Volkswagen has a history of trying to muscle in on the luxury car market, sometimes even with models that technically compete against brands including some of VAG’s own. Take the Phaeton, for example, which was basically a VW-badged Bentley Flying Spur sold at a relative budget price that also scalped a few orders from wannabe Audi A8 drivers. The Passat CC carved out a decent fan base for itself over two generations, combining svelte and exciting coupe looks with large saloon dimensions and practicality including a whopping boot – and VW has now introduced its effective replacement.
The Volkswagen Arteon is the firm’s new flagship and is described as a five-door fastback with avant-garde styling and sports car detailing. Anyone calling the Arteon will get shot according to the project’s boss at VW when interviewed by the Telegraph.
It can’t be denied that it’s a gorgeous-looking car that is sure to have tremendous road presence, especially at the front where it has a strong whiff of VW’s futuristically-styled XL1 hybrid. The Arteon’s side profile is similar in principle to its CC forerunner but is much more rakish, sporty and aggressive, its unique LED lights at the front and rear are positively drool-worthy, and its rear closely resembles the current Passat, which is no bad thing by any means.
Does the VW Arteon stand a chance against the Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 4-Series Gran Coupe and Mercedes CLS Coupe in the looks department? We certainly think so, its sexiness matching the equally beautiful Audi and Mercedes and surpassing the BMW, which looks too similar to the 3-Series to stand out. In fact, the Arteon in R-Line trim looks veritably menacing in dark colours.
Inside, it’s a case of ‘close, but no cigar’, luxury Volkswagen interiors certainly comprising the expected ingredients, feeling high in quality and coming packed with attractive technology, but not feeling quite as opulent as the bona fide luxury players from the segment above.
With plush Nappa leather fitted as standard along with Volkswagen Media Control and Air Care Climatronic 3Zone, Arteon retail and leasing customers can upgrade to a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen with gesture control, front massage seats or a 700-watt, 11-speaker Dynaudio ‘Confidence’ audio system that we’re sure will sound splendid after all their near-perfect work for Volvo. For a slightly more luxurious feel to your Arteon, Elegance trim is the one you want, but if sportier styling floats your boat, go for R-Line.
Volkswagen’s 2.0 TDI diesel engines always remain favourites in the company car business contract hire market and personal car leasing world alike, so it’s no surprise that plenty of variations are available for the Arteon, from the economical 150PS tune with a manual gearbox and 116g/km CO2 emissions to the meaty 240PS version with a 7-speed DSG gearbox and 4MOTION for all-weather reassurance.
In the wake of a certain scandal, petrol is being pushed by the media and indeed vehicle manufacturers, including VW who have recently introduced green-nozzle power for the Transporter van. Anyway, back to the Arteon range-topper and its 2.0 TSI petrol units range from 190PS to a punchy 280PS DSG 4MOTION variant, and the flagship will also be available with a credible 1.5-litre TSI ACT ‘Evo’ engine rated at 150PS, which will incorporate cylinder deactivation technology to boost its ‘mpg’ fuel economy figures.
With the Audi A5 Sportback’s on the road retail price kicking off at £32,965, the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe from £33,110 and the Mercedes CLS from an eye-watering £47,995, Volkswagen’s new Arteon may have a tough time priced from £34,050 but we hope contract hire, PCH and PCP customers can look beyond the VW badge, as it’s a gorgeous car for discerning drivers and will certainly stand out as exclusive in the company car park or indeed Sainsbury’s. Keep your eyes peeled on our website for VW Arteon leasing prices, deals and offers as soon as they go live.