The Volkswagen Arteon 2022 this is a great sedan. But is that enough to attract buyers who are captive to SUVs? Is it good enough to justify its rather inflated price? At least at this point, when inventory is hungry, the answer will be yes, but what happens if the industry finds some resemblance to normalcy? Perhaps Arteon expects the same share as another expensive and luxurious VW sedan: Phaeton.
Let’s drop our wild assumptions for a moment and just enjoy the 2022 VW Arteon the way it is. The style is appealing, doesn’t seem to desperately need attention. If you tried to describe to someone its front panel, the massive grille might evoke thoughts of Toyota Avalon or Chambersbut Arteon is executed with much greater splendor. The headlights have accents that harmoniously fit them into the horizontal lines of the grille. Exquisite sedan fastback profile has echoes (somewhat related) Audi A7while the back reminds us of the substantial and simple A8 of the latest generation.
Is Arteon the middle ground between VW and Audi? Well, the proven price of our top-end car at $ 51,240 is definitely a testament to that. Like its interior.
Cover the VW badge on the steering wheel and you’ll be forgiven if you mistake the latest-generation Arteon with the Audi, both in terms of design and material quality. The dashboard is appropriately modern with a restrained and dignified interpretation. The digital dashboard and 8.0-inch central touchscreen display clear graphics, while piano-black plastic surfaces with flavor are minimal. Our only minor complaint is the use of bright metallic finishes, which can cause annoying sun glare.
In part, our love for the Arteon interior may be due to the minor makeover it received last year. The aforementioned digital display replaces the analog sensors, and the extra analog clock has disappeared from the center of the dashboard. For 2022Arteon maintains its dynamics by giving all models a more aggressive character with an R-Line design theme.
However, the biggest change for Arteon 2022 is the transmission. Under the slender hood hides a slightly adjusted version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder 2.0-liter motorcycle, which can be found in the sprite. VW Golf R. It produces a healthy 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is fed through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The VW 4Motion all-wheel drive system is standard on all but the base SE R-Line trim. Despite the more powerful engine, it has little effect on fuel economy. The EPA estimates that all-wheel drive Arteon will yield 22 mph on the highway compared to last year’s 20/31 mph. Our average consumption of 21 miles per gallon included a lot of vigorous mountain driving.
In the daily ride there is a noticeable delay and influx of power when you first press the gas. Whether it’s a turbo lag, a lazy clutch engagement, or a combination of both, it can be annoying at first. However, after a short time behind the wheel you get used to these subtle throws. With conservative driving it may seem weak, but a little more pressure on the pedal leads to a significant increase in power. When the engine is pushed into bolder territory, the engine responds properly with smooth acceleration, giving the Arteon a light and affordable character.
We didn’t realize that this lightweight facade hides the sporty side, as if your polite family friend turned out to be a former Olympic medalist.
The Arteon we protested last year accelerated to 60 mph in a respectable 6.4 seconds. Based on specs, the increase in 32 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque shouldn’t dramatically improve performance for the sedan by nearly 4,000 pounds. We thought the improvement by a few tenths was worth it. With a 4,000 rpm sequence control sequence we got instead an acceleration time of up to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, which is as impressive as it is unlikely given the car’s mild street manners. In a quarter mile, this Arteon crossed the line in 13.3 seconds at 103 miles per hour, compared to its predecessor’s 14.7-second mileage at 96 miles per hour.
To his credit, the fun isn’t limited to a straight line. On the asphalt strips winding through the Santa Monica Mountains, Arteon proves that the curves are also fun. All-wheel drive is your friend here, especially in first gear hairpins and quick left-right-left transitions. It’s not a sports car, but the Arteon handles better than almost any non-luxury sedan if you have all-wheel drive.
The base finish of the front-wheel drive SE R-Line tells a whole different story. In fact, the tires tell you through a constant howl that bounces off the canyon walls. It feels like it’s on a 20-year-old tire, although they’re the same all-season Continental as the all-wheel drive version. That the front wheels did not turn, and the sedan on the supposed line, much more subtlety is required. We admit it’s still fun in itself, but it’s certainly not reassuring. Irregularities in the middle of the corner lead to some disturbing straps, which also showcases all-wheel drive Arteon, but to a lesser extent.
No matter how many wheels are driven, it’s a good idea to switch the shift lever to manual mode and make extensive use of the shift levers if you want to have that much fun. Otherwise, the transmission shifts too willingly and impatiently to higher gears, and you’ll be disappointed if you try to turn off the power from corners. Sport mode helps a bit, but the engine still tends to get stuck.
Arteon’s ride quality matches broken pavement and bumps, while remaining taut and ready to turn, and standard adaptive shock absorbers help the car find the optimal balance of comfort and performance.
The front seats are also balanced, providing decent lateral support and adequate cushioning for long journeys. Ventilation seats are included in the upper trim along with a massage function, but soft kneading is for the driver only and only in the back of the seat. Helping to further reduce fatigue, the cab is left without road noise and wind noise at highway speeds. The rear seats, despite their flat appearance, are well punched, and can accommodate passengers up to five feet nine without having to clean the ceiling.
We are more impressed by what is behind the rear seats. The large hatch opens wide to reveal a huge cargo compartment. Its volume is 27 cubic feet just a cubic foot less than that VW Taos SUV. The location of the rear seats increases this capacity to a generous 56 cubic feet, and the folding 40/20/40 sections provide more flexibility.
The Arteon cab has a technological style, but some basic operations may come as a surprise. We like to consider ourselves technically savvy, but it took us a few minutes to just find the odometer (it was hidden by the cruise control indicator). Displaying the navigation map is also surprisingly complex, it takes a few taps until we finally find the right combination. Being on the menu is complicated by using icons instead of markings.
The infotainment system loads a little slowly; the reaction can also be faster. You need to get used to the menu, but over time they make more sense. However, we prefer to get acquainted with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which is typical of most cars today.
We usually reject the sight of capacious touch buttons, but here our fears were unfounded. Steering wheel controls for activation require intentional pressure, and sliders for volume and track / channel skipping are not as sensitive as other brands. Temperature controllers are not so easy to use; this is due to their low location in the central stack. This is the case when a switch or knob is best.
If you have the impression that we are picking on Arteon, you are right and that is a good sign. In fact there is nothing that does not catch the critical error in how this car looks or drives, which leaves us with obsessive questions asked at the top of the review. It really should be good enough to distract buyers from the SUV, thanks to fast acceleration, sporty handling and a huge cargo compartment. It’s also sophisticated enough inside to justify its price, but the reality is that the market turned away from sedans many years ago.
And this is a real tragedy. Volkswagen Arteon 2022 is worth your attention. This is the car you need to turn to see the last glimpse before you leave. We had similar bouts of attachment to Kia Stinger when it debuted four years ago, and like this sports sedan fastback, it’s a great car at the wrong time. Maybe one day we will look back with the same love as we do today to Phaeton. We are glad that Arteon exists in this way in 2022. If you agree, we suggest you act quickly before this disappears.
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