2021 Volkswagen Arteon
The Volkswagen Arteon is the German automaker’s “premium” mid-size hatchback. We loved it the first time around that we were happy to welcome the revised 2021 version to evaluate this for you again.
We mentioned that the Arteon has been revised for 2021. The mid-cycle update was done to add on the brand’s new identity – the “digital” logo. That way, Volkswagen can offer this special car with fresh eyes.
Even in the face of a growing lineup of SUVs, the Arteon is for the enthusiast who wants a practical car with premium touches and great performance. However, is this car right you?
The revisions to the Arteon go beyond just applying the new logo. You do see it on the revised grille, rear deck, and the wheel caps. The grille gets a new texture that also includes a running LED light in the middle of it on our tester. The headlamps and the taillights have been revised with new LED bulbs.
Still, the Arteon remains a sleek and low slung hatchback sedan. The frameless doors open wide for adults and the hatch opens right at the bumper for excellent cargo access and is opened by flipping the Volkswagen badge up. Speaking of badges, the Arteon has new fonts, including the new “R” badge for our tester, officially known as the SEL R-Line. A set of 19-inch alloy wheels and a black lip rear spoiler finish up our tester’s overall look.
The revisions continue inside, with an all-new steering wheel incorporating the new logo, a set of haptic touch controls, and special grips to encourage drovers to use the 9-and-3 hand positions. The Digital Cockpit in our SEL tester is superb with several screens that can be customized for the information you need. The navigation screen shrinks the two main dials with an expanded map in the middle of your view. The center console has just a small number of essential controls that are equally clean, while offering plenty of storage and cupholders for the two front seats.
We already love the two-tone leather-upholstered chairs, offering plenty of bolstering for support. The driver will be surprised by the amount of space up front, and the multitude of adjustments to find the right driving position. Rear seat is a huge surprise. Tall passengers have plenty of head and leg room with a comfortable and supportive seat by the doors. The middle passenger will have to negotiate the driveshaft tunnel to find foot room and comfort.
The best part of the Arteon’s cabin is it cargo space. The 27.2 cubic foot space is deep and can hold plenty of luggage for a road trip. The rear seats fold down, that space expands to 56.2 cubic feet. There is a bit of a load lip to negotiate for loading and unloading.
It is worth noting that the 2021 Arteon now has wireless App-Connect for smartphone integration, as well as wireless phone charging and two USB-C ports.
Powering the Arteon is a 268-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, offering great acceleration and great performance. This engine is connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission with the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system. The transmission works quite well with this engine and gearchange performance can be changed through the DCC adaptive chassis control system on the infotainment screen.
As for fuel economy, we observed an average of 27.8 MPG in our care.
What truly makes the Arteon stand out is its driving dynamics, in particular the quality of the ride. It manages rougher road surfaces with ease, while making things enjoyable on smoother ones. The handling and cornering are above par, thanks to the settings on the DCC modes. You can always expect flat cornering and sharp reflexes.
The electromechanical steering system offers sharp, tight turns from its enhanced steering wheel and rack system. We found that the Arteon had solid on-center control and works well with the Lane Assist system. Brake pedal feel is superb with great stopping power in any situation. We found excellent response in both normal and panic situations.
The Arteon lineup starts from $36,995. Our SEL R-Line model with 4MOTION tester came with a sticker price of $44,985. There are now three trim levels, including two R-Line versions.
It is a wonderful mid-sized hatchback sedan. However, the competition against it is shrinking. Consumers have shopped the Arteon against the Audi A5 Sportback and the Kia Stinger.
The Volkswagen Arteon remains a stylish car that will seat four-to-five people comfortably and carry their luggage. It is one special car worth considering – if not, owning.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors