CARS.COM — After a long wait, the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon has made its U.S. debut after being sold in Europe for some time. The cars we’re seeing at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show are both U.S.-spec vehicles in terms of materials and features, which makes them slightly different from the Arteons we covered from the Geneva show last year.
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Volkswagen already sells a larger, four-door car in the Passat but the two won’t ever get confused for each other. The Passat is one of the more anonymous vehicles on the road, while the Arteon oozes style. It keeps the CC’s fastback profile, which does give the Arteon a unique shape outside the luxury space.
In fact, the closest stylistic match I can think of for the Arteon is the Audi A5 Sportback or A7 — and that’s some very good company to be associated with. I’m a big fan of the Arteon’s front styling, but for those who live in states that require a front license plate, I fear mounting one may disrupt the grille too much.
The CC also had a rear trunk that was difficult to load, as it’s shape gave it a small opening. On the Arteon, that’s been replaced by a top-hinged rear liftgate (a powered one, at that, on some trims), which makes that process much easier.
Both Arteons here in Chicago were top-of-the-line SEL Premium models, which have luxury aspirations and standard features such as Nappa leather upholstery and heated/ventilated front seats with a massage feature for the driver. The seats were quite comfortable, both up front and in the backseat.
The Arteon’s overall dimensions aren’t that much larger than the CC, but the wheelbase has stretched by 5 inches, which pays off when it comes to passenger space — especially in the backseat. Though the roofline may suggest otherwise, there are large indentations in the ceiling, so there’s a ton of headroom for backseat passengers and a good amount of legroom, as well. Materials quality in the backseat also matched that in the front seats, something that’s not always the case.