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


  • The car: Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 190 Elegance DSG
  • 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 9260 Official economy 47.1mpg Test economy 37.0mpg Options fitted Crimson Red metallic paint (£665); Heated front climate windscreen (£305); Dynamic Chassis Control (£820); Silver Birch interior trim (no cost)

14 December 2018 – Beautifully pointless

Some things are beautiful to look at but have no practical use; they exist purely for aesthetic pleasure. And thank you, but I’m not talking about myself.

I’m talking about the doors on the Volkswagen Arteon. I love the look of the car generally, but if I were to pick out one specific aspect that soothed my eyes the most, it would be the doors. They are frameless, you see, which essentially means there’s no ugly bit of car sticking up at their ends when the windows are down.

Volkswagen Arteon

I appreciate that it’s totally pointless and makes no difference to anything. But it does make the car feel a bit more exclusive and premium, because it's so rare to find. I’m a big fan.

I’ve been taking the Arteon and its doors all over the place recently, and it has continued to be brilliant company. The engine has been a terrific performer since the start of our time together, and now, after more than 9000 miles, it has loosened up slightly and feels even better as a result. Plus, I’m still achieving around 40mpg on long cruises. Who needs diesel?

As for the inside, there’s acres of rear seat space and loads of storage compartments (although if I'm being picky, perhaps the centre console could be a bit more generously sized). The boot is huge. As I’ve said previously, the bootlid is quite heavy, and so I’d probably opt for an electric tailgate given my time with the car again, even though it costs a whopping £900 to add (along with keyless entry).

One other minor quibble that can be solved by a tick on the options list is the fact that there’s only one USB port. I'm aware of how much of a first-world problem this is, but with new cars, especially in this price range, I’ve come to expect at least two. In the Arteon, there’s just the one in the centre console, and if you want any more, you need to cough up for the heated rear seats, which lumps in an extra two ports. At £335, it might be worth considering, especially if you often carry around people in the back.

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