What a good idea: VW has not only redesigned its elegant Arteon coupé sedan, but has also given the car a second body variant: The Arteon Shooting Brake should cause quite a stir in the salesrooms, not just because of its design.
To admit it to the purists: Yes, a Shooting Brake is actually a hybrid of a station wagon and a sports car, so if in doubt, such a car with a sloping station wagon rear is more compact and, above all, two-door. But when it comes to naming and positioning, the principle is also: What is allowed is allowed. And didn't Mercedes also have such a huge car, the CLS Shooting Brake?
That's true, but it wasn't a long-lasting success - all the more interesting that VW is now daring to take this step of offering a variant of the Variant. From a purely external point of view, the Arteon Shooting Brake not only looks particularly elegant, it also signals to more pragmatic station wagon customers that space has been wasted here. However, anyone who opens the sleek, sloping tailgate will be surprised: A really large storage space opens up here (565 to 1.632 liters), even if it cannot quite keep up with that of the Passat Variant (650 to 1.780 liters).
Still, space isn't really the Arteon's problem, even in the back seat. The same applies here to the Shooting Brake and the Fastback sedan: if the driver is not too tall at the front, you can cross your legs at the back and not hit the front seat with the tip of your foot. Or in numbers: up to 1,02 meters of legroom, you can also say business class.
The secret behind the lush interior is sheer outer size: At 4,87 meters in length and 2,84 meters in wheelbase, an Arteon is anything but compact, and if you look at the Shooting Brake from the side, the rear section is almost endless to the rear, but without making the car look inelegant.
Another contradiction of the Arteon, however, is much more interesting: Wolfsburg officials usually think in large numbers. Or very large. The Arteon has not yet been granted that. Of the 15 VW car models offered on the German market, 2020 have overtaken the Arteon in the 13 registration statistics, and the start-up of the new ID.3 electric model is likely to cause the Arteon to lose another place. There were only 4.217 Arteon registrations from January to September, the closely related Passat sold almost ten times more during this period.
Nevertheless, VW is giving the Arteon, which has been available since 2017, a second chance, and not only is it upgraded with the added Shooting Brake, but has also understood that something had to be done inside. While the first Arteon was still very clearly based on the Passat in terms of interior design and materials used, the strategy is now: more premium. From now on, the large SUV Touareg is the car whose quality standards one wants to orientate oneself by, and this difference to the earlier Arteon is also noticeable. Finely crafted seams adorn the dashboard, wooden inlays are really made of wood, and the ambient light (30 colors to choose from) even shimmers from tiny holes in the door trim. The level here is actually higher than in the Passat.
If you want to drive the Arteon, you first have the choice between two turbo diesel engines, each with a displacement of two liters and a choice of 150 and 200 hp. Two petrol engines of the same size with 190 and 280 hp will follow, and in spring 2021 the Arteon R will come with 320 horsepower. As with many other models, VW also places some hope in the Arteon in the plug-in hybrid variant, which comes with a system output of 160 kW / 218 PS and a maximum torque of 400 Newton meters. Purely electric range: 59 or 57 kilometers (Shooting Brake) according to the WLTP standard. The trip under the care of the electronic hybrid manager is interesting here: You press a button in the center console, select the hybrid mode on the touch display, and now the car can use the entered navigation destination to calculate very precisely when and to what extent the electrical energy from the 13 Batteries with a capacity of kilowatt hours are accessed. This may not be as spectacular at the beginning as a purely electric drive, but it is always more efficient - also because the system can foresee whether a downhill drive will soon be recuperated, or whether a tight curve or a town sign will force you to brake. This then happens automatically, once for safety reasons, but also to regain some energy. On a country road test lap, under these circumstances, the gasoline consumption was 4,4 l / 100 km - a sympathetic value for such a large car, even if you still have to recharge electricity and take the costs into account.
TDI drivers do not have to solve such arithmetic tasks, but simply enjoy the powerful torque (also 400 Nm in the 147 kW / 200 PS model) and enjoy a 66-liter tank that - at least theoretically - lasts for 1.269 kilometers .
In both the eHybrid and the TDI, the Arteon driver can put himself in the hands of Travel Assist. This system combines assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, automatic lane keeping and emergency brake assist and works up to a speed of 210 km / h to make long journeys on the motorway more relaxed and safer. Thanks to the navigation system and traffic sign recognition, the car also knows where it is. Speed limits are recognized very reliably and implemented exactly - if this is too strict for you, you can of course override the system using the accelerator pedal or a button on the multifunction steering wheel.
Even if very large wheels (up to 20 inches) are on offer: The roadholding of the revised Arteon is rather comfortable, despite its directness. On narrow country roads, it is worth calling up the DCC menu and readjusting it individually: Steering to “Normal” and damping towards “Sport” would be a tip to get a little smoother through the curves.
Overall, at the end of the test drives, the impression arises that VW has moved more consistently than before in the direction of premium cars with the Arteon. It remains to be seen whether customers will follow suit, also because Arteon prices are not made of paper. Above all, however, the attractive Shooting Brake would be more visible on the streets.
Four-door coupé sedan with five seats: length: 4,87 meters, width: 1,87 meters, height: 1,43 meters, wheelbase: 2,84 meters, trunk volume: 445 to 1.427 liters
Petrol engine: 1,4 liter four-cylinder, 110 kW / 150 PS, electric motor; 100 kW / 136 PS, system output: 180 kW / 218 PS, maximum torque: 400 Nm, front-wheel drive, seven-speed dual clutch transmission, Vmax: 222 km / h, 0-100 km / h: 7,8 s., Standard consumption according to WLTP: 1,1 l / 100 kilometers, power consumption: 14,8 kWh / 100 km, CO2 emissions: 24 g / km, efficiency class: A +, emissions standard: Euro 6d-ISC-FCM, price: not yet determined
VW Arteon Shooting Brake 2.0 TDI - Technical data:
Four-door hatchback station wagon with five seats; Length: 4,87 meters, width: 1,87 meters, height: 1,45 meters, wheelbase: 2,84 meters, trunk volume: 565 to 1.632 liters, empty weight: 1.650 kg
Diesel engine: 2,0-liter four-cylinder, 147 kW / 200 PS, maximum torque: 400 Nm, front-wheel drive, seven-speed double clutch transmission, Vmax: 233 km / h, 0-100 km / h: 7,9 s., Standard consumption according to WLTP: 5,2 l / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 139 g / km, efficiency class: A, price: from 50.503,86 euros
Brief description of the VW Arteon:
Why: Attractive design (especially Shooting Brake), spacious, surprisingly functional interior, confident roadholding
Why not: stately price level
What else: Audi A5, Kia Stinger, Mercedes CLS