2018 Volkswagen Arteon Review

volkswagen arteon

The new Volkswagen Arteon lands into a mid-size passenger car market that is red-hot with competition and that means it’s up against some really accomplished rivals.

Think cars like the Toyota Camry (the dominant player in the segment), Mazda6, Ford Mondeo, the new Holden Commodore and Volkswagen Arteon stablemate, Skoda’s Octavia.

But boosting Volkswagen’s chances of making a big impression in this cut-throat segment is an impressive product…just make sure you wear your sunglasses!


I’ll explain the sunglasses reference in a moment, in the meantime, yep, the new Volkswagen Arteon is a very nice looking car from any angle.

There’s a real presence about this vehicle, from the beefy front to the chiseled rear wheel arches and the swoopy hatch rear, all-over it’s one of the most handsome cars in the segment.

2018 volkswagen arteon interiorInterior

There’s a lot to like about the cabin of the Volkswagen Arteon, I’ll get to those points in a moment, firstly though the explanation about sunglasses.

This car, to me at least, feels like it might have been designed in the middle of a German winter and thus not a lot of thought was put into the reflective nature of some of the interior styling highlights.

There’s a lot of shiny surfaces on the dashboard, steering wheel and the centre console and on a warm and sunny day under the Aussie sun you find yourself dazzled by the reflection.

Another reflection issue that could cause you some unhappiness is the reflection of the square surround around the head-up display on the top of the dashboard.

Located directly ahead of the driver, the grey square is nearly constantly right in your direct line of vision.

Other than those complaints there is a lot to like about the cabin of the 2018 Volkswagen Arteon, including the fantastic rear legroom, really generously-sized cabin storage areas, and the fully-digital instrument cluster.

There’s also a huge centre infotainment touchscreen, easy to use controls, and the always pleasing height adjustable centre armrest.

Oh, and the sexy blue strip lights in the doors are a really nice touch too!

volkswagen arteonFeatures

The latest edition to the Volkswagen passenger car range comes in just the one specification level – R Line and standard gear includes:

  • Eight-speaker stereo
  • Tilt and reach steering adjustment
  • Around view camera system
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Sat-nav
  • Head-Up Display
  • Heated/electric front seats
  • Cooled glove box
  • Push-button ignition
  • Leathers seats/steering wheel
  • Electric tailgate

Drive and Engine

OK, so I wasn’t a huge fan of the shiny interior surfaces, I’m also going to again talk about my dislike for DSG (double-clutch transmissions).

I know the guys and girls at Volkswagen love them, they see the tech as a step ahead of the standard auto transmission, but I just don’t understand where the advantages outweight the DSG idiosyncrasies.

Perhaps in high-performance models a DSG would be an advantage i.e. quicker gear changes, but around town the drive just isn’t as smooth as what you would get with a good quality standard auto.

You get hesitations, little stutters and sometimes an unwillingness to drop down a gear as quickly as I would like and that’s a shame because this a car that really has some get up and go.

Powered by a 206kW/350Nm turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Arteon gets along very nicely, especially when you engage ‘Sports’ mode.

While getting the power to the ground is ably assisted by Volkswagen’s 4MOTION all-wheel drive tech.

I always say that Volkswagen steering is up there with the best of them, that is no different here in the Arteon.

Really nicely tuned, the Arteon steering manages to bring nice steering feel without upping the steering weight.

The drive mode select gives you a lot of choice, particularly with suspension feel and this enables you to have the car set-up however you like it.

Comfort mode is particularly soft and a bit floaty, sporty is firm and normal is the sweet spot right in the middle.

The low profile tyres though do tend to let you down with initial bump absorption on potholes and cracks in the road.

volkswagen arteon cabinSafety

The Volkswagen Arteon comes with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating and safety features including Autonomous Emergency Braking, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Fatigue Warning.

Good Bits:

  • Styling
  • Steering and driving dynamics
  • All-wheel drive
  • Interior space
  • Comfort/convenience features
  • Safety/drive assist features
  • Cabin storage spots

Not So Good Bits:

  • No rear windscreen wiper
  • No digital radio
  • Shiny interior surfaces
  • DSG ‘idiosyncrosies’

2018 volkswagen arteon rearSummary

The 2018 Volkswagen Arteon is such a good vehicle that you would have to consider it over the more expensive cousin, Audi’s A4.

It’s a stylish, head-turning and conversation starting car that is comfortable, roomy and just as at home on the freeway as it is in the city.

The performance of the DSG takes some shine (perhaps a poor choice of words?) off an otherwise really likable new offering from the team at Volkswagen.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Volkswagen Arteon

  • Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 206kW/350Nm
  • Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch auto
  • Safety: Five stars
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Origin: Germany
  • Price: from $65,490

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