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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Quick Drive: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL 4Motion

      ...is the successor to the CC up to the task?...

    2019 Volkswagen Arteon-2.jpgThe Volkswagen Arteon is the vehicle that effectively replaces the Volkswagen CC in VW’s lineup, however, it comes at the segment with a noticeably different approach. The Arteon is much more interesting looking than the old CC and comes as a hatchback rather than a sedan.

    I would hesitate to use the word “bold” about the Arteon’s looks, as feels rather conservative to me, but it still has a gravitas that lets passers-by know that this is not an ordinary Volkswagen. The front end has a lot of detailing with multiple creases in the hood and a deep, wide grille. Thick wheel arches give the car a muscular look. Around back, the hatch area fits between a set of thick thighs and a set of tail lights that almost look Benz-like. Down below there is a chrome strip that runs around the entire perimeter of the car.

     

    2019 Volkswagen Arteon-1.jpgAs handsome as the exterior is, the interior is a bit of a letdown. In the SEL version I drove, the interior materials were not up to snuff for a car with a $42,795 sticker price and the design is fairly sterile. There is a wide strip that traverses the dash and mimics the look of the grille and below that, another wood (plood?) strip runs parallel. The center stack is neatly organized with all knobs and buttons within easy reach.  If you are a bit of a neat freak like me about your car, keep a microfiber duster in the glovebox to wipe down the piano black surfaces.  The seats are flat and firm but without much lateral support. As a hatchback, rear passengers get cut out of a bit of headroom, but there is plenty of legroom back there for them to stretch out.  Cargo room for this size of a car can only be described as cavernous. The hatch lifts up high and out of the way giving you easy access to anything you can rear. Fold the rear seats down and you may even say “Crossover, what?”, there is 55 cubic feet of cargo room back there.

    2019 Volkswagen Arteon-4.jpgThe Arteon comes with an 8-inch touch screen display that includes Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Android Auto is easy to set up and I stayed in that mode during my entire drive.

    Driving the Arteon is probably the best part about it. My tester came equipped with 4motion, Volkswagen’s all-wheel-drive system. It works well and the car feels glued to the road during the twisties.  No matter which level of Arteon you buy, you have a single choice of engine. Standard is a 2.0 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It is this engine that delayed the Arteon’s entry into the U.S. due to a backlog of certification testing. This setup is merely adequate. It neither thrills you nor lets you down.  I do wish a V6 were available, but small-displacement turbo-4s are where the market is going these days.  Unfortunately, even with the small displacement 4-cylinder, you still get V6-like fuel economy.  The Arteon is rated for 20 city / 27 highway / 23 combined. For reference, that’s about the same as an AWD Buick Lacrosse with a big V6 and 310 horsepower, in fact, the Buick does a little better on the highway and so do most other V6 sedans. In normal mode the transmission is a bit lazy, upshifting early and reluctant to downshift. In sport mode, it wakes up a little but there is still a lag when downshifting.

    The ride and drive of the Arteon is definitely dialed towards comfort over sport. It comes equipped with a DCC adaptive ride system, but I notice almost no difference between the Sport and Comfort modes. Cruising along in the Arteon is serene with very little noise from the outside entering the cabin. It is certainly a car that can get you into trouble with the leasing company for mileage.

    Is the Arteon a car I can recommend?  Yes and no.  If you’re a die-hard VW fan, then the Arteon is an easy choice to make. Otherwise, there are more powerful and more upscale options out there for the price, but you wouldn’t be wrong to choose this one.

    Year: 2019
    Make: Volkswagen
    Model: Arteon
    Trim: SEL w/4Motion
    Engine: 2.0L DOHC Turbocharged Direct Injected 4-cylinder
    Driveline: 8-Speed automatic with all-wheel-drive
    Horsepower: 268
    Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 0 - 3,600
    Curb Weight: 3,655 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Emden, Germany
    Base Price: $35,845
    As Tested Price: $42,790 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

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    8 minutes ago, Anthony Fongaro said:

    I was waiting for the Arteon for years and went to the press unveiling. It's such a handsome car but doesn't feel special enough. I also think VW needs to make a more powerful version that can be a cheaper S5 Sportback. 

    Definitely needs a more powerful version. If a Lacross AWD and 300 AWD can get the same fuel economy with much more power, then there is no reason the Arteon couldn't do it with a V6 as well. 

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    External is not bad looking but I have to say HELL NO to them getting a pass on this sterile black Blah interior. This is as bad as all the bloody black interior blah dashes GM and Ford is building.

    Where is the PASSION for the interior, customer comfort and what should be a relaxing ride. :facepalm:

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    5 hours ago, Anthony Fongaro said:

    I was waiting for the Arteon for years and went to the press unveiling. It's such a handsome car but doesn't feel special enough. I also think VW needs to make a more powerful version that can be a cheaper S5 Sportback. 

    They'll probably depreciate hard and you can get a CPO one for a song.

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    The main problem with the Arteon is an Audi A4 2.0T Premium is $42,000.  

    The secondary problem is the Kia Stinger is cheaper, the new Hyundai Sonata is a looker inside and out and much cheaper.

    This car just has a horrible value quotient.

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    3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    They'll probably depreciate hard and you can get a CPO one for a song.

    Don’t think so. VW’s hold their value well. I recently purchased an Arteon SEL Premium R-Line and I must say that it is a phenomenal car. Test drove Stinger and G70 both with V6 engine and yes they are more powerful but I purchased the VW because it was more of a “complete” car. Ride is sublime. Interior, like a lot of VW’s is very well put together (although the color choices could be more). It will age well. When I drive it, people stop dead in their tracks and point and the stares are endless. VW handcuffs the Arteon because they don’t want to step on Audi’s toes (whatevuh, that’s one reason why Audi can charge such stupid prices and get away with it.) Car has dynamic styling unlike any Audi Sportback.  Would I have loved a TT VR6? YES!! But the Turbo 4 makes the car hustle with supreme confidence and quiet class. Before you make final judgment readers....try one. 

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    • By William Maley
      The 86's exterior has undergone some significant changes. The most apparent is the front where the front bumper has been swapped to give the coupe a slightly more aggressive look. There are also new headlights with the "86" logo seen on the outside edge. These changes, along with a rear wing really help the 86 still look quite fresh. A feat when you take into consideration that this car, along with its sister, the Subaru BRZ has been around for eight years. The interior boasts a new steering wheel, updated instrument cluster with a color trip computer; and a seven-inch touchscreen radio featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.  Trying to find a comfortable position the 86 took longer than I expected due to the limited amount of adjustments on offer. The sport seats provide excellent bolstering to hold you in during enthusiastic driving but falter in terms of comfort when it comes to long drives. As for the back seat, I would only recommend it for either very small kids or extra storage space. We come to the key weak point of the 86, the engine. It is the 2.0L Flat-Four from Subaru which produces 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the six-speed manual - figures drop by five when equipped with the automatic. Not much has changed in the performance department. At low speeds, the 86 goes along merrily. But then the power band falls off a cliff and you're left wondering when it will come back.  It doesn't help that the engine note of the 2.0L sounds like a bucket of bolts dumped into a dryer. This doesn't encourage wanting to climb higher in the rev band and giving the illusion of going faster - something Mazda does quite well with the MX-5 Miata. On my test car, an optional TRD exhaust was fitted and it somehow makes the noise worse. It sounded like a group of cats fighting one another to get that prime spot in the box from an Amazon delivery. The manual transmission does not like being shifted quickly as it becomes slightly stiff and bulky. Go slowly and the gear lever responds with a smooth and positive feel. An option that was ticked on this vehicle was the TRD handling package which adds a set of SACHS dampers. The SACHS do make an improvement in terms of body control as the 86 doesn't really exhibit any sort of roll. What you get a vehicle that is fun to toss in the corners. Helping out is the steering that responds quickly and provides a decent feel. But there is a downside to the TRD Handling package and that is the ride quality. I found the FR-S to be quite stiff and transmit most bumps and road imperfections. This package only increases the frequency and impact them. I would highly recommend driving a standard 86 against one with the Handling Pack to see which one you would prefer. The 86 GT starts at $30,115 and my tester with the two TRD options and some other items stickers at $34,783. If you drop the TRD options, then it becomes slightly better at just under $32,000.  Who is the 86 for? The obvious answer to this is someone who wants something fun to drive but doesn't have that much to spend. Of course, there are other options that offer more performance, the 86 shines on a winding road. But as someone pointed out in our interactive review, the 86 is a good option for someone who wants a blank canvas. This and the BRZ have a large aftermarket which means an owner can build their coupe to their desires. Want to upgrade the suspension and brakes? There are parts available. Feel like dropping in a larger engine? That is possible. It's a blank canvas ready for someone to make it their own. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the 86, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: 86
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC D-4S 16-Valve Flat-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 205 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 156 @ 6,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/28/24
      Curb Weight: 2,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ota, Gumma, Japan
      Base Price: $30,115
      As Tested Price: $34,783 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      TRD Handling Package - $1,270.00
      TRD Exhaust System - $1,100.00
      TRD Sway Bar - $550.00
      Special Color - $425.00
      Center Armrest - $199.00
      All-Weather Floor Mats - $169.00

      View full article
  • Posts

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