Even with the inventory shortages created by the pandemic, sedans seem to have slipped under the radar of most buyers hunting for a new vehicle.
But midsized sedans like the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon retain an enormous amount of appeal when you look closely. For starters, they are much more maneuverable than the nimblest utility vehicles and far easier to park in any crowded urban or suburban neighborhood.
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 SE also is packed with driver assistance features, a first-rate entertainment system and a relatively quiet cabin, which is combined with a chassis with impressive driving dynamics. Those things help separate it from other offerings in this still surprisingly crowded segment.
The Arteon also is a product underscoring the broad global nature of the automobile industry. The car is assembled in Germany, but the engine is made at VW factory in Hungary and the transmission comes from Japan. Less than 1% of the Arteon’s parts come from the U.S. or Canada.
The Arteon’s exterior offers a sleek, sporty appearance whether in motion or sitting at the curb with sleek, low-slung sporty appearance, which sets it apart in a world dominated by boxy vehicles that more and more common.
The design of the Arteon starts with a slim grille, carrying the VW badge leading up to raked windshield and roof line, which slopes to the trunk, giving the car the look of a fastback. The longer wheelbase also gives the car a more balanced appearance, which is augmented by the neatly shaped light fixtures at the front and the 18-inch wheels neatly tucked into the car’s four corners.
The inside of the Arteon was basically designed for a global audience, but its roots are clearly German. The cabin is spare but neatly accented with bright work, which reinforces the austere look of dashboard. Controls are simple and utilize knobs to control the sound and tuning of the entertainment center. There are also controls on the steering wheel, and a nicely equipped center console with a cup holder, storage and USB ports.
The interior also features specials touches such as pedals and a foot rest with metal caps and an adjustable, 12-way driver’s seat. The Arteon is equipped with a center stack screen and an instrument cluster with an additional information screen. The interior lighting screen is well-constructed for night driving and there are lights to illuminate the way as you step into the dark. The visibility from the driver’s seat is also very good.
The 2021 VW Arteon I drove was equipped with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine with double overhead camshafts in a front-wheel drive layout and an 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive and stop-start system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the 2021 Arteon a combined rating of 25 miles per gallon, including 22 mpg in city driving and 32 mpg on the highway. The powertrain is equipped with different driving modes, including ECO.
Safety and Technology
The Arteon is equipped with forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring. It also has an advanced protection system with eight airbags for protection in frontal- and side-impact collisions and rollover accidents. It features an electric parking brake.
Blind spot-monitoring and rear traffic alerts and with a rear-view camera and hill-hold assist are also part of the package. The car comes with an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and HD radio with voice control and satellite radio as well as eight speakers and Bluetooth connectivity.
One cannot help but be impressed by the driving dynamics with its crisp steering and solid brakes, which sit on top of an impressive chassis with adaptive chassis controls and four-wheel independent suspension.
The result is impressive ride and handling on varied surfaces and good stopping power on wet or slick pavement. In addition, the car has plenty of power and the 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine delivers it smoothly and efficiently at all the critical times — power out on the highway is excellent and the 8-speed automatic transmission is very effective.
2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 SE specifications:
|Dimension||L: 191.6 inches/W: 73.7 inches/H: 56.9 inches/Wheelbase: 111.9 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine; 8-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||22 mpg city/32 mpg highway/25 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $36,995; As tested: $38,585 including $1,195 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
If you are commuter and you do not have to haul a lot of passengers or stuff on a regular basis the Arteon offers some real advantages in terms of style and appearance. It’s also comfortable and fun to drive and relatively fuel efficient, which is becoming more important as the price of gasoline climbs.
The Arteon does have a couple of drawbacks. I thought the back seat was a bit too small and the price at nearly $39,000 seems a little stiff for non-luxury, midsized sedan. However, it is an impressive vehicle for its segment.
2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 SE – Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of car is the new VW Arteon?
Volkswagen has melded stretched dimensions and fastback design into the sexy, spacious Arteon. Its swept-back design shares nothing with the Passat family sedan; the Arteon is both longer and wider than that car.
What does full screen navigation on VW Arteon do?
The Full Screen Navigation View increases the size of the map, giving you a better view of where you’re going and how to get there. When it comes to tech, the Arteon can bring it.
Is the V-6 Arteon as powerful as Audi A5?
The Arteon’s 300-hp turbo 4 is just as powerful as V-6 rivals, too, and its ride is appropriately refined, but we wish it was as exciting to drive as it looks. Its price tag is also precariously close to its corporate equivalent, the more desirable Audi A5 Sportback.