Loaded, Handsome, And Please Go For The Black One

I remember when one of the American automotive publications revealed the first pictures of the latest Passat destined for the European market. Some of the first comments under the post were along the lines of “Why don’t we get something like this?; We have garbage, this is the Passat we need! Why is Volkswagen doing this to us?”

Well, Volkswagen listened closely, and while they couldn’t bring the European Passat to the U.S., it did something even better. It brought the new Arteon which is, by all counts, a better looking, coupe-like saloon. Revealed at the Chicago Auto Show in its U.S. guise, the Arteon seems like the ultimate expression of what Volkswagen stands for right now. It is, aside from the new Touareg (awesome SUV, I must add), the flagship of Volkswagen combining technology one may usually find on upper-scale Audi vehicles.

Yet, it will not be cheap. At all. Volkswagen has yet to disclose pricing, but some suggest it will start at $35,000-$40,000, just like the CC. Yet, the one you would really like will probably set you back closer to $50,000.

Regardless of this, I can list at least five reasons why the new Arteon may vivify Volkswagen in the U.S.

It Looks Euro-Spec

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The Arteon features more upscale styling, it is larger, has more equipment, and takes the risk of becoming a Volkswagen flagship

You know what, if Volkswagen ever wanted to sell the American Passat in Europe, I feel Volkswagen enthusiasts would crucify the company. The Passat is a fundamentally different car in Europe. The Jetta is basically nonexistent there, and the Golf is considered as close to a deity as possible. The Arteon, on the other hand, has the task of succeeding the Volkswagen CC, a magnificent looking Passat knock-off that has been a flagship in the U.S. for some years now. The thing about the Arteon is that it is actually a massive improvement over the CC. The Arteon features more upscale styling, it is larger, has more equipment, and takes the risk of becoming a Volkswagen flagship. We all know what happened to the Phaeton which was just that. The Arteon, however, isn’t as flamboyantly mad as the Phaeton to attack the likes of the S-Class and the A8. But it will most certainly steal some buyers from the 4 Series Gran Coupe, or the A5 Sportback. I find it a more appealing prospect than both of those cars. However, by the words of Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, the Arteon will not be a big seller. In fact, it will be a sort of a niche car. We all know what almost all niche cars are. They are cool. The Arteon definitely is.

Priced Lower Than in Europe

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While the entry-level Arteon costs $39,000 in the UK, it does not come with anywhere near as much gear as the one in the U.S.

European cars have always been a bit more expensive compared to their American counterparts. Let me just illustrate the difference. You can get a Golf GTI in the U.S. for a bit more than $26,000. A similarly equipped Golf GTI in Germany would set you back $37,500. It is much the same story with other cars that are offered too. UK market? The same!

So, the Arteon follows much the same philosophy. While the entry-level Arteon costs $39,000 in the UK, it does not come with anywhere near as much gear as the one in the US. That one features a 1.5-liter, TSI with 150 horsepower. A puny engine for a car with such a large footprint.

The only engine available in the U.S. is the 2.0-liter, TSI with 268 horsepower. Plus, instead of the DSG that is actually standard even on high-spec Euro Arteons, the U.S. car will get an eight-speed automatic. If you, for example, go for the top of the line, 278-horsepower TSI with 4Motion in the UK, you are looking to spend $50k. It’ll set you back even more in Germany.

So yes, with the U.S. Arteon actually being offered with only one engine option, a wealth of standard equipment, and having far more affordable price compared to the cars in Europe, we can say, we are in luck.

Don’t get me wrong, I do know that Volkswagen has a different image in the U.S. compared to Europe (or any other market for that matter), but the Arteon will be much the same on both sides of the pond. Regardless of the politics, a Volkswagen leads in the U.S., this flagship is actually a rather nice addition to the lineup. Finally, after many years, owners of Volkswagen cars can be proud of the “German engineering roots.” This is something you can’t say about the American Passat or the Jetta. They are just mediocre. This isn’t. At all.

And Volkswagen officials know that.

“We wanted to offer a premium model in the midsize sedan world that would really catch the eye,” said Stefanie Obenhaupt, Volkswagen Group of America’s director of product marketing for full-size vehicles. “The Arteon will help shape the VW brand in America.”

The Most Volkswagen Can Offer

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Volkswagen reports that the Arteon will feature an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.

Yes, I said “German engineering” as a praise, because in this case it definitely is. The Volkswagen Arteon is based on top of the modular MQB platform, which means it can source technology from basically any car based on this architecture. Audis included.

“The Arteon is Volkswagen’s brand shaper. This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster. Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan.” – Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen.

Presenting the car in Chicago, Volkswagen did release some info about the Arteon that will be available in the U.S. Despite having only one engine option - a four-cylinder TSI - the Arteon comes with a formidable list of standard equipment. Volkswagen reports that the Arteon will feature an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. More importantly, it will come as standard with the DCC adaptive damping system. This system will enable you to go through a few suspension modes and choose between firmer, more comfortable, or more dynamic suspension settings. Furthermore, the cabin is garnished with a push-button start, tri-zone automatic climate system, and plush piano black elements on the dash. Add to this 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitor, and rear traffic alert and you have yourself a fine Arteon SE.

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL and the Arteon SEL Premium are also available. They build on top of the SE giving the Arteon a clear premium character. It is shaped up with larger wheels (up to 20 inches), optional adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a 360-degree camera, as well as fantastic Virtual Cockpit and a 12-inch display for the upgraded infotainment system. Then, you just opt for the 700-watt, 11-speaker Dynaudio premium sound system and you have yourself a fully loaded Arteon.

Much Larger Than The CC

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Although it will succeed the Volkswagen CC, the Arteon is actually a different car compared to it.

Although it will succeed the Volkswagen CC, the Arteon is actually a different car compared to it. Volkswagen made it much larger and seemingly far more upscale looking. Making it bigger was an expected turn of events as they need to sell it in China, and in the U.S. to make it profitable. Chinese drivers love long wheelbase cars with a lot of rear seat room, while the Americans love big cars. Period. Due to these requirements, the Arteon is possibly the best of both worlds. Everyone who rode in the back reported plenty of room (even headroom despite the coupe-like roof), and the car does feel imposing and dominant on the road as well.

In numbers, Volkswagen made it 2.36 inches longer than the CC, 1.3 inches taller, and 0.62 inches wider. Volkswagen officials would describe its proportions like this:

“The Arteon combines the design elements of a traditional sports car with the elegance and space of a fastback,” says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen brand. “It’s an avant-garde business class Gran Turismo that speaks to the heart and the head alike.”

Compared with the Passat, the Arteon has a more spacious trunk. The U.S. Passat comes with 15.9 cubic feet, with the Arteon getting more than 18 cubic feet of space. Couple this with much more space in the cabin and we have a properly upgraded Volkswagen compared to the Passat and the previous CC.

It Is Cool in a Way

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Despite the People’s car badge, the Arteon seems to tackle the likes of coupe-like Audi and BMW saloons quite well

I find this Volkswagen one of the most astounding cars the company has ever produced. Then again, I have a soft spot for long, sophisticated sedans that look great in black. And, this one is long, sophisticated, and looks stunning in black. Despite the People’s car badge, the Arteon seems to tackle the likes of coupe-like Audi and BMW saloons quite well. Heck, I see some opting for it instead of the Jag XE, or even the C-Class. Part of its appeal is definitely the fact that it won’t be the best selling Volkswagen, like ever. This makes it kinda unique and niche-focused giving its drivers and owners a somewhat mysterious quality. Yup, a good Volkswagen can do that. Especially one that looks as mean as this one.

References

Five Reasons New Arteon May Vivify Volkswagen In The U.S.
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Arteon.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Updates include..
Revised front fascia

Read our full review on the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line.

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Read more Volkswagen news.

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