2019 Volkswagen Arteon first drive: Flagship fastback feels familiar

    Meet Volkswagen’s new flagship: the 2019 Arteon. And no, it isn’t an SUV. It’s a sedan… form of. The religious successor to VW’s CC includes a liftback design — a la Audi’s A5 Sportback. SUVs would possibly occupy a big chunk of the market, however VW believes the Arteon is way extra deserving of the flagship title than even its Atlas SUV.Sleek sportback Physically, the Arteon is 2 inches longer than the CC, which went out of manufacturing in 2017. However, the brand new mannequin pushes its wheels nearer to its extremes, lengthening the wheelbase by 5 inches, which frees up about 3 extra inches of second-row legroom and offers the Arteon a extra planted stance on the highway. The liftback design opens up a bigger aperture for loading cargo and, extra importantly, at 22.7 cubic ft, boasts almost double the cargo house of the previous CC’s trunk. With the second row folded flat, the Arteon can swallow about 55 cubic ft of bric-a-brac.From the A-pillar again, the Arteon’s design is not hiding any surprises. It’s standard-fare VW design with a CC-esque roofline transitioning right into a rear finish that stretches Passat-like design parts round Audi A7-like proportions. Up entrance, nonetheless, the Arteon stands other than the remainder of VW’s lineup with an enormous grille that takes up almost everything of the sedan’s fascia, even integrating the usual LED headlamps and fog lights into the sweep of horizontal chrome bars. Just behind that grille is Volkswagen’s first clamshell hood, stretching from VW brand to windshield and flowing over the edges the place its cutline integrates into the wheel arches.
    All about that boostBeneath that steel clamshell hood, you will discover the one engine accessible for the brand new Arteon: VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen will not be providing the Arteon with a V6 choice. I do not assume most drivers will miss the eight further ponies and eight further pound-feet that VW’s present 3.6-liter V6 engine would provide, so I am okay with simply the boosted four-banger.The 2.0T sends energy to the entrance wheels through an eight-speed, dual-clutch automated transmission with paddle shifters must you really feel like selecting your individual journey. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system is non-compulsory for all trim ranges, and normal on the top-level SEL Premium. Fuel financial system for front-driven fashions is estimated at 22 miles per gallon metropolis, 31 mpg freeway and 25 mpg mixed. With all-wheel drive, the Arteon steps all the way down to 20 metropolis, 27 freeway and 23 mixed mpg.Drivers are in a position to toggle between Normal, Comfort, Eco and Sport drive modes through a button on the middle console. These modes have an effect on the conduct of the responsiveness of the steering and throttle, the effectiveness of the local weather management, the swing of the adaptive lighting and, in fact, the firmness of the usual Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) active-damping suspension. A fifth Custom drive mode grants drivers much more fine-tuned management over the lively dampers with 15 levels of firmness adjustment stretching even past the defaults for many who would possibly desire a trip stiffer than Sport or softer than Comfort.
    AppConnectPrepare your self for dashboard deja vu inside, the place you will discover the Arteon’s normal 8-inch AppConnect infotainment system. Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity are all normal with onboard navigation, subscription-based CarNet distant companies and SiriusXM satellite tv for pc radio accessible as non-compulsory upgrades.VW’s 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit instrument cluster is offered as an choice, and might show a map and turn-by-turn navigation directions. It’s a pleasant improve that makes the VW’s dashboard really feel extra Audi-like. Further boosting the flagship really feel are the SEL Premium trim stage’s Nappa leather-based seats with therapeutic massage, panoramic moonroof and 700-watt Dynaudio stereo improve.The Arteon is offered with Volkswagen’s customizable Digital Cockpit instrument cluster.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Safety techEvery Arteon options normal entrance and facet help security options. The former rolls a ahead precollision warning system in with pedestrian detection and automated emergency braking, whereas the latter is an upgraded model of blind-spot monitoring that additionally watches for autos which can be about to enter the blind spot when altering lanes. Rounding out the listing of normal security options are a rear digital camera, rear cross-traffic alert and post-collision braking that engages the brakes after an impression to cut back the probability rolling right into a secondary collision.At the midtier SEL trim stage, the sedan beneficial properties adaptive cruise management that works in stop-and-go site visitors. My prime trim SEL Premium additional beneficial properties lane-centering steering help, semiautomated parking help and encompass view cameras.Parts bin brillianceOn the highway, the Arteon feels mild, comfy and really acquainted. The modular nature of the MQB platform that underpins it implies that I’ve already skilled (and loved) this suspension, this engine and steering really feel in autos just like the Atlas, Tiguan and Golf. On the floor, the Arteon performs like VW’s Greatest Hits, nevertheless it’s additionally a remix with a singular twist on the acquainted.The Arteon feels acquainted as a result of it remixes parts we have already loved in different VW Group autos.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    The trip is easy and nice with an ease to the steering that feels mild, however not numb, with a responsiveness and directness that I discover satisfying. The turbo-four is an efficient match for a car of this dimension, delivering good off-the-line efficiency and responding to a heavy proper foot with ample acceleration. However, the Arteon would not essentially prefer to hustle. Even in Sport mode, the gearbox is simply too desperate to upshift and the engine sounds buzzy and wheezy at increased revs. Choosing my very own ratios with the paddle shifters makes the expertise extra rewarding, however whereas the Arteon was joyful to bounce from side to side on a extremely technical highway, it by no means felt utterly comfy doing so. And when you might, I am unable to think about why anybody would need to push the DCC past the Sport firmness on a car this dimension.Rather, Arteon feels utterly in its ingredient at a spirited tempo on a extra relaxed nation highway or freeway, the place I might benefit from the extra premium points of its powertrain, suspension and cabin appointments. It’s a really partaking drive for a large-ish midsize sedan, however I might depart the canyon-carving to the GTI.The Arteon will compete with the Kia Stinger when it arrives at dealerships this yr.
    Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow
    Nicely area of interestThe Arteon will face an attention-grabbing mixture of challengers when it arrives in dealerships later this yr, however the closest comparability is the 2019 Kia Stinger 2.0T. The two sportbacks are equally sized and boast very comparable tech and efficiency. The Stinger bends extra sporty whereas the Arteon pushes extra premium at a value that’s increased, however nonetheless aggressive with the Kia.The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon begins at $36,840, together with a $995 vacation spot cost, for the bottom SE mannequin. 4Motion all-wheel drive is a further $1,800. In between is the $40,990 SEL trim that provides adaptive headlamps, Nappa Leather, digital cockpit and adaptive cruise. At the highest of the road is the SEL Premium with an influence handsfree liftback, therapeutic massage seats and all the driver help options for $45,940 delivered.It’s not the most important or most costly mannequin in Volkswagen’s lineup — these accolades belong to the Atlas. But because the model’s chosen flagship, the 2019 Arteon places its greatest foot ahead each as its personal car and as a balanced illustration of VW’s design and efficiency beliefs and most premium options.

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