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We drive the new Arteon in Joburg: This is the premium sedan VW hopes to battle the 3 Series, C-Class in SA

2018-05-09 10:38
  Gallery

Volkswagen's new flagship sedan, the Arteon, has arrived in South Africa.

Sergio Davids

 • The premium Volkswagen sedan
 • Top-of-the-range 2.0 TSI engine with 206kW
 • New VW technologies make their debut in the Arteon
 • Loads of interior space 

Passat, CC… Volkswagen has a legacy of building quality premium sedans. Its latest foray into the sedan segment sees the German automaker launch the eyebrow-raising Arteon in SA.

The Arteon represents Volkswagen's top passenger model and the new gran turismo is produced at its facility in Emden, Germany.

Will the new Arteon make its mark locally or go the way of the discontinued CC? We find out at the launch of new performance sedan in Johannesburg. 

What's in a name

The name Arteon (with the emphasis put on the first syllable) is derived from two nomenclatures: "Art" describing the fastback's design and "eon" (ie Phideon and Phateon), identifying it as a premium VW model.



What do you think of the VW Arteon? Do you think it will sell well locally?  Email us


The range

The new Arteon is available in two equipment lines (Elegance and R-Line) and two engine options - 2.0-litre turbo charged diesel and petrol. Prices start from R599 900 for the 2.0 TDI 130kW Elegance DSG to R699 900 for the 2.0 TSI 206kW R-Line 4MOTION DSG.   

A good-looking sedan

The Arteon is based on the VW Group's Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). It measures 1.8m wide, 1.4m tall and 4.8m long with a wheelbase of 2.8m. 

The brief for VW's engineers was to create an avant-garde sedan with performance-car elements.

I'd say they nailed the brief as the Arteon is quite possibly the best-looking sedan VW has made in quite some time. It's a five-door fastback with an accomplished, elegant vehicle that’s all kinds of wonderful in terms of design.

One of the most important design elements is its sporty front-end. Stand-out features include a bonnet that extends a long way forward and partially over both wings and a radiator grille that encompasses the vehicle's full width. The result is a front-end design that would rival those fitted to sports cars.

Engines

The four-cylinder diesel 2.0 TDI produces 130kW/350Nm and is mated with a 6-speed DSG transmission. The combined fuel consumption is 5.6 litres/100km. 

The top-of-the-range petrol engine is the 2.0 TSI capable of 206kW/350Nm coupled with a with a 7-speed DSG transmission. The Golf R derived engine enables the sedan to sprint to 100km/h in 5.6 and reach a top speed of 250km/h. Fuel consumption is 7.3 litres/100km. 

The TSI engine also has 4MOTION all-wheel drive as standard. The diesel models have front-wheel drive. Dynamic Chassic Control is standard across the range.

Driving it

What's it like to drive? In short, incredibly comfortable.

VW has gone to great lengths to ensure the Arteon's sporty exterior matches its performance. It has impeccable road manners for a vehicle its size and whether you're cruising a city or heading off on a road trip, it's a fantastic cruiser.

If speed is what you seek, the R-Line benefits greatly from the Golf R punch, easily dispatching kilometres albeit without the sonorous Vrr-Pah from its hot hatch sibling.

The diesel is no slouch either offering a surprisingly sprightly ride. Gear changes are slick, it corners with minimal body-roll and overall makes for a great premium, family orientated vehicle.

Rivals

The Arteon faces tough competition from German rivals such as the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, both of which are extremely popular locally.

It will also battle against a seriously-tough contender within the VW Group - the Audi A4. Other rivals include the Jaguar XF, Lexus IS and the Volvo S60. 

Why purchase a VW-badged sedan over well-established offerings? VW hopes to stand out from the premium sedan crowd by offering a good-looking sporty(ier) alternative.

At least in terms of design and space it has its competition beat. VW's biggest battle will be to overcome market perception and winning over brand-loyal premium buyers. 

The Arteon Elegance has the standard specifications:
Exterior:
 • Chrome wing mirror caps
 • LED tail lights with dynamic indicator light function
 • 18" 'Muscat' alloy wheels
 • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork
 • Heated windscreen washer jets
 • Chrome strips on side windows
 • LED tail lights
 • LED headlights with LED daytime running lights
 • Alloy wheels (from 18")
 • Keyless Go locking system

Interior:
 • Aluminium pedals
 • Instruments, dashboard and door panels with individualised look and trim in brushed alluminium
 • Contrast stitching on seat covers and floor mats
 • Seat covers in Nappa leather
 • Stainless steel door tread plates, front and rear
 • Composition Media infotainment system, including eight loudspeakers, AUX-IN and USB (Apple-compatible)
 • 3-zone electronically controlled air conditioning system
 • Multifunction steering wheel in leather (with shift paddles on DSG models)
 • Driver Alert System
 • Progressive steering

The Arteon R-Line, in addition, includes the following features:
Exterior
 • ‘C'-signature of the front air intakes in high-gloss black
 • 19" 'Montevideo' alloy wheels
 • Heated windscreen washer jets
 • Unique R-Line bumpers
 • Continuous chrome trim strip on lower bodywork
 • Chrome-plated exhaust system tailpipes
 • Black boot lid spoiler
 • Privacy glass
 • Power folding mirrors

Interior
 • Leather sports multi-function steering wheel in R-Line design
 • Aluminium pedals
 • Roof liner in 'Titanium Black'
 • Stainless steel door tread plates front and rear with R-Line logo on front plates
 • Nappa Leather/Carbon Style seats with R-Line logo
 • Front seat heating

Volkswagen Arteon prices:
 
2.0 TDI 130kW Elegance DSG -  R599 900
2.0 TDI 130 kW R-Line DSG - R649 900
2.0 TSI 206kW R-Line 4MOTION DSG - R699 900   

The new Arteon comes standard with a 5 year or 90 000km maintenance plan, 3 year or 120 000km warranty, 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and space saver spare wheel. Service intervals are 15 000km.


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