The 2019 VW Arteon is a mid-size sedan straddles the line between mainstream and luxury, with a stylish body that disguises its surprising utility.
We rate the 2019 Arteon at 6.4 out of 10, a figure that could climb once it’s crash-tested. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
With the Arteon, VW upgrades a Passat-sized sedan with more power, and with high-tech features such as a digital instrument cluster and a massaging driver’s seat as the lineup climbs from SE to SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels.
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The Arteon replaces the slow-selling VW CC and plugs a hole in the automaker’s lineup that probably didn’t need to be filled. At least it’s pretty, with a gaping grille, a dashing roof line, and a pert tail that’s actually a hatchback, not a conventional trunk. Inside, the Arteon has a clean, functional look that’s best with the leather upholstery and wood-style trim found in SEL trims.
Like nearly every other car in VW’s lineup, the Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-4. Here, it’s paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission and its 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque goes to either the front or all four wheels. The Arteon accelerates briskly, though its ride is soft in most of its adaptive suspension’s modes. It handles adeptly, but with most of its personality filtered out of its thick-rimmed steering wheel. With all-wheel drive, it’s only marginally more fuel-efficient than some crossover SUVs, however.
Inside, the new Arteon has a comfortable, spacious interior that can handle four passengers, and the low roofline doesn’t cut too much into rear head room, though the door openings are small. As a hatchback, the Arteon has unusually good cargo utility. Fold its rear seats and it’ll swallow 55 cubic feet of luggage, which isn’t far off of some SUVs.
Its looks may put shoppers in the driver’s seat more than its value. Starting at around $36,700, the Arteon is expensive for a sedan with synthetic leather upholstery, though it does have a crisp 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Adding all-wheel drive pushes the price to $38,800. Shoppers will need to fork over about $41,000 for nappa leather, a power moonroof, adaptive cruise control, and a digital instrument cluster. Those are luxury car features—for luxury car money, unfortunately.