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Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake review

2020 onwards (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.2 out of 53.2
” The Passat Estate's sexier cousin is a great car in its own right “

At a glance

Price new £44,030 - £60,330
Used prices £17,978 - £41,958
Road tax cost £180 - £570
Insurance group 21 - 35
Get an insurance quote with Mustard logo
Fuel economy 31.7 - 58.9 mpg
Miles per pound 4.6 - 7.5
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types




Pros & cons

  • Looks great
  • Loads of rear legroom
  • Posh, well-built interior
  • Low roofline limits practicality
  • Hybrid model outshone by newer rivals
  • More expensive and less practical than Passat

Written by Tom Wiltshire Published: 31 October 2022 Updated: 31 October 2022


Whatever you do, don’t call the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake an estate. Although it has a longer, taller roofline than its coupe sibling to give more load space, it sacrifices a little practicality for a bit more style.

If the term Shooting Brake has you scratching your head, think of classics such as the Reliant Scimitar GTE and Volvo P1800 ES, both of which followed the same formula. However, while they only had a pair of doors and a tailgate, the Arteon Shooting Brake has four usefully large doors to make accessing the rear seats a cinch. So really, it is an estate by another name – a more stylish alternative to traditional options like the VW Passat Estate or Skoda Superb Estate.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear three quarter
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear three quarter

As you’d expect from something designed to be desirable, it takes only the more powerful engines from the Passat on which it’s based. That means a bare minimum of 150hp, a punchy plug-in hybrid and even a hot 320hp R version.

What’s it like inside?

The Arteon fastback received an update in 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. If it looks and feels familiar in here, it’s because it’s closely based on the Volkswagen Passat’s interior, and save for a few details, they’re largely identical.

There’s a 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.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - interior
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - interior

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.

Depending on which model you choose, the infotainment system’s buttons have been replaced by touchpads – and for those that have, it’s become more complicated, not easier. The steering wheel pads are less-than satisfying than the old buttons, too. It takes a long time to get used to, is too easy to accidentally change something when you’re twirling the wheel, 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. That’s especially worrisome as the controls are mounted low down, just in front of the gear selector.

Practicality and luggage space

The regular Arteon is already a very 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. For reference, the Passat offers up to 1,780 litres with the seats folded. It’s worth noting though that the boot isn’t especially tall – if you’re carrying a large dog, they might feel cramped, and bulkier items won’t slide in as easily as the impressive numbers might suggest.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - boot
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - boot

Plug-in eHybrid versions do have a smaller boot because the hybrid battery is mounted under the boot floor, pushing it upwards. Even so, 455 litres with the seats up is still a useful amount of space.

So it’s practical, good looking and roomy – as you’d expect, and what this tells you is just how impressive the standard Arteon is. As we said at the top of the review, choosing one Arteon or another really comes down to personal preference. Compared with the Passat it’s based on though, it’s not cheap, but paying a premium for style in this instance is probably justified.


All Arteons have good seats and this is the case with the Shooting Brake. The front seats are heavily sculpted, very adjustable and emblazoned with the ‘ergoComfort’ legend. Of particular use for those with long legs is the adjustable length seat squab, which gives additional under-thigh support.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear seats
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear seats

Sporty ‘R’ cars get huggier, Alcantara-clad sports seats which are still very comfortable if not quite as pillowy as the standard pews.

What’s it like to drive?

The 190hp 2.0-litre TSI petrol is arguably all the Arteon you’ll need. It’s a punchy performer, refined at cruising, and happily delivered a 45.6mpg average over 600-miles of testing.

Although it’s quiet and a consumate motorway cruiser, there’s a raspy growl to it when you want it that we really like. The engine note is a lot like a Golf GTI’s, but when you don’t want to push things, there’s still a useful band of pulling power between 2,500rpm and 5,000rpm. What this means is that there’s instant motorway acceleration and no problems from steep inclines.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - front cornering
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - front cornering

The DSG automatic transmission is responsive from a standing start and shifts smoothly, even if you like to manually change gears with the steering wheel’s paddle shifters. It’s programmed to avoid shifting down even under heavy throttle loads, instead using the engine’s torque to gain speed. A 0-62mph time of 7.6 seconds means it happily keeps up with the flow.

If company car tax is a consideration, it’s well worth considering the 1.4-litre TSI eHybrid. This posts an identical 7.6sec 0-62mph time but sits in a far lower BIK company car tax band. It’s not particularly rapid in electric only mode, with just enough oomph to keep up with traffic, but can kick the petrol engine into life after a brief hesitation and combines power sources smoothly. Economy depends entirely on how much running is done in electric mode, but over 50mpg isn’t too hard to achieve with infrequent charges.

At the top of the range is the 320hp four-wheel drive R. It uses the same running gear as the Golf R, but the bigger body does blunt performance slightly. It certainly launches hard off the line (0-62mph takes 4.9sec) and squirts past slower moving traffic with ease, but hot versions of the CLA Shooting Brake and 3 Series Touring feel even more rapid.


This is an excellent long-distance cruiser and is at its best on motorways. Along with ample soundproofing and low levels of wind noise, the Arteon feels planted on the motorway. On its large R-Line wheels and standard dampers it’s not perfect, and although the high-speed ride is settled in town, on poorly-surfaced roads lumps and bumps can filter uncomfortably into the cabin.

Things improve if you’ve selected the DCC adaptive suspension (standard on the eHybrid and R) as it allows you to soften things off even more. It still fidgets a little over scruffy surfaces, especially on 19-inch and 20-inch wheels, while the softest modes to allow a bit too much float and wallow on undulating roads, though.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear tracking
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear tracking

There’s little wrong with the handling of standard, although there’s not much to inspire you either. Grip levels and overall body control are good, but it’s lacking in the responsiveness you get from a Peugeot 508 SW. There’s a little bit of a delay between turning the steering wheel and the wheels reacting to your inputs, and there’s some bodyroll under hard cornering, but most drivers won’t find it anything other than safe and grippy.

R versions four-wheel drive systems do add an extra layer of driver involvement, proving happy to send a dollop of power to the rear wheels to help tighten your line when exiting a corner. A 3 Series Touring is still a little more nimble, but the Arteon Shooting Brake R is exceedingly capable for such a big car and able to entertain a little when pushed hard.

Ownership costs and maintenance

Fuel economy ranges from very good to barely acceptable depending on which model you go for. Unsurprisingly, the thirstiest is the sporty Arteon R – even on a long run, the best we saw from this car was 35mpg. Not bad for a performance model, but still pricey.

The 190hp petrol won’t be much better, though you might see 40mpg if driven carefully. For predictable low running costs, you’ll want the diesel, which should top 55mpg with ease.

VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear tracking
VW Arteon Shooting Brake - rear tracking

We ran a plug-in hybrid Arteon for six months and noted a few things. First, while its all-electric range of around 25 miles may not be the best in class, it’s still useful and should allow most drivers to run the majority of their errands or commute entirely on EV power. With that being said, it’s not a particularly efficient EV – unless you have solar panels or a cheap overnight tariff, it may even be cheaper to not plug your Arteon eHybrid in.

Driving with a fully discharged battery, your economy’s very dependent on your right foot – we saw between 40mpg and 48mpg.

What models and trims are available?

The Arteon Shooting Brake’s range is straightforward, with three models and a range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid engines to choose from. Model lines are the entry-level but well-equipped Elegance and sporty R-Line and hot R.

What else should I know?

We reckon its closest rival will be the Arteon fastback (or ‘Gran Turismo’ according to Volkswagen). Anyone looking at that stylish Volkswagen will clearly also consider this one – and it will come down to personal preference on styling as to which one you go for.

However the Arteon Shooting Brake will also be high on your list if you’re looking for a stylish lifestyle-oriented five-door estate. You certainly have more options than you did a few years ago. The Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake and Peuegeot 508 SW are very similar in concept, and for a cheaper and smaller option there’s also 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.

Read our verdict to see if we recommend the VW Arteon Shooting Brake…

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