For about $50,000, the Arteon comes in a single, well-appointed Exceline trim. All-wheel-drive is also standard. Photo: Volkswagen

2019 Volkswagen Arteon

A new hatchback becomes VW’s new top-flight passenger car

Style and luxury often butt heads with practicality in the automobile world, but Volkswagen seems to have blended those traits into the 2019 Arteon.

And it’s a real looker.

The new four-door hatchback becomes the automaker’s prestige vehicle, by virtue of both its content and corresponding upper-range price.

Although similar in length to the Passat sedan and constructed on the same MQB platform (as are many other VW and Audi models), the Arteon follows its own distinctive design path. It also tops the Passat with nearly five centimetres more width and distance between the front and rear wheels, which increases rear legroom.

The low-slung look is somewhat reminiscent of VW’s CC sedan that was retired after 2017. That model was significantly smaller than the Arteon and had a trunk instead of a liftgate, which limited stowage capacity.

Fortunately, the Arteon’s designers had a larger canvas to literally and figuratively draw upon and have generally succeeded in creating sufficient space — especially headroom — for four adults, or five in a pinch. Folding the 60:40 split rear seatback nearly flat can also expand the cargo area. Left in the upright position, a pass-through opening allows longer items to fit inside.

The sloping nose and hood add a degree of sportiness that the Passat lacks, while the fastback roofline compares to the Audi A5 Sportback and even the Kia Stinger.

In operational terms, the Arteon’s road holding qualities are assisted by active dampers (shocks) that react in milliseconds to varying road conditions and driver inputs.

The cabin is pretty much a replica of the current Passat’s, especially the control panel and 20-centimetre touchscreen that are straightforward and easy to comprehend, which is the case with most VW models. The pushbuttons for the ventilation settings located below the touchscreen are on the small side, however.

Also seemingly small for the Arteon’s stature is the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, although it makes a respectable 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The fuel-economy rating is 12.0 l/100 km in the city and 8.6 on the highway. It might seem odd that VW’s 3.6-litre V-6 isn’t on the menu, but it’s also no longer offered for the Passat.

An eight-speed automatic is your sole transmission choice and it directs torque to all four wheels since the Arteon is fitted with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive (which not available in the Passat).

Arteon pricing begins at $49,900, including destination fees, for Exceline trim (the only one offered). That price gets you trizone climate control, 12-way power front seats (with massage function for the driver’s chair) and heated, leather-covered front and rear seats and a 700-watt, 12-speaker premium audio system.

Also included is a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system and a 31-centimetre digital gauge and information display that can be configured according to driver preferences.

On the active-safety front, the Arteon comes with forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot warning.

Available is an R-Line package, consisting of metal interior pieces, a unique front end with gloss-black accents, a small rear spoiler and 20-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard).

You can also order a Driver Assistance Package, consisting of a surround-view camera plus parking assist and lane-keeping technology. The Arteon-exclusive Kurkuma Yellow Metallic paint (shown here) will set you back an extra $500.

As an upscale hatchback, the Arteon runs the risk of overlapping some Audi offerings (Audi is part of the Volkswagen group), such as the A5 Sportback. On the other hand, the hatchback’s youthful and sporty demeanor should help convey Volkswagen’s mission of creating a stylish and fun-to-drive larger car that’s as luxurious as it is practical.

What you should know: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon

Type: Four-door, all-wheel-drive midsize hatchback

Engine (h.p.): 2.0-litre DOHC I-4, turbocharged (268)

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Market position: The Arteon could be viewed as a new-and-improved version of the late Volkswagen CC, but in a larger, more practical format that can more comfortably accommodate adults seated in back.

Points: Good-looking design avoids the conservative sameness of the automaker’s other sedans. • Non-trendy, straightforward interior with intuitive controls and instrumentation. • Standard turbocharged four-cylinder posts decent output numbers, but some shoppers will still want a V-6. • Top trim level butts up against — or could even trip over — some Audi models.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); emergency braking (std.); pedestrian detection (std.); lane-keeping assist (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 12.0/8.6; Base price (incl. destination) $49,900

BY COMPARISON

Kia Stinger AWD

Base price: $41,900

Plenty of poise and punch makes this one a winner. V-6 engine available.

Buick GS AWD

Base price: $45,900

Fully loaded Regal hatchback comes with a standard V-6.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

Base price: $55,500

Luxury hatch is larger than the 3-series sedan. Turbo option makes 320 h.p.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, visit TodaysDrive.com!

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The Arteon’s rear seat is much better suited to two people than three. With five centimetres more wheelbase than the Passat, there’s also ample legroom. Photo: Volkswagen

Volkswagen interiors are stylish, free of gimmicks and intuitive. The Arteon’s is no exception, although the buttons below the touchscreen are tiny. Note the standard eight-speed automatic transmission and the optional configurable 31-centimetre display for the gauges. Photo: Volkswagen

Just Posted

Campbell River hydro project workers pitch a perfect safety game

The billion dollar price tag is not the only astonishing number

PHOTOS: More than 40 people gather for pro-choice rally

Event was planned to coincide with pro-abortion speaker Denise Mountenay presentation

Carihi Tyees win Island Championships

Senior girls volleyball team only lost two sets in the whole tournament

Campbell River RCMP look to identify four break-in suspects

Quinsam Communications had three separate break-ins Wednesday night, four suspects wanted

Stuck barge removed from Quadra, TSB on its way to investigate

‘Had it been loaded with railcars containing toxic chemicals … we may have had a serious issue’

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

BC SPCA seeks help after senior cat attacked by dog twice

Nine-year-old tabby named Meow Meow will need her front leg amputated

B.C. woman ordered to return dog to ex-boyfriend for $2,000

After the two broke up, documents state, they agree to share custody of the dog, named Harlen

Abbotsford police chief mulls more enforcement of homeless lawbreakers

‘When all else has failed we have to hold people accountable,’ Police Chief Mike Serr tells council

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

RCMP cut free activists chained to Kelowna bank, placed under arrest

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Comox Strathcona Waste Management looks at closing unstaffed depots

Amount of recycling material tainted seen as much bigger problem at these sites

Most Read