The Volkswagen Arteon is a roomy coupe with a big boot and a cool exterior design – but it’s expensive and both the driving experience and interior could do with a bit more wow factor
The Volkswagen Arteon is a big, roomy coupe that throws in a bit of style to spice up the Volkswagen Passat’s family-friendly recipe.
The Arteon’s big front grille helps it stand out from other similar coupes such as the Audi A5 Sportback, but sadly the VW Arteon can’t match the Audi’s stylish interior design. Everything inside the Arteon has been borrowed from the much-cheaper Passat, and although the cabin is well built, the materials are soft to the touch and it comes with a digital instrument screen like in an Audi TT, it just lacks the wow factor of the exterior.
Room inside the Volkswagen Arteon is impressive though, and the heated front seats are comfy and have electric lumbar support to help you travel long distances without backache. Things are spacious in the back too – your passengers get loads more knee room than the not-exactly-cramped Audi A5 Sportback, and the Arteon’s a tad roomier than the Audi for three adults sitting side-by-side, though you still won’t want to carry three back there for long trips.
You’ll easily fit three people’s luggage in the big boot, however, which is noticeably bigger than the A5 Sportback’s. You can flip all the seats down to leave a huge space, which will easily swallow a bike with both wheels still attached.
The Arteon looks like a stylish coupe on the outside, but there’s less of a wow factor inside, where you may as well just be in a Passat
The best engines for the Volkswagen Arteon are the 2.0-litre, 280hp petrol engine, or the 2.0-litre, 240hp diesel, and both come with four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox as standard. The petrol is smooth, pretty quick and not too bad on fuel, given the performance, but the noisier diesel gives slightly better fuel economy on long drives.
Whichever you pick, don’t expect the Volkswagen Arteon to feel quite as sporty as the A5 or BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe when you come to a twisty road. It soaks up bumps well, however, especially when you flick the optional adjustable suspension into comfort mode, and there’s lots of high-end technology to keep you safe. There’s a system that will automatically pull over and stop the car if it detects you’ve fallen unconscious at the wheel, and all models come with adaptive cruise control that can keep a set distance from the car in front before accelerating to your chosen speed when the road clears.
All that tech helped the Volkswagen Arteon earn a five-star Euro NCAP score in 2017’s tough crash tests. That means it’s not only a practical and stylish coupe, but one that’s well suited to family life – it’s just a shame it lacks the allure of rivals with more premium badges.