In a Shocking Turn, Volkswagen Bestows R-Line Trim on 2019 Arteon

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
in a shocking turn volkswagen bestows r line trim on 2019 arteon

Don’t cut yourself cleaning up that juice glass you just dropped.

Yes, it’s true, the company that enjoys carving out slightly sportier iterations of existing models that aren’t actually any faster than stock is at it again. Volkswagen, which brought you screamers like the R-Line Jetta, Tiguan, and Atlas, plans to work the same magic on the brand’s upcoming flagship.


Like its stablemates, the mild-rodded Arteon doesn’t go in for any of that fancy go-fast stuff. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is the sole power source in this ride, and it’s good for 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Adaptive damping comes standard on all models, helping smooth out the road’s rough edges, and there’s a suite of driver assist features to keep insurance adjusters at bay.

The Arteon’s entry price is rumored to sit around $38,000, which, if true, places about a $3k gap between it and a Passat SEL Premium with all the options. We’ve had a couple of convos here at TTAC concerning VW’s likely source of Arteon buyers, and upselling at the dealer never fails to get a mention. Other buyers sight simply prefer the Arteon’s admittedly attractive outward appearance.

Still, the car’s positioning in the near-premium/entry level premium space, coupled with an unfamiliar nameplate and the fact that any car in 2018 is an increasingly tough sell, causes us to wonder about potential volume. While it doesn’t occupy the same space as the Arteon, sales of the Passat fell 50.3 percent, year over year, in the U.S. last month. Over the first two months of 2018, Passat sales declined 54.4 percent, despite a 5.7 percent uptick for the VW brand.

We’ll see the Arteon R-Line in the flesh at next week’s New York International Auto Show, with the Arteon appearing in showrooms this fall. R-Line trim is available at launch.

[Images: Volkswagen of America]

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  • Tonycd Tonycd on Mar 22, 2018

    I sat in an Arteon at the auto show, and the interior looked as if the appropriate tool for cleaning it was a garden hose. 38 large, my arse.

  • Zipper69 Zipper69 on Mar 23, 2018

    What brand's models correspond to this at that price? Pretty slim segment in any case.

  • Tassos This is yesterday;s news, or even the day before. I reported it here yesterday, and commented on it. Do wake up.
  • 2ACL As far as manufacturers with US operations go? Current Focus or Fiesta. Honda e.As for those with no US operations, I've been intrigued by the Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered and Vauxhall Corsa Electric.
  • Tassos SNAAB shot itself in the foot when it BASTARDIZED its unique brand by BADGE ENGINEERING its vehicles with GOD DAMNED GM, OPEL, CHEVY, LANCIA and who knows what other automotive RIFF RAFF. I know of no Saab Enthusiast (they do exist) who felt sorry when the stupid maker went BANKRUPT.
  • 28-Cars-Later Example is located in Coldwater Michigan, so..." needs work -- including new brakes."Brakes, brake lines, probably fuel lines. Probably should hit the master cylinder too unless there are seal only kits for it."It has an automatic transmission."Likely needs a new one of those as well."an exhaust leak"Add an exhaust to the list."an inaccurate speedo."Wow and TMU to boot!These days five to six bills isn't too horrible but this example could turn into a headache really quick due to parts availability. The right buyer for this is a small time tradesman, the HVAC guy who was just leaving my house is rolling a late P80 Volvo 850 sedan in manual which he treats like a truck. Said he'd love a wagon if he ever came across one... if you're local to Coldwater Michigan this is a nice work beater. Annual inspection/registration tax probably costs nearly as much as the car.
  • 2ACL Amazing price, but that's (IMO) a reflection of the interest in an old 2.0T repmobile made interesting only by being a wagon. The Epsilon 9-3 was a sanitized take on the Saab formula. That's not to say it lacks interesting variants, but this isn't one of them. If it had a stick, maybe. But this generation's automatics are sealed and known to become temperamental if not serviced. If the owner can't provide proof of regular servicing, run.