A Car! A Car! - Volkswagen's 2019 Arteon Is Not, in Fact, a Crossover or Some Such Thing

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
a car a car volkswagen s 2019 arteon is not in fact a crossover or some such

Forgive the headline writer’s apparent shock. He thought Volkswagen was all about SUVs now, yet before him stands a premium midsize fastback sedan from none other than that German utility vehicle giant. Well, “sedan” isn’t entirely accurate.

In the interest of giving passenger cars that extra little bit of added utility, automakers are suddenly pretending it’s the late ’80s again, grafting liftbacks onto the back of sedans from Audi to Buick to VW. The strange-sounding Arteon is no exception. Arriving for the 2019 model year, VW’s Arteon dons a rear liftback as it accepts the role of the brand’s new flagship, replacing the departed CC.

With SUVs and crossovers taking over the world, it’s always interesting to see a new car model appear.

The Arteon may be the CC’s replacement, but it certainly doesn’t share much with the former midsizer. Riding atop VW’s modular MQB platform, the Arteon stretches longer fore-and-aft and takes up more space side-to-side. Its wheelbase measures some 5.2 inches longer than the outgoing model, with shorter overhangs designed with visual athleticism in mind.

Expect a roomier backseat, at the very least.

Unlike the melted cough drop shape of the CC, the Arteon contrasts its continuous, coupe-like roofline (there’s a perennially overused term) with a contemporary body, a pronounced beltline, muscular rear haunches, and a wide, deep grille. Wheel diameter starts at 18 inches in base trim, moving up to 19-inchers on high-zoot models. While not something many talk about, the mere mention of frameless windows gets this author’s heart pounding, and the Arteon promises four of ’em.

There’s only one powertrain listed — a 268 horsepower 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Torque stands at 258 lb-ft. Unlike many of this car’s premium German rivals, the turbo engine drives the front wheels, though 4Motion all-wheel drive can be added for extra coin.

Calling it “Volkswagen’s brand shaper,” Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of VW’s North American region, says the Arteon is “bolder and faster” than the car it replaces.

“Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan,” he said, hinting that the car’s newness and value might poach sales from rival automakers in the entry-level premium market. Without an MSRP to go on, it’s hard to gauge the car’s value. Still, the Arteon does feature an impressive list of available content, implying the automaker plans to wow buyers with the car’s entry price, then rake it in from higher-margin, higher-content examples.

Standard kit includes a DCC adaptive damping system to ensure a smooth ride with fewer upsets, a start/stop system for added economy, plus forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, and post-collision braking round out the standard driver-assist feature. Of course, buyers can also spring for such niceties as adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, parking assist, and a host of other high-tech goodies.

Inside the cabin, buyers can upgrade their leatherette seating surfaces to real Nappa hide, add ventilation to their backsides, and order a personal masseuse for the driver. An 8-inch touchscreen promises easy integration for any phone user.

Those looking to boost the car’s sticker have the option of adding the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit feature, which places functions like navigation directly in front of the driver, should he or she desire it. Besides that reconfigurable screen, the automaker also offers available Volkswagen Car-Net connected vehicle services. That’s for drivers (or passengers) who really like planning their life through their phone.

Volkswagen breaks down the Arteon line into SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trims. The first Arteons should start rolling into U.S. dealers in the third quarter of 2018.

[Images: Tim Healey/TTAC, Volkswagen]

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Feb 15, 2018

    I like it! If VW wants more sales volume, maybe they need to start bringing the Amarok over though.

  • Ra_pro Ra_pro on Feb 20, 2018

    I saw the car last year in Europe, it looks better in person than in pictures. Unfortunately I don't think the engine matches the looks, 6 cylinder would be a welcome addition and it should retain the DSG instead of going with the automatic.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.