- Handsome design that's still practical inside
- 206kW of power feels great
- Long list of standard features
- Rivals offer better value for money
- $80,000 for a four-cylinder Volkswagen?
- Usual low-speed dual-clutch auto foibles
Volkswagen revealed the Arteon in Australia back in 2017 as a luxurious liftback sedan based on the Passat. According to the brand, it stirred the soul with its sultry styling and performance and for the 2022 model year, the German auto maker has released a light facelift to keep the Arteon fresh. The model we tested here is flagship 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line, with serious performance and a long list of equipment, so should it be your sub-premium brand luxury car of choice?
The Arteon’s mid-life facelift also brought the addition of a Shooting Brake wagon variant, while around the same time, Volkswagen stopped producing the Passat sedan.
Price & Equipment: 7/10
Priced from $63,640 plus on-road costs, the Volkswagen Arteon range is on the pricier side of things especially when comparing it to the Volkswagen Passat on which it’s based (the Passat starts at $48,990 plus on road costs). The model we have here, the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Liftback, is $71,240 plus on-road costs (around $80,000 drive away), which is $7,600 more than the entry level model.
For your $80,000, you get 20-inch alloy wheels, a 9.2-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, a 10-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, drive mode selection, tri-zone climate control, nappa leather upholstery, heated and electric front seats with driver’s massage and memory functionality, heated rear seats, an auto-dimming rear mirror, auto all-LED lighting and auto wipers, heated and auto-folding exterior mirrors, keyless entry with push button start, a power tailgate and configurable LED ambient lighting.
Safety kit in the Arteon 206TSI includes nine airbags, automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, driver fatigue monitoring, automatic rear braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, lane trace assist, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, emergency assist, a heads-up display, automatic post-collision braking, Matrix adaptive high beam functionality, a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parking, tyre pressure monitoring and an alarm system.
Though the standard equipment list on the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon is lengthy, there are some things that it is misses out on like a wireless charging pad, cooled front seats and live traffic updates.
Most of the colours available on the Arteon come at no additional cost. They are ‘Kings Red Premium Metallic’, ‘Manganese Grey Metallic’, ‘Pyrite Silver Metallic’, ‘Deep Black Pearl Effect’ and our test car’s ‘Lapis Blue’ paintwork. ‘Oryx White Pearlescent’ is also available for an additional $900 and a glass sunroof is also available for a further $2,100.
The main rivals to the Arteon are the $64,960 plus on-road costs Kia Stinger GT, the $68,990 drive away Skoda Superb Sportline and the $63,000 plus on-road costs Genesis G70 2.0T. The Stinger employs a larger 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, while the Superb and G70 use 2.0-litre turbo fours. All four cars are quite well equipped, though the Skoda looks like the best value as it largely matches the Arteon’s kit for a good $12,000 less. The G70 needs the optional Luxury Line pack to shine, but then it too costs almost $80,000. The Stinger also provides a great mix of performance and value for money, in our opinion.
Performance & Economy: 9/10
The sole engine offered in the the arteon range is Volkswagen’s familiar 2.0-litre ‘EA888’ turbocharged four-cylinder. It is offered in two states of power: the entry-level 140TSI has 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque but this top spec 206TSI we tested comes with 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque. Power is also sent to all four wheels through VW’s ‘4Motion’ all-wheel drive system.
The 206kW tune in the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon propels it from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds, which for a larger four-cylinder sedan, is excellent. The engine itself feels powerful and effortless, though down low there can be a small amount of turbo lag. As is the case with the EA888’s employment in various Volkswagen Group cars, we do really like the engine and it feels very suited to the Arteon. It is quiet and refined, just as a luxury car should be.
The sole transmission offered in the Arteon is a seven-speed dual-clutch ‘DSG’ automatic transmission. There are the typical slow speed dual-clutch foibles that most dual-clutch units have but as soon as you are on the move the transmission shifts quickly and even in manual mode, the paddles are very responsive.
The claimed fuel consumption figure for the Arteon 206TSI is 7.7L/100km, which isn’t bad for a large sedan. Our week in the Arteon saw an average figure of 8.7L/100km in mixed driving. The Arteon requires 98RON fuel only thanks to its use of a petrol particulate filter and it has a 66-litre fuel tank meaning you should get 700-800km between trips to the pumps.
In comparison the Skoda Superb Sportline has the same engine with the same 206kW but only makes do with 350Nm of torque, its claimed fuel economy is surprisingly worse than the Arteon at 8.0L/100km. The Kia Stinger GT has a 3.3-litre turbocharged V6 which pumps out 274kW/510Nm but uses more fuel at 10.2L/100km – we wish the Arteon also had a V6 engine, but alas, it doesn’t.
Ride & Handling: 8/10
The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line has a very good ride quality. It suits the character of the car, luxurious but sporty. The adaptive dampers that come on the R-Line as standard work magic in giving the Arteon a split personality: they are comfortable and more than compliant in normal mode for daily use but when popping the car into sport mode, they firm up making for a more engaging ride. But crucially, the Arteon’s ride quality is never too firm.
When in sport mode, the handling ability of the Arteon is excellent and it seems to stick like glue when cornering hard. It does not feel its size and seemingly shrinks around you, making the car feel nimble and fun. You would be excused for thinking that you are in something like a Golf R when getting on the power in the Arteon. The active safety systems on the Arteon work well and are not too intrusive. The adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality is handy in traffic, the lane keep assist is great on longer journeys and the blind spot monitoring helps lane changes and avoiding obstacles.
Interior & Practicality: 9/10
The interior of the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line is modern and simple. The design is quite traditional, but with some added luxury touches such as the textured aluminium dashboard line that runs over the top portion of the dash. It is a nice place to spend time, with good quality and it’s also ergonomically sound as everything is where you would expect them to be. In saying this, it hasn’t changed too much from the pre-facelift car – or the Passat that’s available for a lot less coin.
There is a soft touch dash, soft touch portions on the doors, very comfortable sports seats covered in supple nappa leather and there are also flock-lined door bins that kill rattles from putting your keys etc in them. The rear door panels are be a little on the harder side, as is the front centre console, but those are the only negatives we have with the quality of the Arteon interior.
The storage throughout the cabin is rather good. There is a small cubby by the driver’s right-hand knee for keys or coins, large door bins, a space for your wallet behind the electronic hand brake, a space for your phone in front of the gear selector, a large glove box, generously proportioned centre console, rear map pockets and the cup holders have a cover on them so when not in use they can be used as storage.
The 9.2-inch ‘Discover Pro’ touchscreen in the Arteon is good, although the lack of a proper volume knob is frustrating and the gesture controls rarely worked for us. The infotainment system itself is fantastic though with menus that are easy to navigate and the screen quality is very sharp. The navigation system is good, although no live traffic updates is annoying. Like most people, we would just connect our phone via the wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and use the maps on our phone. The digital driver’s display is very configurable and easy to set to what you like.
The rear seats in the Arteon are comfortable and offer a good amount of support and room. There are map pockets, a single USB charging port, rear climate control and air vents and a fold down centre armrest with cupholders. The room on offer is excellent too, with massive legroom and knee-room, while headroom is also quite good considering the sloping roofline.
Opening the power tailgate on the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon reveals a cavernous 563-litre boot. There are also hooks to hang shopping up with and a little nook to store smaller items. Folding down the rear seats opens this space up to 1,557L which is excellent for a liftback/non-SUV. In comparison, the Skoda Superb liftback’s boot is even bigger at 625L/1,760L and the Kia Stinger GT’s boot is a lot smaller at 406L/1,114L.
Service & Warranty: 7/10
The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon comes with the brand’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, which is the same warranty that is offered on the both the Skoda Superb and Genesis G70, though the Kia Stinger has a longer seven-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. The Volkswagen comes with 12 months worth of roadside assistance, whereas the Stinger can come with up to eight years of roadside assistance.
Servicing the Arteon occurs every 12 months or 15,000km, which is better than the 12-month/10,000km intervals of the Kia Stinger. The price to service the Arteon 206TSI over the span of five years or 75,000km is a massive $3,565 ($713 per service), which is quite steep considering the Skoda Superb Sportline will cost owners $3,262 over the same period and the Kia Stinger GT costs $2,560 over five years/50,000km. Buyers can choose a service pack for the same duration at time of purchase for $2,700 ($540 per service), but that’s still not what we’d call affordable.
2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Liftback DiscoverAuto Rating: 8.0/10
So you’re in the market for a performance oriented premium sedan and want to spend under $100,000, should you consider an Arteon? It would definitely be on our shortlist. The Kia Stinger GT is quicker and just that bit bigger but doesn’t have the same premium feel that the Arteon does, the Skoda Superb doesn’t have the style that the Arteon does and the Genesis G70 can get a little expensive once you start optioning it to the Arteon’s spec level.
The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line is a fast, good looking and somewhat efficient liftback that is great to drive and road trip in. It has a comfortable ride and is very easy to drive, so why wouldn’t you buy one? Well there is the exorbitant service pricing, that it is a lot more expensive than the Passat on which it’s based and that the interior could feel more special for the asking price. Plus, for around the same money, you can get cars with more expensive badges than Volkswagen. But the Arteon is a great car, regardless of its badge, and you should be test driving it.