Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy one?

Yes, even though it’s a hard car to recommend on purely rational grounds. We’re happy Volkswagen has made such a good-looking estate to try and counter the unremitting dullness of the Passat Estate. But you’re almost certainly buying the Shooting Brake for its looks – the boot is effectively no larger than the Arteon fastback with the rear seats in place, for starters.

And that’s the thing. Given the straight choice between the Arteon ‘Gran Turismo’ (fastback coupe in non-marketing speak) and the Shooting Brake, we’ll take the latter every day of the week. It might have little more room inside, but it’s just a whole lot more desirable.

We’re not keen on the Arteon’s updated screen and controls – some of it works, some of it doesn’t quite hit the mark. It might get better with familiarity, but don’t count on it. Where it really scores points in its ability to cover massive distances with ease. No doubt – the Arteon is a fantastic motorway cruiser, with an impressive ride even without adaptive damper trickery and a quiet petrol engine.

Which is the best Arteon Shooting Brake for you?

If you’re buying it with your own money, the 190hp TSI petrol model is a brilliant all-rounder and a great combination of performance and economy. In our test period of this model, we easily achieved an average of 45mpg in mixed A-road and motorway driving, despite it being rapid and refined when you need more go.

But if you’re a long-distance driver, and spend all day long in sixth gear, the 200hp TDI also looks to be a great option, with over 50mpg likely to be acheivable. As for the tax-efficient TSI eHybrid PHEV, it makes the most sense if you’re doing mostly short distances with frequent charges, but is surprisingly efficient on a longer trip, too.

The R is harder to recommend if you’ve got your sensible trousers on thanks to a list price that starts with a five and economy that’ll typically be in the low thirties unless you’re enjoying yourself. If you are using all 320hp, economy in the teens is easily achievable. However, if you’re looking for a good-looking, smile inducingly quick, long-distance companion, and have outgrown a more traditional hot hatch, this one will be right up your street.

Is it as good as its premium rivals?

Yes, a BMW 5 Series Touring is better to drive, while the Volvo V90 and Audi A6 Avant all feel much more premium-feeling inside. But the Arteon is cheaper than all of those in cash terms and arguably better looking than the lot. As elegant and appealing as it is, if you’re after the best estate car for the money on rational grounds, you still have to look at the more compact BMW 3 Series Touring first.

But if you’re sold on its looks, the Arteon is a good car, and far more than a simple case of style over substance.

Further reading