Volkswagen has gotten back into the American luxury market – cautiously – with this year’s brand new Arteon (a combo of two words: ‘art’ and ‘eon’), which is technically a midsized sedan that really does take up a lot of room.
Well, I guess what I should say is that it has a presence. It’s big but it’s not as big or as folksy as the Volkswagen Atlas. There is definitely a style to it. A flair, if you will.
And it is practical. While those German car gurus are aiming straight for the smart-money luxury types on a budget, they also want you to know that this is a sedan that feels right at home at the big box stores or the country fairs or any places where you can’t take hired help because, well, you are the hired help and you aren’t being paid very well.
Consumer Reports, always a reliable source of information because they accept no freebies or offers from anyone, comments “so far we like the upscale driving experience…”. And I tend to agree.
There is more than just a touch of class to this vehicle. From the outside, you see an exterior that truly delivers both a sleek and refined look in whatever color you choose. (Note: With luxury cars, like business suits, exteriors colors tend to be simple and limited, generally colors that will look good on Caucasians. Yes, I said it.)
Inside, the class and refinement are indeed something you can feel. There is ‘leatherette’ on the base trim and real leather on the higher trims, and passenger comfort is top-notch all the way around. Sure, it’s not dripping with luxury, like, say, one of Melania Trump’s gilded cages, but you can feel it and you’ll enjoy it.
Handling and cornering on the Arteon are impressive. Not that you’ll want to race this car, but if you do feel like taking off your girdle and letting the breeze flow through your hair, the Arteon can handle it. Well, let me back up: Consumer Reports actually did take the Arteon on a racetrack and said it handled rather well. So there you go…
Consumer Reports also says “….. but (we do) not (like) the harsh engine sound.” All trims come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. All have standard automatic transmissions and all but the base SE trim come standard with All-Wheel Drive. Yeah, it’s a bit rough for a luxury car, but on any other car, I’m not sure you would notice it too much, especially in the festive gay parts of town.
There is a utilitarian aspect to the Arteon as well. The boot has a lot of room and acts more like a hatchback than many other rear-ends, thus allowing you to put many of your big box store purchases inside without too much fuss. Of course, many of you will be putting your Prada or other baggage back there and may never actually touch it, so think of how nice it will be for the bellman to handle.
“Overall, it’s worth a look if you want something nicer than the typical family sedan but can’t afford a luxury-branded model,” according to Edmunds.com, and I agree with that. There is an appeal here and it is luxurious but it’s not so high-priced and exclusive that you fear bringing a Diet Coke or Dilly Bar into the cabin.
Like Goldilocks, the Arteon may be just right for you.