2021 Volkswagen Arteon is more expensive to start, but cheaper at the top

October 21, 2020

The refreshed 2021 Volkswagen Arteon sedan comes with a new look and a new pricing scheme. 

Volkswagen was quick to update the Arteon flagship sedan that debuted for the 2019 model year. It was also quick to streamline the trim levels and adjust the pricing to undercut the Audi A6 and try to compel Volkswagen shoppers away from the Tiguan and Atlas crossover SUVs in the same showroom.  

The 2021 Arteon SE costs $38,190, up $1,175 over the 2020 model. The prices listed include the $1,195 mandatory destination fee, which has also increased $175 across the board from 2020. But other trims get a price reduction for 2021. 

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

2021 Volkswagen Arteon

The curvy fastback sedan sports a revised front and rear with a LED light strip running across the grille and through the badge like it will on the 2022 Volkswagen Taos small crossover. The air intakes sit a little lower to help cool the same 268-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Arteon comes standard with front-wheel drive. Available all-wheel drive adds $1,800, whereas last year it cost $1,900 more. Adaptive dampers are standard, as is an electronic limited-slip differential that makes for sportier ride characteristics and better handling. The rear end has more prominent badging. 

The price bump allows for an updated 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility standard across the lineup. Also standard is a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a new steering wheel with touch-capacitive controls. These luxury-leaning tech upgrades are complemented by standard driver-assist systems that include adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, active lane control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts.

Volkswagen eliminates the SEL trim for 2021, and the $41,595 SEL R-Line trim represents a decrease of $25 from 2020. The SEL R-Line upgrades to 19-inch wheels (from 18s on SE), adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding side mirrors, remote start, ambient lighting, leather seats, and all the R-Line design pieces in black.  

The SEL Premium R-Line comes standard with all-wheel drive and costs $48,190, which is a reduction of $525. It features 20-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon sound system, a heated steering wheel, a massaging driver's seat, cooled front seats, and heated rear seats. 

Made in Germany, the 2021 Arteon goes on sale this fall. 

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