The Volkswagen Arteon is one of VW's new kids on the block. Launched in 2017 as a five-door coupe version of the Passat, and a replacement for the similarly styled Passat CC, the Arteon exudes style and quality.
Its sleek profile and low roofline give it an edgy, modern look, and Volkswagen has made sure that the Arteon is a high-quality product that can compete for head and shoulders with its executive rivals from sister company Audi and beyond.
More recently a "shooting brake" estate version has been added to the range, which only serves to add to the Arteon's kerb appeal.
Let's have a more detailed look at the Arteon.
The Arteon may look like an elegant customer but underneath you will find much of Volkswagen's tried and tested Passat, meaning that it will be almost faultlessly reliable.
It shares many of its components including engines, transmission and the interior with its sibling, which is evident when you sit in a very similar cabin. But somehow the Arteon feels a little bit more special. While VW describes it as a "gran turismo" coupe and has features such as frameless doors, it actually has a rear opening hatch rather than the enclosed coupe boot that you might expect, so it offers a surprising amount of practicality when it comes to load-lugging. The Arteon is a large car and has plenty of legroom for four adults, although taller rear passengers might find the low roofline a challenge.
The Arteon is offered with a range of petrol and Diesel engines to suit your needs, and a plug-in hybrid is forthcoming in 2021, which will no doubt filter into the used market towards the end of the year.
The interior is designed around comfort with luxurious materials and a relaxed driving experience. The ride is cosseting, but this is not quite the case in sportier models with harder suspension and larger wheels, so if you'd like a floaty, wafting driving experience, it's worth avoiding these.
Safety is paramount in the Arteon with plenty of active and passive safety systems, which helped it earn a five-star rating in its Euro NCAP crash test.
The Arteon sets itself a step above its Passat sister, so the trim and engine options start at a higher point. The petrol choices start with a 1.5 TSI with 150bhp, followed by a 2.0 TSI with 190bhp. There's also a rather swift 272bhp version of the 2.0 TSI. 2021 will also see the addition of the awesome Arteon R which will deliver power in spades with its 320bhp 2.0 TSI four-wheel drive unit.
For those who need the fuel economy of a Diesel, the Arteon offers a 2.0 TDI with 150bhp, and an upgraded version with 200bhp. The 200bhp model also comes with VW's 4Motion four-wheel-drive system, which is a great extra benefit, so if you can afford the extra it's well worth plumping for the more powerful version.
The 150bhp models come as standard with a manual gearbox and the option for a DSG automatic, whereas all other models are DSG as standard, highlighting Arteon's reputation as a relaxed long-distance cruiser.
There are three trim levels available on the Arteon, starting with the SE, but in reality, there is nothing "entry-level" about the SE because VW wants the Arteon range to be prestigious. You get a touchscreen offering a range of functions including a sat-nav as standard, alloy wheels and parking sensors to the front and rear. Elegance gives you extra luxury goodies such as heated leather seats, keyless entry and a rear reversing camera. The sporty R-Line offers 19" alloy wheels, rear privacy glass, a sunroof and a nifty LED interior lighting system which offers you a choice of 30 colours.
As it's based largely on the Passat and because it's a relatively new model on the used market, you should have few problems with the Arteon. Look out for Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) issues on cars that have spent their lives driving in town or on short journeys because they can become blocked and cause all manner of problems.
Keep it serviced on time and change age-related components such as cambelts when they need, to prevent potentially catastrophic failures. If you're looking at higher mileage versions, look for interior wear, especially on the seat bolsters where occupants have got in and out of the car.
Stretch your budget to higher-spec models and the more powerful engines if you can, because of the extras such as four-wheel drive and heated leather seats.
If you're thinking about an R-Line version for its sporty styling, test drive it alongside an SE or Elegance to make sure you don't find the ride too stiff in comparison.