2021 Volkswagen Arteon overview: Star and not using a highlight

Quite a lot of styling tweaks make the Arteon much more enticing. 

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Volkswagen Arteon is a really good automotive that no person’s shopping for. OK, no person is a bit harsh, however with fewer than 3,000 models offered within the US by way of September of this yr, the Arteon is without doubt one of the slowest-selling automobiles from a mainstream automaker. And that is a rattling disgrace.

LikeLots of normal infotainment techSmooth driving dynamicsGreat fashion, in and out

Do not LikeLacks the punch of some competitorsSloping roof means poor rear headroom

“It is undoubtedly higher than 400 models a month,” a Volkswagen government mentioned of the Arteon throughout an interview earlier this yr. However truthfully, at this level, even 400 models a month can be an enchancment. So within the hopes of setting the struggling Arteon on a greater course, Volkswagen is giving it various considerate updates for 2021, each single one in all which makes this stable sedan even simpler to love.

Visually, the Arteon’s modern silhouette does not change (that is a great factor). The frameless home windows are cool and the hatchback form makes this sedan tremendous purposeful. A part of the 2021 redesign, outlined air intakes flank both aspect of the entrance bumper, and the R-Line fashions have an LED gentle strip that spans the width of the fascia, cleanly built-in into the grille bars. Restyled 18- and 20-inch wheels can be found (along with a set of 19s that carry over from the final Arteon), and a pair further paint colours are on the docket, too.

The most important updates are literally discovered contained in the Arteon, the place the cabin will get an intensive zhushing-up. The dashboard design is a bit more upscale and there is a redesigned (and Arteon-specific) steering wheel with haptic contact controls. New air vents line the highest of the sprint, and 30 ambient lighting colours span the width of the cabin, flowing into the digital gauge cluster and alongside the doorways, each entrance and rear. Lastly, Volkswagen’s previous, frumpy-looking local weather controls are gone and of their place you will discover a swanky new digital/contact setup, although oddly, not like the steering wheel, these buttons haven’t any haptic suggestions. Bizarre, proper?

Along with the usual digital gauges, each Arteon comes with Volkswagen’s MIB3 infotainment system, housed on an 8-inch touchscreen. MIB3 has embedded navigation, in addition to wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and VW’s App Join smartphone integration. The MIB3 system is comparatively straightforward to make use of, with menu buttons that robotically current themselves when the system detects your grubby fingers approaching. 

The 2021 Arteon’s inside is manner higher than earlier than.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Typically talking, the Arteon has a premium aura that is been lacking from a number of Volkswagen’s current merchandise. It has the high-quality match and end I keep in mind from the corporate’s older automobiles — an attribute that basically set VWs other than different mainstream producers. The seats are supportive and cozy, and so they’re heated and cooled on my totally loaded SEL Premium R-Line tester. The sloping roofline type of impedes rear headroom, however there is a shocking quantity of legroom, so simply slouch, I assume. Plus, do not forget, you’ll be able to fold the again seats flat, revealing 56.2 cubic ft of cargo area. That is big.

There are not any notable mechanical adjustments for the 2021 Arteon, however I all the time appreciated the way in which the previous one drove, so I am not complaining. A 2.0-liter turbocharged I4 is the one engine obtainable, with 268 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque and an 8-speed automated transmission. The bottom Arteon SE is barely obtainable with front-wheel drive, however 4Motion all-wheel drive is non-obligatory on the SEL and normal on the SEL Premium.

The Arteon is not essentially fast, however the turbo punch is sufficient to get this four-door up and out of its personal manner. The transmission does generally tend to carry gears leading to a little bit of drone throughout acceleration — to the purpose the place one passenger truly requested if the automotive had a CVT — however gear-changes are however fast and easy after they do lastly occur. Choosing Sport mode sharpens the throttle, transmission and steering calibration, and there is a Customized setting the place you’ll be able to set an entire bunch of driving parameters to your liking. Me? I favor to only depart it in Regular and even head over to Consolation. The quiet, refined nature of the Arteon is greatest skilled in these settings, with properly tuned steering, easy low-end torque, good cornering traits and a compliant experience because of the adaptive dampers — even on the SEL Premium’s 20-inch wheels.

A full-width LED gentle strip is built-in into the grille bars on loaded SEL Premium fashions.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Small bonus: The 2021 Arteon is barely extra fuel-efficient than its predecessor, a minimum of on the freeway cycle. Evaluating 2020 and 2021 mannequin yr Arteons, front-drive variations are each EPA-estimated to return 22 mpg metropolis, however whereas the previous automotive was rated at 29 mpg freeway, the brand new model will get 32 mpg. Stepping as much as all-wheel drive reduces these figures barely, to 20 metropolis and 31 freeway. Even so, after every week of combined driving, I am seeing a mean nicely above the EPA’s 24-mpg mixed ranking.

The bottom Arteon comes outfitted with forward-collision help, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rain-sensing wipers, LED headlights and some different niceties, however if you’d like adaptive cruise management you must step as much as the SEL. Pricing for the 2021 Arteon begins at $38,190 together with $1,195 for vacation spot, and you’ll’t get into an all-wheel-drive model for lower than $44,590. Go for the gold and also you’re $48,190 out the door for an SEL Premium R-Line.

This shapely sedan additionally has a hatchback for added versatility.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Arteon is type of a bizarre tweener within the sedan area; Volkswagen says it targets the Acura TLX and Nissan Maxima as opponents, in addition to entry-level luxurious sedans. The obvious rival is the superb Kia Stinger, which prices much less on the bottom finish and will be had with a 365-hp twin-turbo V6 on increased trims. The truth is, the Stinger is presently outselling the Arteon greater than three to 1 to date in 2020. And, nicely, good because the Arteon is, the Stinger GT is extra entertaining to drive and is each bit as purposeful, so it is in all probability the way in which I might go. Alternatively, if it is consolation and tech you are after, the Arteon doubtless makes extra sense. However at that time, so do a number of entry-level luxurious sedans, to not point out an entire bunch of compact crossovers.

It is a unusual drawback to have: Being so likable and purposeful, but being pigeonholed into area of interest standing since you’re combating with so many automobile segments unexpectedly. The Arteon is extra enticing and extra refined than earlier than, and it is a automotive I might be fast to advocate. However till Volkswagen throws some extra advertising and marketing {dollars} its manner — or till customers’ tastes start to shift — I am afraid this one will all the time be a low-volume participant, even when it deserves an entire lot extra consideration.

About the author: SubSellKaro

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