2019 Arteon New Car Test Drive
With its coupe-like profile, the new 2019 Volkswagen Arteon mid-size sedan blends enticing style with welcome hatchback practicality. A replacement for the former CC sedan, the 2019 Arteon hatchback straddles the line between mainstream sensibility and straight-up luxury.
Three trim levels are offered: SE, SEL, and lineup-topping SEL Premium.
Like nearly every Volkswagen on sale, the four-door Arteon contains a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine, rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Sending that energy to the wheels is a slick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on SE and SEL versions, with all-wheel drive optional. SEL Premium trim comes only with all-wheel drive.
R-Line editions are strictly appearance-focused, including black bumpers and spoiler, contrasting steering-wheel stitching, stainless steel door sills, and paddle shifters. Upgrading to 20-inch tires costs $500 more, but standard wheels fill out wheelwells nicely. Their taller sidewalls absorb bumps better, too.
Highly capable and competent, though short on sporty flair, the mid-size Arteon drives like a Volkswagen should: comfortably, capably, predictably. Front seats have plenty of space; rear passengers must tuck in under a low roofline to reach the Arteon's low seats. As is the case with most hatchbacks, cargo space is much better than in a similarly sized sedan.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the Arteon.
As expected in a flagship sedan that starts near $36,000, several active-safety features are standard. Each trim level is equipped with automatic emergency braking that incorporates pedestrian detection, along with blind-spot monitors and rear cross-traffic alerts. The Arteon SEL adds adaptive cruise control and adaptive headlights. SEL Premium cars step up another safety notch, adding active lane control, parking assistance, automatic high-beam headlights, and a surround-view camera system..
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
The 2019 VW Arteon SE ($35,845 with front-drive, $37,645 with all-wheel drive) comes with synthetic leather upholstery, heated power front seats, keyless ignition, adaptive dampers, LED headlights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Forward-collision warnings, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts also are standard.
SE R-Line ($37,110 with FWD, $38,910 with AWD) adds R-Line interior/exterior appearance elements.
SE R-Line w/20-inch wheels ($37,610 with FWD, $39,410 with AWD) substitutes 20-inch wheels.
SEL ($39,995 with FWD, $41,795 with AWD) adds nappa leather upholstery, a panoramic moonroof, navigation, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control, and remote start.
SEL R-Line ($41,260 with FWD, $43,060 with AWD) adds R-Line appearance equipment to SEL trim.
SEL R-Line w/20-inch wheels ($41,760 with FWD, $43,560 with AWD) substitutes 20-inch tires.
SEL Premium 4Motion AWD ($44,945) comes with all-wheel drive, cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, massaging driver's seat, parking sensors, active lane control, and a surround-view camera system.
SEL Premium R-Line 4Motion AWD ($46,210) adds R-Line equipment to SEL Premium, including 19-inch wheels.
SEL Premium R-Line with 4Motion AWD and 20-inch wheels ($46,710) substitutes 20-inch tires..