Driven: 2017 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line Review
I got the opportunity to test out what could be one of the best looking Volkswagens ever made; the Volkswagen Arteon R-Line.
What is the Volkswagen Arteon R-Line All About?
The Arteon is a completely new car to the Volkswagen range, sitting above the Passat. The car offers sporty styling in a GT format, giving the impression of speed without even moving. I love the look of this model and seeing it up close certainly made me like it even more.
You certainly can’t deny the car’s sexy, sleek look. Firstly, it has a long bonnet, with the seating position around the middle point of the car. In modern VW fashion, there is a wide stretching grille that flows seamlessly into the futuristic headlight clusters and lower bumper grilles. From the side, you’ll notice the large set of 19-inch alloy wheels that really make the car look significant on the road. Working your way around the rear, we have a carefully crafted rear bumper that nicely houses the angular exhaust pipes. Across the centre of the boot panel, the word Arteon is proudly on display. Above that, there’s a cheeky little black boot spoiler, giving the car that edge of sportiness.
Powering the car is a 2.0-litre diesel engine that creates 150 PS and 340 Nm of torque. All that power goes to the front wheels using a 7-speed DSG gearbox. This means the car can get from 0-60mph in 9.1 seconds, onto a top speed of 137 mph. The car manages 62 mpg, while putting out 116 g/km of CO2.
How Does it Drive?
Pop in, hit the start button, put the car in drive and you’re off. From the offset, it is clear that the car has Gran Turismo credentials. In its default comfortable mode, the car glides over the UK roads and I was instantly impressed with the ride especially after seeing that the car is on 19″ alloy wheels with 40 profile self-sealing tyres. During my first few miles driving the car, I took in its comforts. This included the soft peddle mapping on the accelerator, and the gentle and timely shifts from the 7-speed automatic DSG gearbox.
After some time driving, I decided I really like the seating position in the car. I like the space around me, but also how well placed the pedals were in front of me and that I could get the steering wheel into the optimum driving position. It’s worth noting that the seats are super comfortable and very supportive when you need them to be.
As with most new cars, there is a range of drive modes available to tune the car for your current requirements. Moving the Volkswagen Arteon into the more sporty setting instantly made the car come alive, the gearbox holds a higher gear for longer and the throttle mapping encourages you to squeeze a bit more power out of the car.
Of course, there are faster engines available in this car, but the 2.0-litre TDi is the most economical and does have 340 Nm of torque. This means overtaking in this car is a simple point and shoot manoeuvre. When moving at speed, the car feels very stable and there’s lots to enjoy when you throw the car into bends on an empty B-road. I think most will say this car is certainly fast enough and you need to remember that you are still getting 62 mpg on a motorway cruise. Not bad.
Overall the driving experience is well suited to someone that likes to drive and needs to cover lots of miles. In fact, it could be my car of choice from VW at the moment. It’s worth noting that the car comes with bags of support systems that contribute to how good the car works in real life. To name but a few; Adaptive Cruise Control, Electronic Stability Control, Start/Stop Function, Predictive Pedestrian Protection, Traffic Jam Assist, Emergency Assist and Proactive Occupant Protection.
What is it like Inside?
If you thought the outside of the car was good, check out the interior. There are lots of nice points to mention, but here are some of my favourites. When I got in for the first time, I remember looking at the flat-bottomed steering wheel and loving the design of it. It does have a fair few buttons on it, but they are nicely implemented into the design.
Centre of the party – upfront, you will notice a really nice 8-inch colour touchscreen that has a well-built user interface. Most people won’t ever need any assistance navigating around the menus of the infotainment system. Of course, this includes, DAB, Bluetooth, Sat Nav, USB, CD player and is linked to a well-rounded 8-speaker system.
Just check out these seats as well. The seats are wrapped in Nappa leather with Carbon Optic side bolsters with contrasting stitching. I have never seen leather with a carbon effect on before and it really helps make the seats look and feel amazing. As I mentioned before, the seats are very comfortable and a big part of why this car is so relaxing long distance. Once you get into the back of the car as a passenger you’ll also notice that there is a considerable amount of leg room even with a tall driver. Boot space is also very large and more usable than ever with a very wide opening because of how the boot door opens. Some might say that style comes with compromises; I am yet to see any.
The experience that the Volkswagen Arteon delivers is one of prestige and beauty, which isn’t too often something that we can say for VW. The Arteon is a very desirable car to look at in Chilli Red. When seen gliding around the town it will certainly turn heads with people wondering what they are missing. As others look in, you will be looking out from complete comfort feeling energised from the refined quality of the car.
The Arteon just added another weapon to Volkswagen’s already strong arsenal of quality cars. Except now we have a car that gives a sleek, sporty look that’s exciting to drive. This while offering us all the dull and boring practicality that we like, but never really lust for. This Arteon brings two opposite worlds together to create a package that we haven’t seen before. A sporty GT with perfect build quality.
2017 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line
- Price: £41,660
- Engine: 2.0-litre TDi Diesel
- Power: 150 PS
- Torque: 340 Nm
- Transmission: 7 Speed DSG
- 0-62mph: 9.1 seconds
- Top speed: 137 mph
- Weight: 1,643 kg
- Economy combined: 62 mpg
- CO2: 116 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley