Volkswagen Arteon

Elegance 2.0 TDI

Volkswagen Arteon, front action
Volkswagen Arteon, front action 2
Volkswagen Arteon, front static
Volkswagen Arteon, landscape
Volkswagen Arteon, rear static
Volkswagen Arteon, rear action
Volkswagen Arteon, side action
Volkswagen Arteon, dashboard

LET'S admit it; we Brits are snobs when we buy some sorts of car, where a posh badge counts for almost everything.

Not that there's anything wrong with a car wearing, say, the Audi rings or Mercedes star. Or a BMW propeller logo, or Jaguar's leaping cat, for that matter.

But there's not much wrong with Volkswagen's new Arteon either, except for the badge - respected but not lusted after by legions of middle managers working their way up the corporate greasy pole.

This large and handsome machine sits in the VW range above the businessman-focused Passat but is apparently not intended to take the place of the now deceased Passat CC four-door coupe - but to stand above its vacant podium.

To do that, and inject some upmarket glamour into proceedings, the Arteon needs to combine wow factor (inside and out) with solid build quality and lots of tasty bits of standard kit.

Well, to these eyes the Arteon's generously flowing lines are more classy than sassy, while the interior is nicely put together and delightfully easy to live with but just a bit... well, dull.

Starting at £33,320 and topping out at £40,425, every Arteon combines lots of space for five adults and a huge boot, easily made bigger still by folding the rear seats. The sloping rear roofline adds to the looks but won't stop taller people feeling comfy in the back.

No complaints from the driver either, sitting in a superbly supportive and electrically adjusted seat and faced with an instrument panel that could be a clichéd demonstration of German logic.

That means it's very sensibly set out and works the way you'd think it ought to; not something that some cars from other lands can claim. Hard on poor VW if that makes it all feel a bit clinical, an impression not lifted in this particular car by some half hearted application of obviously pretend wood on the dash.

No complaints about the level of spec on the test car, with goodies ranging from adaptive cruise control and easily programmed satellite navigation to leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto and chunky 18in alloys and even a full size alloy spare wheel.

Worthy of separate mention are LED headlights that turn night into day without dazzling oncoming cars and bend for approaching corners via a sat nav prompt.

Dig a bit deeper and for £315 there's the finest rear view camera I've used, making reversing this big car into a tight parking space so easy you'll do it for fun.

Going forward isn't bad either, where the Arteon's ride stays supple until you hit the worst of surfaces. The car never feels outright fast but it's plenty quick enough and showed 52mpg on the trip meter after more than 500 miles, beating the new and tougher WLTP official test figure of 50.8mpg.


Volkswagen Arteon Elegance 2.0 TDI

Price: £35,440

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 7-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 9.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.8

Insurance Group: 22

C02 emissions: 146g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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