Driven: 2018 VW Arteon 2.0TSI
As you get older and more comfortable in your ways, you tend to become complacent, generally sticking to what you know best. No matter how skilled you are always look for ways to challenge yourself, this is what VW have done with the Arteon. Despite VW dominating the passenger car market with the Polo, Polo Vivo and the Golf, the Germans are looking to use their latest creation to take on their German rivals and claim their portion of the luxury car market.
The Arteon is essentially the successor to the Passat CC and now represents VW’s top passenger model. It competes with the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A5 Sportback. So, how does the Arteon stack up against its German rivals? A VW like nothing you’ve seen before, the designers put together a vehicle outside of their current line-up. The Arteon is named in two parts; “Art” describes the beauty and design, and “eon” being VW’s definition for premium model. On our trip down to the berg with the Arteon we noticed many stretched necks, double looks, and pointing from those that we passed along the way. The Arteon looks good from any angle.
How does it perform? The Arteon sprints from 0-100 in just 5,6 seconds and has top speed of 250km/h. The combined fuel consumption is 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres and our test car averaged 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres, that’s pretty impressive for this large fastback. The 2.0TSI engine produces 206 kW and 350 N.m which is delivered to all four wheels via the 7 speed DSG transmission. This car is no slouch, it effortlessly picks up speed and overtaking is a breeze. GTI’s are wary of you, you see them in your rear view mirror, pondering, should I try to overtake this Arteon?
The ride quality was pretty good too. The 2.0TSI R-Line comes standard with a sports suspension and 4Motion (All Wheel Drive) which offers fantastic handling and extra peace of mind in wet conditions. We were riding on the optional Rosario 20” Alloy Wheels (R9 950) and while not ideal for our roads, they do give the Arteon a nice look and the driver extra confidence. Also built on the new MQB platform, we know that there will be more space and comfort. The VW boasts 563 litres of boot space and easily accommodates 4 adults with their luggage in total luxury. No complaints on the ride quality here, the Arteon is just pure bliss.
The Arteon offers the normal German build quality we greatly appreciate and is a solid vehicle with a host of standard safety features. Some worth mentioning are the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Front Assist and City Emergency Braking, Active Bonnet; In the event of a collision with a pedestrian or cyclist, the active bonnet of the new Arteon is raised in a matter of seconds. You could also opt for the Park Package (R 25 250) with Area View that makes use of cameras around the vehicle to create a 360 degree birds-eye view on the infotainment system display.
The range topping Arteon comes standard with the Active info display with a 12.3” screen (fully digital and programmable instruments) and the new Discover Pro infotainment system with a 9.2-inch glass screen and gesture control. You are able to customise your instrument cluster to display information that is most relevant to you, with many options available from fuel consumption to navigation. Our test car also featured the head-up display, nice to have but we don’t really think it’s necessary at R 9 350. The new Discover Pro infotainment system was a real pleasure to use. Easily navigate through the menus or use the gesture control for a seamless experience. I pretty much lived of this with Apple car play and was more than sufficient for my weeklong tenure. The DynAudio Confidence Sound System was impressive offering high quality playback.
The Arteon looks incredible, offers the latest and greatest in tech, safety and luxury, this vehicle has it all. How well will it stack up against its rivals? Only time will tell, it is going to be a tough market to tap into. Nevertheless, the Arteon is a premium vehicle in every regard, the real question is will customers see the VW badge as a premium brand next to its German rivals, we think they should.
The fastback is available in two lines: the 'Elegance' and 'R-Line'. The standard configuration of the Arteon Elegance is focused on luxury and styling, The R-Line, puts sportiness and premium class equipment at the heart of the vehicle's configuration. The range of standard equipment on R-Line includes features such as a panoramic sunroof, Air Care Climatronic 3-zone climate control, front sport seats with massage functionality and Nappa leather/Carbon style interior.
Pricing starts at R 599 000 for the 2.0TDI 130kW Elegance DSG but if you want the 2.0 TSI 206kW R-Line beast you will have to fork out R 699 900. The new Arteon comes standard with a 5-year/90 000 km maintenance plan, 3-year/120 000 km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Interval is 15 000 km.
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