Launch Report: Volkswagen Arteon

Meet the all-new Volkswagen Arteon

We recently attended the launch of the all-new Arteon model in Johannesburg. Launched as the top-end sedan in the Volkswagen line-up, the Arteon surprised us tremendously. It might have more to offer than you think.

Arteon as a name is derived from two parts. “Art” expresses the emotive design of this car, which we have to say is quite striking. Driving through the busy evening Johannesburg traffic, the Arteon, with its striking lines and light formation, immediately stands out to the rest. “Eon” follows in the footsteps of the Chinese premium (Volkswagen) model, the Phideon.

Manufactured in Germany (Emden), the Arteon is based on the MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform and is designed as the longest and widest car (in the Volkswagen range) on this basis. Standing at 2,841mm wheelbase, 1,871mm wide and 1,427mm high, the Arteon is certainly not small, however, feels easy to drive even in city traffic and around a twisty track. The long base also gives the Arteon the most rear legroom in this market segment at 1,016mm. This was done with no harm to the luggage space, which is voluminous.

The Arteon also has design features like a ‘full car width’ bonnet, which extends over both sides of the car, bringing in more exclusivity. Similarly, the chrome grille lines also flow into the (standard) LED daytime running lights.

Although the bonnet features a sporty design, only one line runs along the car. However, flared wheel arches enhance the sporting look of the Arteon.

The Arteon will feature two model ranges (Elegance and R-Line) and also two different drivetrains. All engines have four cylinders and are turbocharged, with a choice between the TSI (Petrol: 206kw (@1700–5600rpm) / 350Nm) and the TDI (Diesel: 130kW (1600–3500rpm / 350Nm).

The Elegance will come standard with: chrome wing mirror caps, LED tail lights, 18 inch ‘Muscat’ alloy wheels, heated windscreen washer jets, LED daytime running lights, keyless Go locking, Media infotainment system with eight loudspeakers, AUX and USB, 3-zone electronically controlled air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, driver alert and progressive steering.

The R-Line models will include: Roof liner in ‘Titanium Black’, front seat heating, 19-inch ‘Montevideo’ alloy wheels, heated windscreen washer jet, R-line bumpers, chrome strip on the lower bodywork, chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes, black boot lit spoiler, privacy glass and power folding mirrors.

For both model lines, a 20-inch alloy wheel can be purchased as extra. Volkswagen also mentioned that the cars will come with full-size spare wheels, even with the biggest 20 inch wheel.

The TSI engines come standard with 4Motion (all-wheel drive), whereas the Diesel derivatives will be in front-wheel drive. All models have a DSG automatic transmission, with the Diesel being 6-speed and the Petrol, 7-speed.

Inside, a luxurious design, with a 6.5 – 9.2 inch infotainment system (with active info display) greets you. All cars in the line-up are fitted with leather seats and ambient lighting. The top-end 9.2 inch system includes gesture control.

The Arteon is also not short of safety features as it includes:

  • An Active bonnet: in the unfortunate event of connecting with a cyclist or pedestrian, the end of the bonnet next to the windscreen will lift by 60mm, to protect both the individual and the engine.
  • A head-up display will also feature as an option.
  • Park Package with Area view: This allows the driver to get a birds-eye view of the car on the infotainment system.

Our verdict

Driving the Arteon in the city proved to be no problem, considering that it is quite large. Its ample space at the rear and the boot, makes this car a true long road companion, even with five passengers.

Taking to the Zwartkops raceway, the Arteon impressed us even more with its sportiness and ability to hold traction (thanks to smart torque vectoring) in the fast corners. Put the engines in sport, and the petrol derivative will provide that welcoming GTi soundtrack. If you want a spacious and luxurious car, but want your bread to be buttered on both sides, then this is the car to go for.

Testing both the Petrol and the Diesel models within the busy city, we were even more astonished with the fuel consumption of the diesel, giving us a figure of 5.7 l per 100km. To put this into perspective, this is the same figure we got in the Golf GTD on the stretched roads between Bloemfontein and Johannesburg.

This is a truly extraordinary creation by Volkswagen.

With the car looking sporty and aggressive (especially during the night with its auto dipping headlights), but also soft enough to be used as a business model, Arteon strikes the perfect balance between leisure and sportiness.

On the road, (and especially in ‘comfort’), the Arteon is soft with little road noise. Legroom at the rear feels like an International Business class flight seating (a key function which other competitors lack) and the fuel economy is remarkable.

To put it in Volkswagens word, the Arteon truly is a car of elegance (with the option of sportiness).

The new Arteon range will be sold at the following prices:

  • TDI 130KW Elegance DSG R599 900
  • TDI 130KW R-Line DSG R649 900
  • TSI 206KW R-Line 4 Motion DSG R699 900

Each of the models come standard with a 5 year / 90 000 km maintenance plan, 3 year / 120 000 km warranty as well as a 12 year anti corrosion warranty.

Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Galimoto Media

Leave a Comment