The Car Connection Volkswagen Arteon Overview
The Volkswagen Arteon has a secret. It’s not just a stylish sedan with a fastback body. It’s actually a hatchback that can swallow 55 cubic feet of cargo with its rear seats folded flat.
The Arteon tops the VW lineup and it went on sale in mid-2019 after debuting more than a year before at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show.
With the Arteon, VW has a rival for the Nissan Maxima, Acura TLX, and Honda Accord.
MORE: Read our 2020 Volkswagen Arteon review
A 268-horsepower version of VW’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 sends power to either the front or all four wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on most trims and all-wheel drive is optional. The Arteon comes standard with adaptive dampers that offer a wide array of adjustment, from Town Car plush to sports car firm.
Fuel economy doesn't impress. The Arteon is rated at 25 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and just 23 mpg combined with all-wheel drive.
Underneath, the Arteon shares its structure with nearly every other mid-size VW model, and it stretches about 191 inches from bumper to bumper. Its interior is functional, but not nearly as stylish as its exterior. The plain dashboard has controls arrayed conveniently around an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment. Up front, 12-way power-adjustable front seats are standard, and the Arteon has good head and leg room for all passengers.
Rear-seat riders may find the low roofline requires them to duck to slide in, and the short windows limit outward vision especially from the back seat. The sloping roofline doesn’t dent cargo space. With its rear seats upright, the Arteon can swallow about 27 cubic feet of luggage, double many similarly sized sedans. Fold the back seats and that space grows to 55 cubes. The Arteon’s sloping rear window means that it can’t haul big boxes like an SUV, but suitcases and bicycles laid flat are fair game.
The Arteon is offered in three trim levels, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. Base Arteon SEs are hardly lavish with their synthetic leather upholstery, basic gauges, and automatic emergency braking. Arteon SELs add leather, power moonroof, adaptive cruise control, and navigation to better bridge the gap between mainstream and luxury sedans.
It's more expensive than vehicles such as the Honda Accord, but the 2019 VW Arteon comes with a 6-year, 72,000-mile warranty, an outstanding level of coverage for any vehicle.
In 2020 VW reduced that warranty to four years or 50,000 miles, and made 19- and 20-inch wheels and wi-fi standard on some models.