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

Slick looks and some interesting options for this sporty estate

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake (20 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £32,765 - £43,110
Lease from new From £366 p/m View lease deals
Used price £21,425 - £30,085
Used monthly cost From £535 per month
Fuel Economy 34.9 - 57.6 mpg
Road tax cost £150 - £475
Insurance group 21 - 29 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Great looks on the outside...
  • ...and a quality act inside
  • Comfortable ride, strong engines

CONS

  • If you want practical, buy a Passat
  • It doesn't feel as special is it looks
  • Touch controls get a thumbs down

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake rivals

Written by Jake Groves on

This one's been in development for a while now, but finally, the great-looking estate version of the Volkswagen Arteon has finally arrived. You might wonder at the Shooting Brake moniker, which harks back to Aston Martin conversions of the 1950s, but in an effort to differentiate from the more utilitarian Passat, this glamorous-looking car gets a nameplate to match.

It sits in the Volkswagen line-up alongside the fastback version we like so much, and is deliberately designed to draw you in with its sharp looks and bang up-to-date technology. The rest of the Arteon Shooting Brake range will roll out throughout 2021, when dealers will be receiving a new plug-in hybrid model and a high-performance R version that we're really looking forward to reviewing.

For those looking for a lifestyle-oriented and highly-stylish five-door estate, your options are less limited than they were a few years back. The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake and Peuegeot 508 SW are very similar in concept, and were joined in 2018 by the interesting Kia ProCeed Shooting Brake. Detect a theme here? Given its pricing, we'd be remiss to point out that the Arteon is also up against our favourite mid-sized estate, the excellent BMW 3 Series Touring.

What's it like inside?

The Arteon has been lightly facelifted for 2021, and the Shooting Brake has all of these revisions from the off. The overall design of the interior has been refined over the outgoing model, with an updated infotainment set-up and revised controls.

There’s a new touch panel cluster for the climate control system as well as touchpads on the steering wheel, new ambient lighting as well as a range of updated trims that feature wood panelling or metallic inserts for the dashboard. You also get predictive adaptive cruise with lane-keeping, traffic jam and ‘roadwork lane’ assistance into what it calls ‘Travel Assist’ – standard on both the Elegance and R-Line models. Either trim is impressively well-equipped.

The infotainment system's buttons have been replaced by touchpads and it’s become more complicated, not easier. The steering wheel pads are less-than satisfying, too, an odd artificial thunk when you press down on it. It takes a long time to get used to and doesn’t make the digital instrument cluster any easier to tackle.

The touch controls on the ventilation dials, too, are a case of making things more difficult than they need to be; you can tap or slide the temperature controls and, while there’s an indent for it that allows your finger to know exactly what it’s pressing, you still have to spend just a little too long looking at where you’re pointing. The ‘Hey Volkswagen’ voice control is good, but sometimes no quicker than controlling things manually.

What's it like to drive?

We've only sampled the 190hp TSI petrol-powered version in R-Line trim so far – and will extend this review when we drive more models. But based on our experience of the Passat and Arteon fastback it's a good all-rounder. In this facelifted Arteon, it's remarkably quiet at speed, with revs being muffled out with what seems like a lot of soundproofing.

Listen out though, and there’s a raspy growl to the engine note a lot like a Golf GTI, with a useful band of pulling power between 2,500rpm and 5,000rpm. We were seeing up to 32mpg from our drives with this engine – naturally, if you’re going to use this for long commutes, a diesel will be better placed for giving you better economy.

The DSG automatic transmission is responsive from a standing start and shifts smoothly, even if you like to manually change gear with the paddle shifters. It’s programmed to avoid shifting down even under heavy throttle loads, instead using the engine’s torque to gain speed. A sub-8.0 second 0-62mph sprint means it happily keeps up with the flow – you’ll have to wait for the Arteon R for a quicker variant.

Arteon Shooting Brake comfort

It's an excellent long-distance cruiser. Along with ample soundproofing, the Arteon has a comfortable ride, even on the large R-Line wheels and standard dampers. You feel well isolated from big lumps and ruts in the road, and that feeling is improved with speed, so the Arteon excels at motorway cruising.

There’s a little bit of a delay between turning the steering wheel and the wheels reacting to your inputs, and there’s some unwelcome bodyroll under hard cornering, but most drivers won't find it anything other than safe and grippy.

Practicality and luggage space

The regular Arteon was already a pretty practical car, space-wise, with the Shooting Brake version offering a negligible improvement for passengers. Rear space is still great, even for tall adults both in terms of head and legroom, and Volkwagen has added some neat details like small pockets in the rear seats for things like your phone.

The estate-shaped boot is 565-litres in volume – putting it roughly on par with the BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A6 Avant and Volvo V90. It’s only two litres more volume than the Arteon fastback, but the difference comes if you fold the seats down – the Arteon Shooting Brake offers 1,632 litres compared to the Arteon hatch’s 1,557 litres.

So it's practical, good looking and efficient to drive – as you'd expect. Compared with the Passat it's based on, it's not cheap either, but paying a premium for style is something car buyers have been prepared to do for years.

Click through to see whether we recommend buying a Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake.

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake rivals

Other Volkswagen Arteon models: