Review 2018 Volkswagen Arteon Car and Driver honetically, Volkswagen’s new flagship is AR-tee-on; philosophically, it is Artwork plus three letters tagging along for your ride. Feel of it because the arty one and you’ll mispronounce it but nail the idea.
Review 2018 Volkswagen Arteon Car and Driver
Does a market crazy for crossovers and pickups require a high-style hatchback sedan on the rescue mission? No, but this Passat-plus storm trooper must be an efficient means of shifting the brand from defense to offense. Though the camouflage will not be stripped off until following spring’s Geneva auto display, Arteon prototypes we drove in South Africa convince us that VW is resuming a fruitful path.
X-raying the thin layer of disguise, we noticed automotive elegance in the flesh. A reduced hood sweeps the full width of the front tires. In the front, 6 horizontal blades while in the grille and wraparound headlamps more accent the Arteon’s width, while 5 longitudinal creases per side draw the eye rearward over sculpted vertical surfaces and the reduced greenhouse. Frameless door glass, muscled haunches, a spoiler neatly blended to the hatch’s trailing edge, and sequential rear turn signals make the Arteon the sexiest people’s vehicle since the Karmann Ghia.
Previewing its arrival, VW teased us by using a sports activities coupe idea to supersede the CC (née Passat CC) at the 2015 Geneva motor show, which, just like the CC, had 4 doors in contravention from the coupe nomenclature. Without traipsing heavily on Audi A5 and A7 turf, designers have toed the line in between attractiveness and performance to sculpt this cost-effective grand tourer, which we’re guessing can have a base cost close to $36,000. Very likely foes include the Buick LaCrosse, the Nissan Maxima, and the Toyota Avalon. Let’s hope that hatchback haters try out the Arteon’s back seat, the place we located near-limo-grade area for three grownups. Prior to turning interest within the traditional-sedan direction, skeptics also require to take into account the 60 cubic feet of cargo room accessible once the split rear backrests are folded.
Like every little thing in VW showrooms in between Golf and Passat, the Arteon shares the MQB transverse-powertrain elements set. That’s no undesirable issue since an extreme concentrate on one standard chassis moves the needle one more notch towards perfection with every single iteration. Rough South African roads did not quiver the body construction while in the prototypes we drove, and suspension calibrations capably eased longitudinal-impact discomfort with no wilting below substantial cornering loads. Thanks to the calming effect from the Arteon’s electrically assisted electrical power steering, rippled gravel surfaces significant enough to skate this sedan wide in turns in no way shot up the steering column to inflict wheel kick.
Runs above 100 mph on paved roads revealed directional stability as straight and taut like a banjo string. Turn-in was crisp and confident. While one Euro-spec Arteon we drove on this coarse-textured pavement showed irritating tire-tread buzz and interior boom, that behavior largely disappeared when we switched to the U.S.-market edition outfitted with all-season Continental 245/45R-18 radials. Electronically variable dampers-what VW calls Dynamic Chassis Control-can be switched by means of Comfort, Regular, Sport, and Person modes. Even though calibrations are not finalized and there’s no ensure these dampers will even be offered on U.S.-spec Arteons, our past experience with this Tenneco-supplied engineering is so optimistic that we consider it essential gear for driving fans.
Given VW’s lead in the international rush to modest hard-working engines, it is no shock the Arteon’s first electrical power supply will probably be a TSI 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged to provide about 270 horsepower. Client feedback from today’s dual-clutch-automatic-equipped VW CC says that this kind of transmissions lack the anticipated roll-off smoothness. For that purpose, the Arteon’s trusty TSI engine is going to be teamed solely with an eight-speed torque-converter automated supplied by Aisin. That gearbox behaved impeccably in Africa. In lieu of the manual option (last obtainable inside the 2016 CC), we at the very least get steering-wheel paddles, a console shifter supplying a manual mode, along with a gear indicator in the instrument cluster. Try as we may well, we discovered no way to stay away from automated upshifts when the tachometer needle swung previous 6200 or so rpm for the duration of our test drives.
Review 2018 Volkswagen Arteon Car and Driver - Features:
What we could see on the (camouflaged) interior trim was encouraging. Wood accents are not genuine tree materials, but they appear the component. Stitching seems about the two-tone, leather-trimmed seats but not across dashtop surfaces. The front bucket bolsters are firm enough to hold well-nourished occupants in location in the course of aggressive maneuvers. There’s a centrally positioned 9.2-inch touchscreen programmed to respond to voice commands, a couple of hand gestures, and two ordinary knobs. A wealth of modern driver aids and convenience features-park aid, adaptive cruise control, lane trying to keep, Android Automobile, and Apple CarPlay-will grace this cockpit; the double-length stacking sunroof we noticed in Africa should be on the U.S. alternatives list. What you almost certainly won’t find can be a switch to fully disable stability management.
The Arteon casts a shadow in regards to the same dimension as the Passat’s, so we’re expecting it to weigh about 3400 pounds. The acceleration and passing enthusiasm we saw throughout the South African plain was adequate, but, as usual, we’d take far more verve. Sharing that opinion together with the VW engineers lit them up. A single suggested that this iteration of MQB isn't only compatible with V-6 engines, one this kind of auto in the African test fleet had already topped 300 km/h (186 mph). Even though we had been tempted to pummel this fellow concerning the head and shoulders for not like that Arteon on our drive, we restrained ourselves in the interests of decorum. U.S.-spec Arteon pace limiters will cap the enjoyable at 155 mph.
All that is stopping VW from eventually including a V-6 as well as a discreet GT badge or RS label is really a enterprise situation (and, perhaps, a hall pass from Audi, which may not need a spending budget option to its S5). Now that Ford’s Fusion Sport has cracked the 300-hp barrier inside the family-sedan category, we believe VW customers deserve every one of the German engineering they could get inside the brand’s most classy model.
UPDATE: Due to a miscommunication at the launch event, we previously reported that the 2018 Arteon could have a six-speed automated transmission. The truth is, it will be an eight-speed. We've adjusted the story and specifications panel accordingly.