Volkswagen Arteon long-term test review

Our long-time Korean car convert Will Williams has taken delivery of a swanky new Volkswagen Arteon. Can its Germanic charms woo our senior snapper?...

Volkswagen Arteon long-termer


  • The car: Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 190 DSG Elegance
  • Run by: Will Williams, senior photographer
  • Why it’s here: To find out if there’s still life in the executive car class and whether the Arteon makes more sense than a Passat
  • Needs to: Be comfortable, smooth-riding and economical on a colossal commute, with plenty of space for photography equipment

Price £33,545 Price as tested £35,335 Miles 5000 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 36.9mpg Options fitted Crimson Red metallic paint (£665); Heated front climate windscreen (£305); Dynamic Chassis Control (£820); Silver Birch interior trim (no cost)

24 October 2018 – seeing double

Don’t you hate it when you meet a better version of you. It could be a successful cousin at a family party, a prosperous old classmate at a school reunion, an old flame’s latest fling…

Well, my Volkswagen Arteon was having a similar sensation recently.

Our reviews team had another Arteon in the other day. It was in exactly the same spec, Elegance, as my long-termer, but was a 2.0-litre 150 diesel version, with £5000 worth of options fitted. Naturally, I whipped out both spec sheets to compare and contrast.

This included an “acoustic pack” to make it quieter, which gets sound-insulated glass in the front windows and some “additional interior noise suppression”. It costs £535, but I’ve found my petrol Arteon to be so quiet inside that I wouldn’t feel the need to add it.

The next option that caught my eye was the “area view and rear-view camera”. For £765 you get a 360deg camera as well as a reversing camera. The absence of a reversing camera on my Arteon is something that I’ve lamented right from the get go. I don’t think a 360deg camera is a necessity though, so I’d forgo the combo deal and just pay the £315 for the reversing camera. I still think it’s pretty stingy that it doesn’t come as standard.

Volkswagen Arteon long-term

The reason I’d like a reversing camera is because the car is pretty big, but I find the door mirrors are a bit small. It’s no big issue, but while their design is very stylish, angular and sleek, it means that is feels like a bit has been cut off from the top corner, restricting the field of vision slightly.

Scrolling down a few other options; £1000 for electric front seats and another £1000 for a panoramic sunroof are options I could live without, but £900 for keyless entry and an electric tailgate would tempt me. I realise this is an ultimate ‘first-world problem’ but the Arteon’s tailgate is pretty long and heavy, so I’d consider opting for an electrically-operated one.

As for the engine, even with the mega miles I cover I’d stick with the 2.0-litre petrol. The economy has been pretty decent – I can sometimes squeeze 42.0mpg out of my morning commute – and the diesel engine just feels a bit more ordinary. The performance isn’t as zingy as our petrol.

Volkswagen Arteon long-term

So actually, our long-term Arteon probably feels quite smug after meeting this more expensive version of itself. It’s reaffirmed my appreciation for how we specced it.

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