Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TSI 190ps DSG

Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, front
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, nose, action
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, front, action
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, front, static
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, side, action
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, rear, static
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, interior
Volkswagen Arteon, 2017, front seats

THE Arteon is Volkswagen's new flagship model, a kind of spiritual successor to the Phaeton, though it's not in the same large executive saloon bracket as the Phaeton - a car that despite some impressive firsts never really took off.

One could also see it as step up from the ever popular Passat.

What it boasts is sleek coupe styling that is both elegant and distinctive. It's definitely one of those cars that's easy to like as soon as you set eyes on it and my test car drew admiring glances aplenty during my week at the wheel.

Step inside and there's a noticeable upmarket flavour. Fit and finish is pretty exemplary in all Volkswagen models these days but the designers have certainly upped the ante with the Arteon.

Costing from £34,305, all models come with VW's Active 12.3-inch info display, leather trim, climate control, LED self-levelling lights, cruise control, rear parking sensors and much more besides.

Among the many highlights are the latest Discover navigation system with eight-inch colour touchscreen, eight-speaker sound system, Bluetooth audio and telephone connectivity and Volkswagen Media Control which allows remote control of the infotainment system via a smartphone or tablet.

Assistance systems in every Arteon include adaptive cruise control with predictive cruise control, city emergency braking, front assist, speed assist, traffic jam assist, lane assist and driver alert fatigue warning system.

Given VW will be competing in the compact executive fleet sector the salubrious feel overall should perhaps be expected.

While it doesn't have the limo-like space of a Phaeton the Arteon's cabin is still pretty cavernous, quite a triumph considering that coupe-inspired styling.

It's able to carry five people in considerable comfort with, according to VW, best-in-class legroom of 1,016 mm.

Luggage space is 563 litres with the rear seats in place, rising to 1,557 litres of available carrying capacity when the rear seats are folded.

For now there are just two trim levels - Elegance and R-Line and initially the range features four turbo-charged engines: 187bhp and 280bhp 2.0 TSI petrols and two 2.0 TDI diesel engines with outputs of 240bhp and 150bhp.

In due course, additional engines will complete the range including Volkswagen's newly designed 150bhp 1.5 TSI Evo unit, featuring economy-boosting cylinder deactivation technology.

All engines can be combined with an automated DSG dual clutch seven-speed gearbox while the most potent units also feature Volkswagen 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard.

Ordinarily in a vehicle like this one might expect most buyers to plump for a diesel but that 1.5-litre TSI unit is likely to tempt some buyers, as indeed will this lower-powered 2.0-litre TSI.

It's super smooth and deliciously sweet and offers a blend of performance and economy that might not be in the diesel league but is very easy to live with.

The Arteon delivers a cushioned and comfortable ride and a decent drive too.

As with many cars in its class there's a choice between driving modes to suit what you're doing at a given time - Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport.

In sport mode it's an agile performer which handles splendidly it has to be said.

Whether the Arteon will sell in huge numbers is anyone's guess. Essentially it's there to show Volkswagen can compete against the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes.

FAST FACTS

Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TSI 190ps DSG

Price: £33,505

Mechanical: 187bhp, 1,984cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 149mph

0-62mph: 7.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.1

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 135g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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