Review and Test Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line

By Jonathan Spira on 12 February 2020
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When it was introduced in 2008, it was the latest in a trend from German automakers: the four-door coupe. Traditionally, a coupe had two doors but those presumptions have long fallen by the wayside.  We’re talking about the Volkswagen CC. We loved it when it came out (CC stood for “Comfort Coupe”) and lamented its demise in 2017. Now the CC faithful can rejoice: the new Volkswagen Arteon is the spiritual successor to the CC.

At launch at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017, VW said that the Arteon would be more upscale than the CC and, even though the U.S. launch was delayed until April 2019 due to unexpected roadblocks with emissions testing, it was worth the wait. Volkswagen is positioning the Arteon as the brand’s flagship in the United States and high-impact design, upscale interior, and impressive list of features will likely appeal to customers seeking a traditional sedan in a sea of SUVs and crossovers.

Hope springs eternal, as VW Phaeton owners will attest to (the Phaeton came about because Ferdinand Piëch wanted a car that would surpass German market leaders BMW and Mercedes-Benz).

The name “Arteon,” Wolfsburg explains, comes from the Latin artem, which means art, and pertains to the vehicle’s design process.

VW is offering the Arteon in SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels with a single engine choice, a 2.0-liter four banger that develops 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base SE starts at $36,840. VW 4Motion all-wheel driver adds $1,800 to the lower trim versions but is standard on the SEL Premium.

A Chili Red Metallic Arteon arrived at our offices on a warm day at the very end of fall and immediately attracted attention. Is it a Tesla? An Audi?  Almost no one guessed VW.  Frameless side windows? Yes, please!  Sharp lines and crisp edges give the Arteon the look of a far more expensive vehicle, as does its hatchback body (my, how upscale the once lowly hatchback has become).

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 2019 VW Arteon

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