Susan Frissell, Editor,

The 2020 Volkswagen Arteon in its second year, is a fun car to drive, but can’t compete with other sedans in its class. With a price tag just over $49,000, one expects a lot of car. Now, this writer is talking from a bias of luxury sedans (i.e., Infiniti Q50, Lexus IS/ES), so perhaps it’s not fair to lump the Arteon in that group.

VW’s have a distinct sound and ride, appropriate for the brand. It feels much sportier than other ‘luxury’ sedans and sits like a sports car. For someone tall, the interior will feel compact. My head wasn’t far from the ceiling and I’m only 5’6. The sunroof is large and stretches right up to the front windshield. But I’m nit-picking. There is a good amount of rear-seat room, though, and passengers appreciate that.

The VW lineup would never be a consideration for this writer, although they make a good car, it’s a breed of its own. The Arteon is available in 5 trim levels beginning with the SE ($35,995), SEL ($39,995), SEL R-line ($41,745), and SEL Premium R-line ($47,695). As always, our press vehicle was top-of-the-line with all the goodies.

The Arteon is a hatchback body style which seats five. Available in 5 exterior colors, ours came in Pyrite Silver Metallic. This isn’t a car with curvy lines so most colors look good. The predecessor to Arteon was the CC; a vehicle we found more attractive.

Our SEL Premium R-Line was equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, 4Motiona all-wheel-drive and 20-inch wheels. The R-line treatments include a front bumper all its own, spoiler, and some of the trim elements. Standard equipment includes rain-sensing wipers, panoramic sunroof and adaptive front-lighting system with cornering lights.

As with other offerings in this category, the Arteon offers technology and convenience that includes a digital cockpit, overhead view camera, remote start, Bluetooth connectivity. The Discover Media suite includes an eight-inch touchscreen, nav, voice controls, SiriusXM, HD radio, and CD player. The Dynaudio stereo was appreciated with 700-watts and 12 speakers.

The Arteon is loaded with active safety features, including park assist, adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitor, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, lane-keeping assist (which we find annoying), high beam control, and hill-hold control.

In addition, drivers can expect a Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Keeping System, High Beam Control, Remote engine start/keyless access/push button start and anti-theft alarm. The 8-inch touch screen holds the navigation system/AM/FM//HD radio, USB input.

Second-row sitters enjoy air vents sharing three-zone automatic climate control and heated seats. Our Arteon SEL Premium had Nappa leather and auto-dimming review mirror. The driver’s seat has a massaging feature, pedals are stainless steel.

For what might be considered faults of the Arteon are redeemed by the inclusion of the CD Player and the flexibility of the driver seat.

The 2020 Arteon now has the VW Car-Net telematics system and in-cabin Wi-Fi. The SEL Premium model comes standard with Lane Assist and 20-inch wheels. The Digital Cockpit is special in that it allows the driver to switch the navigation map from the center display to the gauge cluster. It’s possible to move the navigation map between the tach and speedometer to make it easier to view. Above the map you can see the compass, time and temperature readings.

VW’s Car-Net services are impressive and cover four areas: Remote Access, Hotspot, Safe and Secure and Guide and Inform. Remote Access allows the driver to start the car and check on fuel levels by way of a mobile app. These features are available for five years at no extra cost.

The Arteon is a very sophisticated vehicle and shows off Volkswagen’s progressive advantage. There are several things that make this vehicle stand out, but it isn’t a car for everyone. Perhaps that’s on purpose. There is something about the way a VW drives; it is different. It’s a style all its own.


Pricing: $47,685; $1020 Delivery; $49,100; color Pyrite Silver Metallic
Style: Hatchback, seats five
Engine: 2,0-L in-line 4, 16-valve, DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder w/fuel injection, engine start/stop system, 268 hp, 258-lb.-ft.-torque @ 150 RPM
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, 4-Motion, AWD w/Driving Mode Soloction, 4-wheel independent suspension
Wheels: 20-inch alloy
Tire: all-season, F/R 245/40-H Continental Pro Contact TX
Width: 73.7 in.
Length: 191.4 in.
Wheelbase: 111.7 in.
Height: 56.5 in.
Fuel tank capacity: 17.4 gal.
Est Fuel Economy: upward of 22/31 mpg.
Competition: Buick Regal, Kia Stringer 2.0T
Options: Monster Mats Heavy duty truck liner w/VW Cargo Blocks, $235
Warranty: VW new vehicle limited, 4yrs/80,000-miles powertrain, components Limited warranty against corrosion, perforation; 7 yrs/100,000; 2 yrs/20,000-miles scheduled maintenance; 24-hour road assistance 3 yrs/36,000-miles