McLaren Artura Review & Prices

The McLaren Artura mixes V6 turbo and plug-in hybrid power to great effect — it’s properly fast, and brilliant to drive in Sport mode, although the hybrid setup can be infuriating at times

McLaren Artura alternatives
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Desirability Award
Highly Commended
Reviewed by Carwow after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Sharp styling
  • Excellent all-round performance
  • Brilliant chassis and steering

What's not so good

  • Hybrid system can hold back performance at times
  • Cabin is rather plain
  • Not very practical

Find out more about the McLaren Artura

Is the McLaren Artura a good car?

The Artura is McLaren's answer to the Ferrari 296 GTB — it mixes V6 petrol power with plug-in hybrid backup for devastating performance, but also a bit of saintly eco-friendliness. And it's very good, earning highly commended status in the Desirability category of the 2024 Carwow Car of the Year Awards.

Think of it as a running shoe for Usain Bolt that’s also fully recyclable. Or, think of it as a road-going version of McLaren’s MCL60 Formula One car – they both have a carbon-fibre chassis and a V6 hybrid powertrain, after all.

The Artura picks up the styling from the rest of the McLaren range, and indeed from the front you could easily mistake it for one of the British firm’s other cars, such as the 570S. At the rear, though, it’s rather more bespoke, with a neat built-in rear spoiler, incredibly slim brake lights, and two exhausts pointing straight out of the back, looking like angry howitzers.

Down the side, there’s a huge air vent that feeds through to the V6 mid-mounted engine, while the standard-fit carbon-ceramic brakes can be fitted with your choice of seven different brake caliper colours.

Hidden under the fixed rear deck – no popping the bonnet to admire your engine here – there’s a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. The pair combine to produce a massive 680hp, which results in a 0-60mph sprint of just 3.0 seconds; keep your right foot planted and the car won't stop accelerating until it hits 205mph.

This is one of the most exciting hybrids money can buy – the way it catapults you out of corners is exhilarating

As a plug-in hybrid, it has a 7kW battery that you can charge from the mains, and which gives you a range of up to 19 miles on a full charge. It also means that the Artura has a faintly hilarious 104g/km official CO2 emissions figure, and fuel economy that scores 65mpg on the WLTP test. Don’t expect to be able to replicate these figures in the real world…

Inside, it’s like any other McLaren, with plenty of space for two people, slick digital instruments, a rather less slick upright-style infotainment screen, and lashings of man-made suede on everything.

The really cool part? You can boast that Formula One star Lando Norris was one of the car’s test-drivers, and there’s even a special Lando-inspired trim in the McLaren configurator. Norris must be a heck of a test driver as the Artura is brilliant to drive.

Once you’re in Sport mode, the hybrid system has ferocious acceleration and the handling and ride are perfectly tuned to broken British b-roads. In Normal mode, though, sometimes the engine can be reluctant to join the acceleration party, which is annoying.

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How much is the McLaren Artura?

No McLaren is cheap, but while the Artura doesn’t quite scale the eyes-on-stalks price tag of the likes of a Senna, it’s still knocking on the door of £200,000 once you’ve added even a couple of small extras.

Mind you, that does mean that there’s the cost of a well-specced Golf GTI between it and its biggest rival, the Ferrari 296 GTB, which matches the McLaren for having a V6 engine and hybrid system, but which significantly out-punches it in power terms.

A Lamborghini Huracan is a good bit more affordable than the McLaren, as is the Audi R8 with which the Huracan shares an engine, but neither can boast hybrid power nor any electric-only mileage.

Performance and drive comfort

For a low-slung supercar, the McLaren Artura is great to drive around town on electric mode, and it’s fantastic on a twisty road, but the hybrid engine can be slow to respond on relaxing motorway journeys

In town

With part-electric power, you’ll be expecting the Artura to be the best McLaren to drive in town – and it delivers. It’s actually very nice to just pootle around in the Artura in silence, not disturbing anyone with a loud exhaust.

It is also very comfortable at low speeds — no mid-engined supercar is ever going to be soft-riding around town, but the Artura’s suspension copes very well with urban lumps and bumps.

The brakes are also excellent, which is partly because you’re just using the actual brakes — McLaren doesn’t use regenerative braking, so everything’s much more progressive, although you don’t get the useful extra braking effort from the electric motor. The battery is instead topped up by using the drag of the gearbox when slowing down.

The steering is also nicely light. However, the turning circle is quite poor, and the steering wheel spoke covers up the reversing camera display in the main instrument panel when at full lock, which is infuriating. The view from the ‘birds eye’ camera is also not great.

The rest of the view out is pretty good, though, thanks to a low-set dash, decent door mirrors, and surprisingly good over-the-shoulder visibility. That said, other McLarens get a lower instrument panel – the Artura’s is fixed to the steering column – and so have better forward visibility.

On the motorway

The Artura will actually hit 81mph in electric mode, so you can – technically – drive in EV mode on the motorway, but at that speed you’re going to burn through your battery charge pretty quickly. Equally, with just 95hp, electric performance once you’re out of town isn’t what you’d call stellar.

Acceleration up to motorway speeds is also… odd. Switch out of electric-only mode, and it takes a while for the petrol engine to wake up and perform properly, so you often find that when you ask for extra grunt, it’s just not there. The Ferrari 296 never leaves you hanging like that…

That said, the Artura is comfortable to cruise along in, although it’s not as refined for that kind of work as, say, a Bentley Continental GT.

On a twisty road

In normal driving mode, the Artura’s electric motor is there to help the car achieve better efficiency and fuel economy. Switch into Sport mode, though, and it instead starts to torque-fill – keeping power going to the wheels in those little milliseconds where the engine is disengaged as the next gear pops in – and gives you access to the full 680hp.

Now, what was a slightly awkward hybrid system starts to work really well, and the Artura picks up and flies, with no turbo lag at all. The hybrid system now feels super-responsive to your throttle inputs.

Meanwhile the suspension is perfectly set up to deal with the type of bumpy, poorly-surfaced country roads that Britain excels in – it’s incredibly well controlled, and brilliant at keeping all four wheels tightly in contact with the tarmac. The hydraulic power steering is also fantastic, being full of feel and feedback about what the front wheels are up to.

The brakes are excellent – we’re running out of superlatives here – with none of the dilution of feel that you normally get with hybrid brakes.

There’s a further driving mode – Track – in which the suspension just gets too firm for the road and all but the smoothest race tracks. You could argue that the Artura could be a little bit more loose at the back, a touch more playful for on-track work, but then if that’s what you’re looking for maybe a V8 Jaguar F-Type is what you need. For accuracy and poise, though, the Artura is close to flawless.

That said, at lower speeds – and preferably on a big open area – the limited-slip rear differential does allow you to pull off some entertaining donuts and skids. There’s even a Drift Controller function on the touchscreen which should help you slide without actually spinning out entirely. Just watch the tyre bills.

Space and practicality

Space in the cabin is decent for a two-seater, and it’s very comfortable too. The McLaren Artura isn’t as practical as other McLaren models, though, as it has only one small boot in the nose

For a two-seat car, the Artura is reasonably practical. There is a cupholder down by the driver’s left arm, which is ideal for a coffee cup or small can of fizzy pop, while taller bottles will fit in the other cupholder tucked in behind the main infotainment screen. There’s no glovebox, but there is some narrow storage under the front armrest, and there are a pair of USB connections in there too.

Slim slots next to the gear selector buttons can hold a mobile phone, and we found that the extra seatbelt slots in the Clubsport seats were ideal for holding a phone or a wallet. There’s another small elasticated pocket at the leading edge of the seat cushion. There’s no glovebox at all, although

Space in the back seats

The McLaren Artura is a two-seater, so there are no back seats to take your friends and family for a ride in. There is a small storage shelf behind the seats, which can hold a small bag or some rolled-up coats. If you want a high-performance car with seats in the back, you should check out the Porsche 911 – but even then, your passengers won't want to go far given how tight it is.

Boot space

Just 160 litres of boot space is all you’re getting, and that’s in the nose of the Artura, as the battery pack and sealed engine compartment means that there’s no rear luggage space like you get in the surprisingly practical 570S. That said, it’s more space than you get in a Lamborghini Huracan, which has a 150-litre boot.

It’s worth remembering, though, that much of the available space in the Artura will be taken up by the car’s charging cable, if you want to top up the battery while you’re out and about.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The interior is comfortable and well-appointed, but the infotainment screen is prone to freezing, which locks you out of many of the car's functions

As with all current McLarens, you get a big digital driver’s instrument panel which works well, and has handy buttons and switches on the edge of the binnacle. These allow you to access some of the car’s major controls and settings by just flicking a fingertip, and never actually taking your hands off the wheel. The instrument panel moves with the adjustable wheel, too, so you can always see it clearly from any driving position.

That driving position is brilliant – low and straight – while the Clubsport bucket seats are brilliant. These can be swapped out for standard comfort seats, but we love the Clubsports. They have a fixed backrest, but you can slightly alter the angle you’re sitting at by using the height adjuster for the seat. There are memory driving positions too, accessed through the small upright touchscreen in the centre of the dash.

The graphics on the driver’s display look sharp and give you plenty of information, which is all easy to cycle through and set up as you like. The main infotainment screen is fairly easy to use – even if the heating and air conditioning controls are on it, which is annoying – and it’s made easier by being able to use the big scroll wheel, fixed to the left of the screen, which is also the volume control for the stereo. However, we did experience some screen-freeze with the system, which shows that McLaren still has some work to do on its infotainment setups.

The rest of the cabin is pretty simple and pared-back. There’s lots of carbon-fibre and Alcantara man-made suede, as you’d expect, and the only real visual bit of flair is the neat lineup of gear selector buttons and the red engine start button lined up along the console between the seats.

MPG, emissions and tax

On paper, this is the most economical McLaren by miles and miles. With a claimed 65mpg from its hybrid system, the Artura is potentially as economical as a Toyota Corolla Hybrid. Of course, it’s not that straightforward. If you’re using the Artura’s 19-mile electric range as much as you possibly can, and not travelling very far every day, then there’s a faint chance you could reach that kind of fuel consumption figure.

However, once the petrol engine is awake – and once you’re driving it with the kind of spirit you’d expect – economy is going to tumble down to the 25mpg mark pretty quickly. Not terrible for a mid-engined supercar, but not that great by normal standards.

Astonishingly, the 104g/km CO2 figure is official and rubber-stamped, so you’ll pay just £175 for the first year’s road tax, plus the £390 levy for cars costing more than £40,000. Being as it’s a hybrid, the Artura is also definitely the McLaren to have if it’s a company car – you’ll pay 25 per cent in benefit-in-kind (BIK) costs.

Safety & security

Euro NCAP doesn’t tend to test McLarens, but you can be reassured by the Artura’s liberal use of light-but-strong carbon-fibre in its chassis and body. That material comes direct from Formula One, where it’s been helping to save lives in serious accidents since the early 1980s. However, the Artura does lack some modern safety systems such as radar cruise control or lane-keeping assistance, which is a bit of a disappointment in tech terms. You can get radar cruise as part of the optional Technology Pack, though.

McLaren does offer an upgraded alarm system and a built-in vehicle tracker, but these really ought to be standard in a car such as this.

Reliability and problems

McLaren is clearly starting to get sensitive to issues surrounding reliability with its cars, as it issues an entirely separate ‘Peace Of Mind’ brochure with the Artura. This lays out the five-year unlimited mileage warranty – very impressive for a mid-engined supercar – as well as the six-year, 45,000-mile warranty for the battery, the three-year service plan, and the standard roadside recovery service.

All of which is very impressive, and welcome, but there’s still the overarching fact that McLaren still has to prove itself as a maker of reliable, solidly-built cars, while rivals such as Porsche, Bentley and Ferrari already have plenty of good history in that regard.

McLaren Artura alternatives
There are currently no deals for this model on Carwow, but you can find and compare great deals on new and used alternatives to the McLaren Artura.