reaffirms that fact.

The range has two basic top level trims – ‘Elegance’ and ‘R-Line’, the R-line being the sportier of the two options. The Elegance offers premium class equipment and features chrome styling, matt chrome door mirror caps, frameless side windows and 18” Muscat alloy wheels as standard. Once inside the premium style continues with ‘ergoComfort’ sports seats in Nappa leather.

VW Arteon - main interior image

The R-Line puts even more sportiness at the heart of the Arteon. With a sporty design and style, it features gloss black ‘C’ signature air intakes, a black rear tailgate spoiler and 19” Montevideo alloy wheels as standard. The go-faster design is complimented inside with the ‘ergoComfort’ Sports seats in Nappa/Carbon leather and R-Line embossed logo and a dark colour ‘Mistral’ headliner. 

With either trim level, it’s a super cosy environment to be in and feels extremely plush.

At the time of writing, pricing for the Elegance range starts at £33,760 and for the R-Line at £34,825. You can however have the Arteon with DSG, four-wheel drive (VW’s 4-MOTION) and a detuned 272PS Golf R engine for just under 40 grand. The later certainly sounds a temping proposition.

VW Arteon - Boot open

Externally the Arteon has an impressive nine colour options including five shinny metallic and two ‘Pearls’. The ‘Black Pearl’ must have been conceived after watching ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ but one pretty bold and brash spray job that would get even Jack Sparrow chatting is the Plutonium induced Turmeric yellow metallic which looks fresh out of Chernobyl. It’s a real head-turner and a fellow colleague mentioned that onlookers were stunned by it causing plenty of mainly positive gossip.

The Arteon is available in six powertrain variants; it's a 50% split across the range with three in petrol and three in diesel. On the petrol front the base level and lowest power output of the bunch is the 150PS version. This is also joined by the 190PS and the maxed out petrol-headed 272PS variant. The diesel options include both 150 and 190PS versions and a 240PS BiTDI dual turbo diesel.

The new Arteon has also scored a maximum of 5 Stars achieving outstanding results in the latest Euro NCAP tests. The independent European consumer protection organisation gave Volkswagen's new fastback model its highest rating.

So onto our own car. KW68 JWC is our newest long-term recruit and is an Arteon R-Line 1.5-litre TSI EVO 150 PS 7 speed DSG variant in Atlantic blue metallic paint. Priced standard at £34,825 it includes £895 delivery, VAT, £205 ‘first year rate’ VED and £55 registration fee.

Manufacturer data gives an overall combined fuel consumption of 40.0mpg using the new WLPT figures, the insurance group is 21E, a CO2 output of 136g/km and a 0-62mph of 8.9 seconds.

VW Warranty is 3 years or 60,000 miles which is enhanced by a body protection warranty of 12 years that’s included as standard.

Additionally, the car has the following factory fitted options.

The additional options increase the price to £38,230

You can check out the full specifications of our own car here.

Out and about – first driving impressions

Here's a few early on observations.

No rear wiper?
No, they haven’t forgotten to fit one but with the smooth silken lines of the Arteon, VW have not included one by design. Some winter mornings proved difficult with the rear view being well concealed with tiny water droplets. However when you get underway these do disappear after a fashion – but not straight away. It’s the same on the Audi A5 Sportback so must be an Audi/VW ‘thing’ and I put it down to aesthetics taking precedence over functionality.

For most of the time it’s not an issue as when you get up to speed, the water droplets tend to run down the heavily angled rear windscreen, but I did encounter times, especially when cruising through my village on early morning winter starts, when a rear wiper would have been a pleasant addition.

VW Arteon obscured rear screen

Sat Nav – Degree level navigation
OK so you need to a degree in English to convince the Sat-Nav that some places exist.

I hastily put in ‘Kings Lynn’ into the navigation system, only to see that it didn’t seem to exist. I thought for a moment that an interstellar war had just started and the Fenland town in the East had been vaporised by aliens.

VW Arteon - Kings Lynn navigation error

It took me a good 5-10 minutes to work out that without the dreaded ‘Apostrophe’ the navigation stubbornly refused to work out where I wanted to go. Phew – panic over, Lynn is still there!

I feel it’s a limitation and a small software tweak would be a welcome addition to give the user a ‘prompt’.

VW Arteon - Nav error Kings Lynn found

Suspension boffins
Staying with the extremely well educated, VW’s suspension people seemed to have really nailed it when it comes to the ride quality. Here’s a hearty big thumbs up to a suspension and ride that’s exceptionally well-tuned to the real-world and a variety of different road conditions.

Take it on the open road of motorways and ‘A-Roads’ and the ride is smooth and quiet. It’s what you’d expect from this level of luxury. I suppose it’s akin to driving a sofa without the bouncy and saggy bits in the middle. But motorways and ‘A’ roads are only part of the story.

Blighty seems to have more than the world’s fair share of pot-holes and our Fenland back roads have a unique character about them and the boggy flat marshland that most are built upon seem permanently wet. Throw in the odd 17 ton 6m wide agricultural vehicle and plenty of mud and this makes a great recipe for a ride akin to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Disney's Thunder Mountain Railroad

But enter the VW Arteon. Here that roller-coaster ride evaporates into a smooth gentle glide. I think the suspension engineers may have spent a day or so cruising the Fens (and playing on Thunder Mountain) as they have certainly cracked the problem and very well indeed. Yes you feel the odd rise and fall – but that’s all it is. There no bumping, banging, clanging or the like, it just a subdued gentle undulating experience.

Is the boot closed or not?
The boot seems to have a mind of its own. The ‘open/close’ is achieved manually on our model (some have an auto mechanism) so for us we have to pull down quite hard on the boot handle. Saying that, on more than one occasion and even with a firm pull, the boot ‘Open’ warning light is displayed on the dashboard.

VW Arteon - Boot open error

Given the warning, I tried again with the same result. The boot panels all look good and ‘True’ and seemed to be flush with the other body work panels so it wasn’t something that we could identify visually. I tried again, this time pushing both outer boot edges and closing it with quite a ‘slam’ and this worked. No warning light was showing so the car was happy  - problem solved.

Practicality

You can fit 300 shopping trollies in the boot
That boot is big – really big and true, you can actually fit a few hundred shopping trollies in the boot. Actually at 563 litres it’s big enough for most but when the rear seats are folded down you get a mahoosive 1557 litres. This all bodes really well for the requisite shopping trip, so we drove down to Aldi to see if the Arteon was capable of consuming enough shopping to keep you going for eons.

VW Arteon - Shopping trolley

As expected, the Arteon’s really large mega-litre boot space was not flinched by our effort to fill it. In our case we didn’t even have to lower the rear seats so it has plenty of space for a shopping run for a large family and with room to spare.

VW Arteon - Aldi shopping trip

The heated rear-view wing mirrors
These work very well. Most of us end up having to clear our mirrors on those cold and frozen winter mornings, but the Arteon seems to have nuclear powered heaters in the mirrors and they work extremely fast.

VW Arteon - heated wing mirrors

A frozen morning had plenty of ice on the mirrors which was then cleared within a couple of minutes. It’s this sort of practicality that we like.

Throttle response
One item of interest on the Arteon is the responsiveness of the DSG gearbox. I noticed a slight lag in the response being fed back to the driver. This was even more pronounced when the engine was cold when you’d throttle the car there was a hefty delay before any action occurred. It was a case that you couldn’t really gently ‘feather’ the throttle in. It required a much more firm positive response.

When slowing down (coming into a roundabout for instance), you needed to throttle back up to get into ‘that gap’ in the traffic and you'd find the response was not immediate and being almost ‘woolly’ in its feel.

This required a change in driving style somewhat and I was conscious about having the throttle already slightly ‘open’, almost pre-empting the delay to some degree thus minimising the lag.

I was keen to grab a second opinion from my colleague Lawrence who’s running exactly the same 150ps engine in his Audi Q3. This makes for a good comparison.

Here’s Lawrence’s comments.
“The biggest reservation we have so far is that it needs heavy throttle inputs before it responds. It's fine on the move when it will down change for you when you need to pick up the pace, but it's way behind our BMW M140i and its telepathic response. The hesitation when setting off at standstill at junctions is what kills it though".

So you want one – If you fancy buying a brand new VW Arteon

Here we'll show you how to get your hands on a brand new VW Arteon and we’ll navigate through the various finance options giving you some pointers on what the outlay will be. As we’re always impartial, we’ve selected some alternatives to the Arteon to give you a fair comparison against some of its rivals.

However, finance is just one of many options which helps you to get your hands on some new metal. So if you’ve not got a suitcase of notes hidden under the bed or scooped the lottery, then a personal loan may be another popular option. Ultimately you will own the car and there are no mileage restrictions – so it's an option that’s always worth considering.

On the flip-side there are many tempting monthly PCP and PCH finance options. If you’re in the dark about some of the finance jargon, then see further down this article as we get the assistance and expert help of the Parkers Finance Editor, Murray Scullion.

VW Arteon - front three quarters facing right

Personal Loan
CAR: Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 1.5-litre TSI EVO 150 PS 7 speed DSG*

Typical personal loan example: Tesco Bank, £31,000 over five years.
APR 6.6%
60 monthly repayments: £605.22
Total repayable £36,313.20
Cash price £30,754 (fleetprices.co.uk). This saves £4071 on the RRP of £34,825.
Tesco were the only personal loan company who advertise loans above £25,000
Tesco loan information here
Purchase your Arteon here

PCP Monthly Finance
CAR: Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 1.5-litre TSI EVO 150 PS 7 speed DSG*

Loan period: 48 months
Monthly payment: £449.88
Annual mileage: 10,000 miles
Customer deposit: £1482.50
Manufacturer deposit contribution: £2000
Typical APR: 3%
On-the-Road cash price: £34,825
Total amount payable: £34,487
See the latest deals here with VW
See the latest deals on Parkers.co.uk with our partners at Zen Auto

So, we’ve initially looked at two examples to purchase a brand new Arteon. One through an independent online retailer and one using the manufacturers PCP finance offers but what about its rivals which includes Audi's A5 Sportback, BMW's 4-Series Gran Coupe and the Vauxhall Insignia Grandsport.The Arteon sits in quite a niche market so the opposition are equally as keen to get their hands on your hard-earned cash.

VW Arteon finance comparison vs Audi A5 Sportback

PCP Monthly Finance (Manufacturer Sourced)
CAR: Audi A5 Sportback S Line 35 1.4 TFSI 150PS S Tronic auto*

Loan period: 47 months
Monthly payment: £359
Annual mileage: 10,000 miles
Customer deposit: £7647
Manufacturer deposit contribution: £2500
APR: 5.9%
On the road cash price: £37,235
Total amount payable: £42,096
See the latest deals here with Audi


VW Arteon finance comparison vs BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe

Personal Loan - Outright purchase
CAR: BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe 420i M Sport (Professional media) auto*

Typical personal loan example: ASDA money, £25,000 over five years.
APR 2.8%.
60 monthly repayments: £446.60
Total repayable £26,796
Cash price £36,105
Asda maximum personal loan is £25,000.
Buyer will need to find the £11,105 shortfall prior to purchase.
Asda loan information here

VW Arteon finance comparison vs Vauxhall Insignia Grandsport

PCP Monthly Finance
CAR: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport Elite Nav 1.5 165PS Turbo auto*

Loan period: 37 months
Monthly payment: £513
Annual mileage: 10,000 miles
Customer deposit: £2,000
Manufacturer deposit contribution: £1900
APR: 6.5%
On the road cash price: £28,830
Total amount payable: £32,303 
See the latest deals here with Vauxhall
See the latest deals on Parkers.co.uk with our partners at Zen Auto

Here's a brief comparison between all four cars
Volkswagen Arteon
+ Great ride with a beautifully tuned suspension
- DSG gearbox can be quite sluggish at times 

BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe
+ Looks, practicality and a great choice of engines and equipment
- Four-cylinder diesels could be more refined

Audi A5 Sportback
+ Great interior and super slick S Tronic automatics
- Most expensive of the bunch

Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
+ Best for price - works out at over £5000 cheaper than it's nearest rival (Arteon)
- Unadventurous styling and quite a small boot

Conclusion:
The Arteon makes a great PCP deal given VW's current very low and highly tempting 3% APR finance offer. The monthly repayments are low and you’re not paying too much in interest charges. It's a great way to put some brand new metal on your drive. You also have the option to keep the car after the 48 month contract period. If you decide on this route then the final payment of £12,850 makes for a good all-round proposition. Pay this and the car is yours. The Insignia Grand Sport is tempting because of it's low price (£28,830) compared to the BMW (£36,105), the A5 (£37,235) and the Arteon at £34,825. So between all four cars, there's quite a range in pricing.

Understanding car finance and avoid the pitfalls
Read through our expert finance tips by the Parkers editorial team.

https://www.parkers.co.uk/car-finance/advice/
https://www.parkers.co.uk/car-finance/advice/2016/car-finance-explained-what-is-pcp/

More reading - Parkers Dealwatch
Grab the best PCP and PCH deals (updated monthly).

*Deals are correct at time of publication. Everyone’s financial circumstances are different and credit is not always available – Parkers cannot recommend a deal for you specifically. These deals are indicative examples of some packages available this week.

A longer jaunt - we take the Arteon out for a weekend in Norfolk and Suffolk

Over the course of running our long termers, I was due to travel for a weekend to Norfolk and Suffolk so I hoped to mix in a varied array of differing road conditions and surfaces. I’d already given the car a good test on minor roads locally and the very poor Fenland roads gave the suspension the ultimate workout. But what about a weekend out mainly on ‘A’ roads and a few fast dual carriageways?.

What first becomes apparent is how well the Arteon performs as a premium long distance cruiser. The car eats the miles and on the open road, particularly faster dual carriageways and motorways, the car is extremely quiet in the cabin as is munches through its journey at pace and with ease.

First port-of-call was Holkham Hall. It’s a good stop off location for photos and also provides a few hours browsing the grounds and treating the grandkids to an ice cream.

VW Arteon at Holkham Hall - Norfolk

We then took the winding A149 across North Norfolk via Blakeney and Sheringham to Cromer. It’s a bit of a stop-start affair especially over the weekends when the weather is good as the volume of traffic can increase significantly. It’s here the Arteon’s DSG performance showed it short comings and I eventually changed the car into ‘Sport mode’ which made things a little more responsive.

Sheringham is one of the most popular stop offs in North Norfolk so we did the requisite trip on the North Norfolk Railway (NNR) taking the steam loco down the 'Poppy Line' to Holt and back. The NNR always appears on our agenda and is a great trip for the kids.

NNR - Sheringham station

So onto Cromer and it was time for a quick photo opportunity of the Arteon. Not so easy as the place was pretty busy with day trippers making the most of some good weekend weather - but I did manage to find a small cul-de-sac which overlooked the sea front.

VW Arteon - Cromer sea front

By mid-afternoon the temperature had picked up to around 26 degrees so we decided to engage the Arteon’s on-board air-conditioning. The system sparked into life and immediately cooled down the cabin within a couple of minutes or so. The air-con temperature setting seems to indicate that the cool air blows out at a temperature below 16 degrees as the setting below the 16 degrees threshold is ‘LO’. This worked very efficiently.

However, this was a mere hint at what was to come. On Thursday 25th July 2019 the temps in Eastern England hit a sizzling 37 degrees. Everything had gone ballistic but again the Arteon’s air-con was engaged and it made pretty light work of bringing the cabin temperatures down to a comfortable level.

Peterborough 37 degrees

So after an overnight stay and on from Norfolk we travelled South from Cromer to Southwold in Suffolk. Southwold is a great stop-off and by now everyone was ready for a little refreshment, so I managed to drag the wife and grandkids down to Adnam’s brewery for quick whistle stop tour and a chance to buy a few bottles of ‘Dry Hopped Lager’  (Any excuse as they say!)

On a marathon
It’s on these longer, faster routes that the Arteon really shines - stretching its legs like a finely honed marathon runner, I suppose it’s a bit like Mo Farah on wheels!. It demolishes the miles with ease and in extreme comfort. Cabin noise is absolutely nearly zero and it’s a fast hassle free adventure. In all we couldn’t fault it and you arrive feeling pretty fresh.

VW Arteon round up - what's hot and what's not..

Here's some of the thing we love about VW's spanking new Arteon and likewise what didn't quite hit the mark with us

What’s hot...

  • Sleek smooth styling lines - it looks great
  • Cavernous boot, will take a large shopping trip with ease
  • The suspension setup is excellent for UK roads
  • Silent inside the cabin and acres of space
  • First-class dealer support and servicing options
  • Body protection warranty of 12 years that’s included as standard
  • It’s a great PCP buy with a low APR – See how to purchase on finance here
  • It’s even a better Ca£h purchase - see your local dealer or search some great online deals like this one
  • Good depreciation residuals
  • Excellent 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating

What’s not...

  • We could only manage an average mpg of around 34 even using 'real-world' WLTP figures. We couldn’t hit the magic 40mpg mark
  • The navigation system would benefit from a software upgrade when searching places
  • The DSG didn't quite gel. At times it was quite sluggish
  • The view from the rear window was sometime obscured by water droplets

    Percy Lawman, Production Manager, Parkers - July 31st 2019
Latest Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 1.5 TSI 150PS DSG auto stats
Current mileage
5980
Real-world average fuel economy
34.13 mpg
Official combined fuel economy (WLTP)
40.0 mpg
Joined Parkers fleet
January 2019