- Svelte, sexy looks
- Super practical, well-built interior
- Punchy engine
- Pricing is on the expensive side
- Merely solid handling
- Expensive servicing costs
Here at DiscoverAuto we love a wagon, and we love a good looking wagon even more. Enter the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake. Volkswagen claims the Arteon is designed to be more luxurious than the Passat it’s based on, but without the high price tag of other more expensive German rivals, such as Mercedes and BMW.
So the Arteon is big on looks, but what about under the skin and inside? We know the Volkswagen Passat is a cracking car, so we’re hoping the Arteon’s appeal extends past its suave design. Let’s find out.
Price and Equipment: 7/10
While the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon range kicks off from $59,990 plus on-road costs, we tested the top-spec 206TSI Shooting Brake, which is priced at $68,990 plus on-road costs (around $79,000 drive away, depending on your location).
Standard equipment on the Arteon Shooting Brake 206TSI includes 20-inch alloy wheels with adaptive dampers, LED exterior lighting, tri-zone climate control, sports seats with ‘Carbon Nappa’ leather upholstery, a 9.2-inch touchscreen with inbuilt navigation, a digital driver’s display, digital radio, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an electric tailgate, heated 14-way electrically adjustable front seats with driver’s massaging and memory functionality, a 700W Harmon Kardon sound system, keyless entry and start with auto-folding mirrors and interior ambient lighting with 30 available colour options.
Standard safety kit includes auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian monitoring, lane assist, emergency assist, adaptive cruise control, a heads-up display, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, auto parking, front and rear parking sensors, auto rear braking, driver fatigue monitoring, a 360-degree parking camera and Matrix functionality for the headlights.
Available colour options include ‘Kings Red’, ‘Pyrite Silver’, ‘Manganese Grey’, ‘Deep Black’, our test car’s ‘Lapiz Blue’ (R-Line) and ‘Oryx White’ – only the latter attracts a charge of $800. A panoramic glass sunroof is also available on all models for $2,000.
The Arteon competes with a varied bunch. VW’s own Passat and Skoda’s Superb also hail from the VW Group and are closely related to the Arteon, sharing its engine and running gear. A Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon comes in at only $64,590 plus on-road costs, while the Skoda Superb 206TSI Sportline will set you back $62,090. Both of these rivals come similarly equipped to the Arteon and cost less money.
More premium rivals include the BMW 330i Touring which costs $75,990 plus on-road costs. The BMW is considerably quicker and word has it that it is a very sharp car to drive, even if it might lack some of the equipment of the Arteon, like the massaging front seats. The Arteon then, treads a fine line in the value department. It might be more stylish than the humble Passat, but it also costs quite a bit more, without being as expensive as “real” premium German rivals.
Performance and Economy: 8/10
Under the bonnet of the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is the VW Group’s familiar ‘EA888’ 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that’s mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. It produces 206kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The engine is much like the one we tested in the Passat and Passat Alltrack before, albeit with more poke than before in this iteration.
The engine, much like each time we’ve seen it before, impresses with its silky-smooth character. It feels beefy and substantial on the road. Peak torque comes in at only 1,500rpm, and the engine pulls hard to the redline. It makes a raspy, sporty note as the revs climb, although we know that much of the engine noise is thanks to an artificial sound generator mounted behind the dashboard. The engine feels perfectly matched to the Arteon’s slightly sporting intent, and feels especially worthy of the Arteon Shooting Brake’s good looks.
Volkswagen claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds for the Arteon Shooting Brake. We’re not quite sure how Volkswagen came up with this figure, as the we simply couldn’t replicate this figure in real world testing. Our Arteon made the sprint to 100km/h from rest in around 6.5 seconds. The Arteon does have a launch control function, but it is difficult to enable we believe in mechanical sympathy, deciding against adding a lot of wear to the DSG’s wet clutch packs.
The seven-speed DSG transmission works mostly well. It creeps rather intuitively at low speeds, but happens to be a touch too laggy when setting off. Keeping it in Sport helps when rolling with faster and more decisive gearshifts, but at the expense of fuel economy. Paddle shifters are found behind the steering wheel, should keener drivers wish to take matters into their own hands.
Fuel consumption on test was around 10L/100km, which is about on par for what we would expect of a large wagon with a decent engine, and not far off VW’s claim of 7.7L/100km. The Arteon Shooting Brake’s 206TSI requires a strict diet of 98 octane premium unleaded fuel. Volkswagen says lesser fuels have too much sulfur and would wreck the petrol particulate filter system, causing costly repairs. If only Australia’s fuel quality were better…
Ride and Handling: 8/10
Given that the Arteon Shooting Brake is very much based on the Volkswagen Passat, it comes as no surprise the two feel very similar on the road. This also means the Arteon feels just as composed and fluent on backroads as it does around town or on the freeway. It’s a fantastic all-rounder with very few weaknesses in the driving department.
The Arteon has four driving modes available: Eco, Comfort, Normal and Sport (as well as an Individual setting for the ultimate customisation) and they alter the car’s character ever so slightly.
Even in Normal, the Arteon rides firmly. It’s never uncomfortable and deals with most bumps well, especially as speeds increase. The big Pirelli P Zero tyres in 245/35 R20 wrapping the wheels do make larger bumps felt, but at speed, the Arteon feels like a fantastic cruiser. Road and wind noise are kept away thanks to the double laminated front windows and expert use of sound deadening. The Pirelli tyres do make themselves heard on course chip surfaces, though.
The electric power steering feels relatively direct and precise, even of it has little feel and allows keener drivers to plant the Arteon Shooting Brake accurately in corners. It grips well, and follows the line the driver gives it, without any theatrics or too much flair. The AWD systems shuffles power around to each of the four wheels in real time, ensuring perfect traction out of tighter corners.
Interior and Practicality: 9/10
The Arteon might look sleek from the outside but it also means you sit low inside. SUV buyers looking for a higher ride height best look elsewhere – the Volkswagen Tiguan or Skoda Karoq are a good choice if you’re after a Euro SUV. The Arteon’s interior has a premium, sophisticated and intimate feel, without feeling quite as special as more premium German marques. The driver feels cocooned in the cockpit thanks to the use of horizontal design elements, while the quality is very much on par with the regular Passat range. Think of the interior as identical to the Passat, with a little more flair to make things feel a touch more special inside.
The front seats are trimmed in luxuriously soft Nappa leather and are 12-way electrically adjustable, making them excellent for even longer journeys. The driving position too, is spot on and much nicer to our taste than the lofty seating position in most SUVs. In the Arteon you feel part of the car, sitting in the seat, rather than being perched on top of it. The massaging function on the driver’s side works well too – though the equivalent system in a Peugeot 508 is better.
Interior quality is hard to fault in the Arteon. Most plastics are soft, and the use of chrome, lighting and changes in glossy and textured surfaces has been mostly expertly picked. A word of warning though on sunny Australian days – the chrome trim on the dash will dazzle the driver’s eyes in strong sunlight.
VW’s 9.2 inch infotainment screen is mounted centrally in the dash and features no physical controls. Just like the air-conditioning controls underneath it, all inputs are done through touch sensitive buttons. It’s just a shame that the volume controls are on the left of the screen, presumably for the LHD market. We would like to see a physical knob on the right.
The screen itself is super crisp and bright, responding quickly to inputs, while the 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system sounds fabulous. The digital widescreen instrument cluster does away with traditional dials and is rather excellent. It offers great customisability and is super crisp and legible, even in direct sunlight. Its a class act that other manufacturers often struggle to beat. The steering wheel is one of the best we’ve seen too, with a lovely rim and quality leather, along with touch sensitive buttons and haptic feedback which might take some getting used to initially.
Just like the Passat, the Arteon offers acres of room inside. It feels like a limousine, especially in the second row where passengers can really stretch out. With a 4,866mm length and 1871mm width, the Arteon is simply huge inside, with its swoopier body never getting in the way of practicality. Rear seat passengers still gets tonnes of head- and knee-room and are well looked after with their own climate zone and one USB-C port.
The boot might not be class leading like a Skoda Superb, but it is still a cavernous 590L with the rear seats up, and 1,632L with the rear seats down. This makes the Arteon Shooting Brake an exceptionally practical wagon, even with its stunning looks.
Under the boot floor is the welcome full-size alloy spare wheel, and the subwoofer.
Service and Warranty: 7/10
Like other Volkswagen products, the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is covered by a five-year/unlimited km warranty with a single year of roadside assistance. Five years/75,000km of servicing the Arteon costs
Volkswagen offers two service packs which can be purchased at the time of sale. A five-year plan for any of the Arteons is $2500, saving buyers $553, while the three-year servicing pack comes in at $1600, saving $206. These servicing costs aren’t the worst we’ve seen for a European car, but they aren’t cheap either.
The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake DiscoverAuto Rating: /10
The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake hits the German brand’s design brief of being a sexier Passat designed to combine the good looks of a coupé with the practicality of a wagon. If the Volkswagen Passat wagon is a little too boring for you, or looks like a Police car, the Arteon might be the car to park on your driveway.
The Arteon is still really practical, well specced, has a lovely interior and drives well. It might be priced a little too expensively and lack the smarter looks of some more premium rivals, but the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is a well rounded, good looking wagon that deserves to be on your shopping list.