2019 Volkswagen Arteon Review

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Sleek is Volkswagen's new flagship sedan


2019 Volkwagen Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium 4Motion

Price: $44,945

Pros-Rakish look. Roomy. Fast. Supple ride. Solid handling. Luxurious. Available AWD. Virtually unchanged from 2020 model.
Cons-More sporty American than sporty foreign feel. Center-rear drive hump restricts seating.

Bottom Line-Racy looking new luxury sedan aims for for wider VW appeal.

The Arteon replaces Volkswagen's last sexy sedan-its sleek-but-snug CC. VW's longer, lower, wider, roomier 2019 Arteon luxury hatchback sedan looks much racier. Only minimal changes have been made to the 2020 model.

Most who glanced at my test Arteon's aggressive shape with its fast sloping rear roofline and low, wide stance didn't guess it is a Volkswagen. Although no SUV or crossover, the Arteon is clearly meant to draw more people to the VW brand.

I drove the $44,945 2019 Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium with 4Motion (all-wheel drive).To gain more American customers, VW has made the Arteon better suited to American driving tastes despite its European GT shape. However, it's still a German luxury car-without German luxury car prices.

This hatchback sedan has a softer-but-supple suspension, very roomy interior and easily used touchscreen, backed up by a bunch of manual dashboard and console controls-even a few in back. Luxury comforts include a heated adjustable steering wheel and heated/ventilated power front and rear seats.

The front seats are supportive in curves, and tall occupants can stretch out in the 191.4-inch long car's supportive rear seat, although a large center driveline hump makes it comfortable for only two back there. However, the middle area has a large fold-down armrest with two cupholders.

The trunk has a wide opening and is large enough to swallow plenty of cargo. Moreover, the split rear setbacks easily flip forward to allow a larger cargo area. To keep hands clean, there's a hands-free open and close rear hatch.

The upscale interior has attractive stitching, soft surfaces and easily read gauges and controls, Nappa leather seating surfaces and three-zone climate controls. The adjustable steering wheel is heated, there's a pushbutton starter and a "Dynaudio" 12-speaker premium audio digital sound system provides music. Also added are such items as a power tilt-and-sliding panoramic sunroof.

While front-drive Arteon models start at $35,845, the higher-line $44,945 Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium 4Motion (all-wheel-drive) Arteon I drove had the sophisticated 2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that's in all Arteon models. It generates 268 horsepower at 5,000 r.p.m. and 255 pounds/feet of torque at 1,950 r.p.m. Power flows through a smooth 8-speed automatic with a lightning quick manual shift feature.

The 3,665-pound Arteon has good power for merging and passing. The occasional slight hesitation when moving fast off the line is probably not worth mentioning because there are no other hesitations. One can choose several driving modes from Economical to Sporty, although the Normal mode is best for general daily driving. "Sporty" stiffens the ride and such for more aggressive driving, it really doesn't cause occupants to be uncomfortable. 

Estimated fuel economy with AWD is 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on highways and 22 and 31 with front-drive. For better fuel economy, an automatic engine start/stop feature works deftly if the car is made to wait for, say, a long train.The fuel tank has a 17.4-gallon capacity.

The rather firm electro-mechanical power steering with variable assistance is quick and precise and provides decent road feel. The ride is supple in all drive modes. And handling is sure with such features as 19-inch wheels, all-wheel drive, an all-independent suspension, electronic stability control and adaptive chassis control. There's only slight body lean when sweeping quickly through curves.

Safety items include power folding heated adjustable side mirrors, rear view camera system, overhead view camera, park distance control, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring. There's also active blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, hill hold control and rain-sensing variable intermittent front wipers. There's also an advanced air bag protection system with eight air bags.

The Arteon isn't a sports sedan. Rather, it's a luxury Volkswagen model with an alluring exterior and inviting interior. It's not as much fun to drive as a genuine sports sedan but provides an enjoyable driving experience.







Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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