WE all know VW’s best sellers like the Golf and Polo, which are a common sight on our roads, but there are some of the brand’s motors that are seen a lot less.
For example, many of us have yet to hear of the Arteon – which is a shame because it is a super smooth saloon with all the kit you could need.
Mind you – a lot more people will have seen the big five door after I drove it around for a week as the R-Line 2.0-litre TDi version, the best-selling model in 2018, came in a striking gold colour which was very hard to miss.
There was plenty of performance from the 1,968cc oil burner motor which has over 180bhp meaning 0 to 60 takes just 8 seconds and gives a top speed of 148, yet it can deliver a claimed 57.6mpg on a long run.
As you would expect from VW’s flagship model it has eye-catching looks and a tech-filled interior and our test car in R-Line trim features exterior touches for a sportier appearance.
A wheelbase of 2,837mm gives best-in-class legroom. Luggage space is a generous 563 litres, with 1,557 litres available when the rear seats are folded. Two trims are offered in the UK, our sporty Arteon R-Line and the luxurious Arteon Elegance.
While performance is brisk, especially in sport mode, the Arteon is at its best as a motorway cruiser. Similar in size to the VW Passat the Arteon boasts a stylish coupe body clearly aimed at tempting buyers away from the more expensive Audi and BMW equivalents.
You can choose from two petrol engines – a 148bhp 1.5-litre and a 2.0-litre with either 187bhp or 268bhp – and a 2.0-litre diesel engine with outputs of between 148bhp and 237bhp. All except the cheapest diesel model feature a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, while four-wheel-drive is fitted on the most powerful petrol and the two most expensive diesels.
Our test car’s fuel economy was impressive given that this is a big motor and I suspect VW’s claimed figures are achievable as I drove the Arteon around for a week without the fuel gauge moving very much.
The Arteon is designed to cover long distances and, as we have come to expect from VW, the interior and build quality are top-notch. In addition the driving position is very comfortable and rear seat space generous – even with that sloping roof. VW has fitted the Arteon with a sophisticated infotainment system which features an excellent sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Also on the standard kit list are an eight inch colour touchscreen, eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth audio and telephone connectivity, and Volkswagen Media Control, which allows remote access to the infotainment system via a compatible smartphone or tablet device.
Other standard-fit highlights include: digital instruments; 18-inch alloy wheels; LED self-levelling headlights; LED tinted rear lights; Nappa leather upholstery; electronic air conditioning; a new generation of adaptive and predictive cruise control which uses GPS-based road data to ‘see’ speed limits and adjust the car’s speed on approaching bends, roundabouts and junctions while the Arteon’s LED headlights can also turn into a bend.
Emergency Assist now includes a system which means that if the driver becomes incapacitated it slows the car down and flashes the hazard lights as well as steering it into the slow lane, traffic behind permitting.
The standard Arteon comes in at £37,575 but our test car was awash with extras which took the on the road price up to £45,110
These included 360 and rear-view camera, Park Assist, sound insulating laminated safety glass, light-absorbing at the rear, tyre pressure monitoring, head-up display, keyless entry with electrically-operated tailgate, Dynamic Chassis Control and lowered sport.suspension, panoramic sunroof, electric massage front seats, premium sound system and Side Assist Plus with rear traffic alert.
More information at www.vw.co.uk
By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth