By Mike Torpey on 2021-09-26 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
THERE'S a fashionable, even chic, ring to the name Shooting Brake that makes it sound a tad more upmarket than a horse-drawn wagon from the late 19 Century.
But this was the origin of a style of motor vehicle that was originally built to ferry posh shooting parties and all their paraphernalia to the grouse moors.
Especially popular in the first half of the last century, there's been a resurgence in recent times, even though the operative word now is unmistakeably ‘estate'.
Latest to use the moniker - and without doubt worthy in terms of its excellence - is the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake, a low-slung stunner with bucket loads of head-turning elegance.
While its hatchback stablemate has been around as VW's premium flagship for four years, the Shooting Brake is not only new but a far cooler customer to boot.
And talking of boots, this one is so cavernous (officially 590 litres with rear seats raised, 1,632 with them down) that you can fit in not only ‘everything but the kitchen sink' but also the man who first coined the phrase, Eric Partridge.
Space is a theme that continues throughout the Arteon's cabin, with plenty of room up front and the scope to really stretch legs out in the back.
Even the centre rear position, which is slightly perched, allows enough comfort to make a long journey pleasant.
While several petrol and diesel engines are up for grabs, along with an eHybrid plug-in drivetrain, our tested model featured the lower powered 150PS variant of the two 2.0-litre diesel units.
It is by no means under powered though, as a 0-62mph acceleration time of 9.5 seconds underlines, and fantastic for fuel economy.
The official average consumption is 57.8mpg and after completing 450 miles of mainly urban and motorway driving over the course of a week, we still had 201 miles left in the tank.
Grown up and nicely balanced with the exception of occasional wheelspin from take-off in damp conditions, we found the Shooting Brake a joy to drive and the seven-speed DSG automatic gearshift smooth - even with a full complement aboard.
As for value, there plenty of metal for the money and an extensive amount and tech and kit included.
The interior was completely overhauled as part of upgrading the new model, the likes of a redesigned dash panel, centre console and upper door trims linking the Arteon closer to its luxury SUV sibling the Touareg.
Wood or metal decorative inserts enhance what is a fairly minimalist cabin in which backlit trim inlays come with a choice of up to 30 colours, while both Elegance and R-Line models (the only two trim grades) also get touch panels and sliders in high-gloss black for the climate.
Our model also featured soft two-tone Titan Black/Florence Brown seats and door upholstery, adding another £970 to the cost.
Otherwise all Arteons are generously equipped - with LED headlights and tail lights, Adaptive Cruise Control, Digital Cockpit Pro with its 10.25-inch dash TFT display screen plus a host of other goodies including a pin-sharp colour reversing camera and powered boot lid.
Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake Elegance
Mechanical: 150PS, 1,968cc, 4-cyl diesel driving front wheels via 7-speed DSG auto gearbox
Max Speed: 134mph
0-62mph: 9.5 seconds
Combined MPG: 57.8
Insurance Group: 23
C02 emissions: 128g/km
Bik rating: 29%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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