Volkswagen Arteon Review

A sporty executive saloon to take on the premium carmakers, the Arteon is a different type of Volkswagen

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Sleek looks
  • Spacious interior
  • Well equipped
  • Not exciting to drive
  • Limited range of engines
  • Expensive
Volkswagen Arteon prices from £15,990.
Finance from £276.01 / month.

With fewer car buyers choosing traditional saloon cars, manufacturers are instead attempting to attract them with sportier models.

The new Volkswagen Arteon is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Replacing the Passat, it will compete with the likes of the Mercedes CLS, Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, Volvo S60 and the Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport.

Described by Volkswagen as an ‘avant-garde gran turismo’, the Arteon is a sleek and sporty fastback executive saloon that is designed to carry five passengers in comfort, but also to catch the eye when on the road.

The design is the first of a new look for the German carmaker, with the radiator and grille merging at the front. This fits in with the flat surfaces, sharp lines and swooping roofline to make the Arteon an attractive proposition that will appeal to many buyers in the executive market. It’s certainly a departure from the conservative design we usually see from VW.

Inside, there’s lots of space, with room for three adults in the rear: even the coupé-like roof shape enables six-footers to sit in the back with enough headroom, while at the same time there’s lots of legroom. There’s also a 563-litre boot, larger than all of its rivals, to swallow up luggage or the weekly shop.

The interior is also well designed, with high-quality materials throughout, including tactile, soft-touch materials on the upper surfaces and leather and Alcantara on the seats. Connectivity options are abundant – there's Volkswagen’s Car-Net apps, smartphone syncing with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – and a 9.2-inch glass touchscreen that is operated with gesture control.

The engine choices are straightforward – three diesels, and three petrols. Theres a lot of performance on offer, but none of them have particularly impressive economy figures.

The Arteon’s ability on the road is pretty much as you’d expect from a Volkswagen: consistently accomplished, without being outstanding, it handles well, thanks in part to the adaptive dampers that enable the driver to change the driving mode. The ride isn’t perhaps quite as accomplished, with the 20-inch wheels playing a part in amplifying any bumps, humps and potholes, but Comfort mode helps to sort things out.

The Arteon is an interesting proposition as a relatively niche car. It will have appeal to buyers in the market for a sporty saloon, but at around £38,000 to £40,000 (prices are yet to be confirmed), it’s very much pitched at the premium sector. With badge kudos very important to buyers at this level of the market, it’s debatable whether the Arteon can compete with a BMW, Audi or Mercedes.

In and of itself, the Arteon is a good car, but the price and fact that it is competing with cars with more desirable badges could make buyers resist its charms.

Key facts

Warranty Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size 563/1,557 litres
Width 1,871mm
Length 4,862mm
Height 1,450mm
Tax (min to max) £140-£200 in the first year, £140 thereafter

Best Volkswagen Arteon for...

Best for Economy – Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TDI 240PS

With just one diesel and one petrol engine on offer, it’s no surprise that the diesel is the more efficient option, with figures of 47.9mpg and 152g/km.

Best for Performance – Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 280PS

The 2.0 TSI bi-turbo engine produces a healthy 280PS, leading to an impressive 5.6-second 0-62mph time


  • 2015: Arteon previewed at the Geneva Motor Show as the Sport Coupe Concept GTE
  • 2017: Arteon in production form unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show
  • August 2017: Order books open
  • September/October 2017: First deliveries to UK customers start

Understanding Volkswagen Arteon names

Trim level Elegance

So far there are only two trim levels, sporty R-Line and more comfort-oriented Elegance.

Engine 2.0TDI 240PS

There are two diesel, and two petrol engines, ranging in power from 148hp to 276hp.

Volkswagen Arteon Engines

2.0TDI 150PS, 2.0TDI190PS, 2.0TDI 240PS, 1.5TSI 150PS, 2.0TSI 190PS, 2.0 TSI 280PS

When the Arteon was first launched there was just on diesel and one petrol engine, but now there are three diesels and three petrols. 

The least powerful diesel, the 2.0TDI 150PS, is also the most economical, with an official fuel economy rating of 67mpg. This is mightily impressive, and it never feels that slow either.

Step up to the 2.0TDI 190PS, and the additional 40PS worth of power can be felt. It's quicker and not that less economical either.

The 2.0TDI 240PS diesel has an output of 240PS, returns an official fuel consumption figure of 47.9mpg on the combined cycle and emits 152g/km of CO2. The twin-turbocharged engine, in common with similar engines used elsewhere in the VW range, feels punchy and powerful, which is reflected in its 6.5-second 0-62mph time.

Volkswagen's little 1.5-litre petrol engine, the 1.5TSI, is the slowest of the lot on paper, but it never feels spectacularly slow. And it's not such a bad option if you're doing a lot of town driving.

Next up is the 2.0 TSI with 190PS. It's usefully faster than the 1.5-litre engine above, but for real pace you'll need the 2.0 TSI engine.

The most powerful engine is the 2.0 TSI petrol, producing 280PS, which reduces the 0-62mph time to a hot hatch-bothering 5.6 seconds. It does indeed feel fairly quick on the road and can rival many variants of the six-cylinder Porsche Panamera, on paper. Naturally, the fuel economy suffers as a result of this performance, with just 38.7mpg and emissions of 164g/km.




Fuel economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed








2.0TDI 190PS






2.0 TDI 240PS






1.5TSI 150PS






2.0TSI 190PS






2.0 TSI 280PS






Volkswagen Arteon Trims

R-Line, Elegance

Luxury-oriented Elegance cars will feature LED headlights and rear lights, 20-inch wheels, keyless go system, infotainment system with 9.2-inch glass touchscreen and gesture control, connectivity features (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration), air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, driver alert system and Alcantara/leather seats (heated at the front).

The sportier R-Line cars have design features such as high-gloss black air intakes at the front and special bumpers, chrome-plated exhaust system tailpipe trims, R-Line badging and steering wheel.

Volkswagen Arteon Reliability and warranty

As a brand new model, the Arteon clearly has no previous form against which to judge its reliability. However, it sits on the same underpinnings as a host of other models, from the Audi A3 and Seat Leon to the Skoda Superb and Volkswagen Tiguan. As such, its components are tried and tested by hundreds of thousands – even millions – of buyers.

The 2017 Driver Power survey is also a useful indicator to future reliability, as the Superb is top of the list of the best cars to own, while the Leon is placed seventh.

The Arteon has a standard Volkswagen warranty that covers owners for three years or up to 60,000 miles, which is in line with most of its rivals.

Used Volkswagen Arteon

Used models have already began to creep onto the market, with some substantial savings. Top-of-the-line R-Line models with the petrol engine cost £37,478 from now. But 2017-registered cars with less than 10,000 miles are being advertised for £25,000, a significant £12,478 saving as long as you don’t mind a 67 prefix at the start of your numberplate.