By on February 19, 2020

A perplexing vehicle we discussed not long ago has never been cheaper, but don’t expect to read about it in an ad.

The Volkswagen Arteon, a large-ish midsize premium sedan that exists despite the presence of Audi beneath the VW Group umbrella, was apparently struck by Cupid’s arrow on Valentine’s Day. Contained in that arrow (fired from a window at VW of America HQ) was incentives.

As reported by CarsDirect, last Friday brought boosted discounts for the liftback that’s thus far failed to sell more than 400 units a month in America. It landed on these shores last spring.

Just keep in mind that these discounts apply only to unsold 2019 models.

It seems the unadvertised dealer cash incentives run from $3,500 to $5,000 on a car that arrived in this market with $2,500 on the hood. Whether or not you can actually find a sweet deal on an Arteon depends on locale and luck. CarsDirect notes one California dealer selling a 2019 Arteon SE for $8,671 off, lowering its price to just $559 more than a 2020 Passat SE advertised by the same dealer.

That’s a pretty good price for a lot of new German car — one that’s a fair bit more potent than the Passat, despite sharing its displacement.

Those looking to finance an Arteon will notice that VW has shaved the interest rate from 0.9 percent to nothing (for 72 months), tacking on a $2,000 discount. That’s one way to move metal in the short term. Longer term, Volkswagen would like to see the range-topping model become less invisible.

At the recent Chicago Auto Show, VW’s marketing boss said advertising dollars are set to flow, hopefully boosting the model’s profile.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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42 Comments on “Cash Piling Up on the Hood of Volkswagen’s Arteon...”


  • avatar
    NeilM

    “Contained in that arrow (fired from a window at VW of America HQ) was incentives.”

    …*were* incentives. Elementary subject/verb agreement please.

    That said, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Arteon on the street. Apparently that’s a widespread issue.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I’ve seen one, and it looked so much like a Passat I wondered if perhaps I’ve seen others and didn’t know it.

      Come to think of it, IIRC the Arteon I saw was the same yellow color as the photo above, and that’s the *only* reason I noticed it at all.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I wasn’t even aware it was sold in the US yet…..

      Someone back when told me it _may_ be brought in, to satisfy those who insist proper VWs be German. Not Southern, as the Passat is.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Strange, it almost seems if you don’t advertise or promote a new model, nobody comes in to buy it. Hmmm….

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      ^This

      If I did not subscribe to several YouTube car review channels I would have no idea this exists. I also would have no idea that VW press materials list the Kia Stinger as one of this cars competitors, which I find laughable.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      I would definitely consider this car for 8k off MSRP, I would even consider it at near 40. It is a lot of car, typical options would give most of these a sticker over $40k which, as others have mentioned, is encroaching on a lot of nice vehicles. A bit more power would also entice.

      As an aside, I have seen exactly one of these in the Detroit area. VW has operations here still in Oakland County and around me VW’s are abundant compared to the surrounding area. There are plenty of VW’s and VW dealer’s around, just no Arteons. Actually saw a Atlas Cross Sport yesterday with manufacturer plates. That thing is going to sell like hot cakes.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        $40K for a 2.0T with a mainstream badge, and switchgear that matches a Golf costing half as much, but with worse visibility than said Golf. I could find much better uses for $40K than this ugly turd.

  • avatar
    993cc

    Meanwhile, VW discontinued the non-GTi Golf. Did the Golf ever require incentives of this degree to sell?

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      “Meanwhile, VW discontinued the non-GTi Golf.”

      You mean they stopped selling it in this market. In the rest of the world they sell tons of them.

      I’m guessing that VW has some idea of what they’re doing in this respect. They sell more GTI models than the regular version Golf, and likely at a higher margin.

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Cheap Golfs at least get young people in the door. VW’s market share is, well, maybe not what they hope it could be. Maybe they are worried the ownership experience means they’ll only get one chance to sell a VW, so they don’t want to scare people off until they buy the expensive stuff? ;)

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I’d say it’s the cheap Jettas that get the young folks in the door.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Yep! My local dealer here in Huntsville sells two models predominantly…Jetta and Tiguan, at least new. On the used side, they go through a ton of used Passat diesels. There is currently one Arteon on the lot, and it’s been there a bit now.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Hiley is pretty much a Jetta and GTI dealer last time I was down there with some scattered Tiguans. They did have 2 Golf R’s though and several GTI’s with those sexy plaid seats. If you could get those in a Jetta GLI, I’d be tempted.

          • 0 avatar
            Daniel J

            Art,

            As I know you live in my neck of the woods, this is pretty spot on with Hiley.

            Before we got our CX5 we did test drive an Alltrack but they were very unwilling to move on price. They had two or three at the time, with 20 jettas sitting on the lot.

            I went by there yesterday while having my Mazda 6 serviced, and they have a number of Atlases, Tiguans, and jettas. In all honesty looking at their selection of both Mazda’s and VW’s I’m not sure how they are still in business, even with their new digs. Maybe Audi?

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    It seems like every time VW tries to encroach into Audi territory, people just buy Audis.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    I mentioned it before, but the first impression I got when I sat in an Arteon was definitely *not* “premium,” thanks to the rattly frameless glass in the doors.

  • avatar
    Fleuger99

    I have a Golf Sportwagen so seen these on the dealer’s floor where I service my VW, otherwise I’ve never seen one on the roads. I did sit inside one on the showroom floor and it was nice but not nice enough to make me want to buy one.

    For the price of a well equipped Arteon I’d rather have a Golf R.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The last dying gasp of Piëchism.

    This kind of car will never sell in the U.S. without a premium badge, and sure enough Audi has a comparable product that seems to be doing fine: the A5 Sportback.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This thing was DOA. When I picked up my ’19 Tiguan in October of last year, the dealership said they were stacked deep on Arteons and hadn’t sold a single one, ever.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    *sigh* Another example of VQ HQ not listening to a single word from the mouths of their US dealers, of which I’m fairly sure *zero* were asking for any resources to be devoted to bringing a luxury VW-badged sedan to these shores.

    God help anybody who buys one of these things and needs model-specific parts for it more than 3 or 4 years from now. I could totally see having to wait a week or two for some stupid piece of trim, or some random electrical widget.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      On the other hand, 3 or 4 years from now you might be able to pick one of these up for stupid cheap. (Or, judging by the high prices on properly configured used CCs, maybe not.)

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>3 or 4 years from now you might be able to pick one of these up for stupid cheap.<<

        I thought that applied to all VWs. And isn't it smart people that avoid used VWs. The rule is that you lease VWs and then let some poor sucker deal w/ all the problems that afflict VWs after 3-4 years.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      What’s embarrassing is the notion that there’s anything luxurious about the Arteon. It’s about as nice inside as a loaded Golf that costs $20K less. The Kia Cadenza is a much nicer car for less money, if you want a nice, non-premium car.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        I think there are 4 Kia Cadenzas in a 400 mile radius where I live. But yeah, only if it was a sport back.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Korean near-premium feel vs German near-premium feel are two completely different things. In the same vein, an Excel was a “nicer” car for less money than a contemporary Civic.

        The main problem for VW with the Arteon is lack of marketing.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      This probably only exists here though so VWoA execs have *something* to drive, and selling any is a bonus.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The Phaeton existed because Piëch wanted a car that wouldn’t embarrass VW execs (including himself) when in the company of S-Classes and 7-Series.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          The (drop dead gorgeous nonetheless) Allante, served a similar role at GM, back in the heyday of the 500SL.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            I used to see Allantes w/ water in their tail lights all the time

            was that a Cadillac feature?

          • 0 avatar

            This goes back to GM of the 70’s…corporate declared each division’s execs had to drive the cars from their division. Suddenly you saw Buick, Pontiac, Olds and Chevy with option packages that were on Cadillac’s heels and managed to dilute any uniqueness of each Division…..all so the Chevy guys could drive “almost Caddy”.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    We have a VW dealership with exactly one on the lot. The interior is worse than my Mazda 6 GTR and it’s underpowered IMHO for the price they are asking. And the infotainment feels dates.

  • avatar
    ajla

    It has comparatively weak performance numbers and the few people buying cars like this these days are red mist types.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This is a great looking vehicle selling for too much and wearing the wrong badge at a time when CUVs are hot.

  • avatar

    40K is way too much for this kind of car.It has no snobbish value i.e. it is for folks like me who do not care about Audi badge and I bought new Fusion which is very similar for $30K. So I would expects somewhere 8K-10K discount and saying that I did not even noticed it in SF auto-show. Somehow it rendered itself invisible. So I have no idea about interior quality. I remember Passat was very bad.

  • avatar
    Lokki

    Interesting. I was in Italy last week and saw one of these in rental car parking when I was picking up my car. I had never heard of one. I checked the VW badging and concluded it must be a Europe only vehicle. In fact, I snapped a pic of it to research upon my return home. At a glance I thought it was a rebadging of the Passat CC.

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