Fleet News

First drive: Volkswagen Arteon company car review

"Overall the Arteon is fantastic to look at, offers great practicality and is well made."

8
Volkswagen

Review

This bright yellow masterpiece is the all-new Volkswagen Arteon.

It has been designed to replace the CC, which was, essentially, a Passat with a pretty body.

Volkswagen’s strategy has been to separate the car from the Passat and allow the Arteon to hold its own spot in the market. Unlike the CC, the Arteon is a hatchback.

So it is now a closer relation to the Škoda Superb in the Volkswagen Group stable.

There is a clear intention to keep the Arteon in the premium sector as Volkswagen is only offering two top-level trims in the UK – R-Line and Elegance – with prices starting at £34,305.

Specification is high across the range and includes digital instruments, adaptive cruise control and an eight-inch glass touchscreen infotainment system with connected services and on-board WiFi.

R-Line models get larger wheels, more aggressive styling and sportier seats, while Elegance’s are more focused on comfort.

To complement its striking looks, which are enhanced by optional 20-inch alloy wheels, the Arteon is available with two high-performance engines: a 280PS turbo petrol and a 240PS twin-turbo diesel. 

Less powerful diesels and the Group’s new 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine have been confirmed, too, and we expect the 150PS diesel will be best suited to fleet customers.

At the launch event the most frugal model available was the 240PS diesel, emitting 152g/km of CO2.

It’s clearly been developed to deliver maximum performance rather than economy, reaching 62mph from rest in just 6.5 seconds.

Drivers opting for the 150PS 114g/km model will pay around £285 per month (40% taxpayer) in benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax which is more reasonable than the £400 per month they would pay for our more powerful test car.

Currently only a seven-speed DSG gearbox is available but a manual is due later in the year. Customers can also opt for 4Motion all-wheel-drive.

The Arteon drives with typical Volkswagen precision. It’s hard to fault but equally hard to praise. The handling is decent, but not class-leading.

Dynamic Chassis Control allows for excessive customisation of the driving dynamics.

Previous Volkswagens have offered Sport, Normal and Comfort settings but the Arteon has a sliding scale with more than 40 possible combinations.

The throttle response, dampers and steering are adjusted and if you choose anything in the Sport spectrum the car pipes in a fake, slightly out of character, exhaust note through the stereo speakers.

Some of Volkswagen’s new driver assistance technology has made a debut in the Arteon.

Adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist offers semi-autonomous driving already. 

But Volkswagen has enhanced the package with Emergency Assist, a system which can slow the car down, activate the hazard lights and pull into the slowest moving lane if it senses the driver is incapacitated.

There is also a sensor at the back which scans for fast approaching vehicles and readies the vehicle for an imminent collision.

Interior space is particularly generous.

At the rear there is substantial legroom and a large boot. The rear seats also fold for extra convenience.

Overall the Arteon is fantastic to look at, offers great practicality and is well made.

The models we tested offer excellent performance but fleet customers will be better off with the front-wheel-drive 150PS diesel. 

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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