Volkswagen Arteon 2020 - A stunning executive saloon

The Volkswagen Arteon is a stunning new executive saloon with dramatic styling and oozes class. It is a welcome change from the standard, and somewhat predictable, design traits of the usual Volkswagen. The Arteon looks like a car conceived from the mind of an Italian designer, usually associated with an Alfa Romeo.

Volkswagen has based the Arteon on the outstanding Passat. It's given it a coupe-styled sloping roofline and added a few creases here and there for a glamorous and upmarket appearance. The Arteon is set to take aim at the current premium market leaders, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and the Audi A5 Sportback along with the Jaguar XE and Mercedes C Class.


The Volkswagen Arteon is built the same MQB platform as the Passat but with slightly different dimensions. The Arteon is slightly wider, longer and set with a lower ride height than the Passat, giving a sleeker and sportier appearance. It maintains excellent levels of space and practicality combined with a selection of trim levels and engine choices, which gives an option that will suit any potential buyer of the new Arteon. There are 3 trim levels to choose from entry-level SE, Elegance and R-Line with Elegance being focused more on luxury and R-Line angled more towards the sports side of the Arteon.

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Engines, Power and Performance

There are a variety of petrol and diesel engines to choose from along with 4motion (4WD) or FWD and either a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission or a six-speed manual.

Let's start with the diesel engines; firstly there is the 2-litre turbocharged unit which develops 150hp and 340Nm of torque. It's available with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission and will hit 0-62mph in 9.4sec.


Next is the same 2-litre diesel engine but with power increased to 190hp and 400Nm of torque and is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 7.8secs. This engine is only available with a seven-speed automatic transmission but does have the option to choose FWD or 4Motion AWD.

The final diesel engine in the most powerful and is a 2-litre Bi-Turbo unit developing 240hp and 500Nm of torque which will take the Arteon from 0-62mph in just 6.5secs. You can only get this engine with 4Motion AWD and the seven-speed automatic transmission.

The entry-level petrol engine is a 2-litre turbocharged unit generating 190hp and 320Nm of torque and is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 7.7secs. It is only available with the seven-speed DSG automatic transmission and FWD. The other petrol option is a 2-litre twin-turbocharged engine which develops 272hp and 350Nm of torque. It rockets the Arteon from 0-62mph in just 5.6secs and is only available with 4Motion AWD and seven-speed automatic transmission.

All engines perform extremely well and will run effortlessly up and down the motorway. If you have opted for an Arteon with the seven-speed DSG automatic transmission, then you should enjoy smooth gear changes, and using the flappy paddles located behind the steering wheel can make your driving experience a little more fun.


There are various driving modes you can choose from which are Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual. Each mode changes the dynamic of the gear changes, suspension and steering, giving more or less comfort depending on your driving requirements.

Interior Quality and Technology

The inside of the Arteon is very much your typical Volkswagen interior just spiced up with all the bells and whistles. There's a great amount of standard kit included, even in the entry-level models. Each Arteon comes with the latest VW "Discover" Navigation system with streaming and internet. This infotainment package is controlled via a beautiful 8-inch colour touchscreen and features smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Other standard features include DAB Radio with an eight-speaker sound-system, We Connect Plus (including three years free subscription) and heated front sports seats.


There is a larger 9.2-inch touchscreen available if you choose the optional "Discover Pro" system. Standard on higher-spec models. Another standard feature across all Arteon's is the 12.3-inch digital instrument display, which replaces the old analogue dials. It is a feature Volkswagen call Active Info Display and is their version of Audi's Virtual Cockpit. It looks very impressive and there is also a Head-Up Display option available at an extra cost.

The build quality and use of high-end material is apparent, as soon as you sit inside the Arteon, giving a real sense of premium and luxury quality. The layout and logic of the dashboard and controls are fairly simple. Even for those who may not have owned or been in a Volkswagen before. The cabin and interior is an area where Volkswagen have made small adjustments which are not overly noticeable but all together create a truly sublime fit and finish all owners will be proud to show off.

Space, Practicality and Safety

The Arteon is impressively spacious front and back. Upfront there is lots of legroom and headroom, more than many of its main premium rivals. There is also a generous amount of shoulder space thanks to the slightly wider body compared with the Passat making it feel light and airy.

Moving into the back of the Arteon, space gets even more impressive. It is an area where the Arteon trumps almost all of its rivals, with space to fit three adults comfortably on the rear seat. There is so much legroom it feels like you are sitting in the front passenger seat so even tall adults will have no issue fitting in the back and getting comfortable on long journeys.


There are various storage cubbies throughout the cabin including; a generous glovebox, cupholders, decent-sized door pockets and a  centre console cubby. The boot is extremely spacious (not quite as big as the Passat) but much more practical to use, thanks to a wider opening. With a capacity coming in at an impressive 563-litres rising to a cavernous 1557-litres, with the rear seats folded down both of which trump the Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe.

As you would expect for a car built by the guys at Volkswagen, the Arteon is loaded with the latest and most advanced VW safety assists and features. Some of the safety features are debuted on the Arteon such as; the Adaptive Cruise Control System incorporating the Speed Assistant to monitor speed limits and using sat-nav will automatically adjust the speed. Some of the standard features across all models include hill start assist, lane assist and parking sensors front and rear.

There is also a new version of the Emergency Assist System and blind spot monitoring available as optional extras, standard on some higher-spec models. All of these safety features have helped the Arteon score an impressive 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests.


Overall the Arteon is Volkswagen's attempt to crack into the premium executive saloon market, and it is a great effort. The Arteon is an impressive car with stunning, sleek and sexy looks to give excellent curb appeal that will make your work colleagues jealous and ask lots of questions about it. Is it quite as good as a BMW or Audi? No, not quite, but it's not far away and shouldn't be overlooked.

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Stuart Porro

Stuart is a nationally and internationally recognised automotive content creator. Reviewing cars for some of the biggest names in the four wheeled world, you can catch him right here on Yoauto.
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