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2019 Volkswagen Arteon

2019 Volkswagen Arteon

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$24,114 — $37,734 USED
22
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Sedan
5 Seats
23-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2019 Volkswagen Arteon Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Volkswagen’s new flagship vehicle, the 2019 Arteon sedan, is finally here and it gives a very good premium, if not luxury, impression.

By Brian Wong

The debut of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon has been a long time coming. We first saw Volkswagen’s new flagship vehicle teased in 2016, and it arrived in the flesh at a North American auto show in early 2018, but certification problems in Europe meant that the car was delayed around the world. Now, Volkswagen’s new flagship vehicle is finally here. I headed to the area around Santa Barbara, Calif., to see if the Arteon was worth the wait (per company policy, Cars.com pays for its own transportation and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events).

Related: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Starts at $37K … Wait, What’s the Arteon Again?

What I discovered was something that felt like a return to form for Volkswagen, which has been criticized in recent years for taking its vehicles down a notch in terms of materials and, simply, how nice they felt to be in. The Arteon takes things in the opposite direction, and I found it gives a very good premium, if not luxury, impression.

Tuned for Comfort

When it was announced, the Arteon had multiple potential powertrain configurations, but as is common for these globally sold vehicles, those options got condensed into one for the U.S. market. Here we’ll get only a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive costs an additional $1,800 on all of the Arteon’s trim levels except the top SEL Premi...

The debut of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon has been a long time coming. We first saw Volkswagen’s new flagship vehicle teased in 2016, and it arrived in the flesh at a North American auto show in early 2018, but certification problems in Europe meant that the car was delayed around the world. Now, Volkswagen’s new flagship vehicle is finally here. I headed to the area around Santa Barbara, Calif., to see if the Arteon was worth the wait (per company policy, Cars.com pays for its own transportation and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events).

Related: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Starts at $37K … Wait, What’s the Arteon Again?

What I discovered was something that felt like a return to form for Volkswagen, which has been criticized in recent years for taking its vehicles down a notch in terms of materials and, simply, how nice they felt to be in. The Arteon takes things in the opposite direction, and I found it gives a very good premium, if not luxury, impression.

Tuned for Comfort

When it was announced, the Arteon had multiple potential powertrain configurations, but as is common for these globally sold vehicles, those options got condensed into one for the U.S. market. Here we’ll get only a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 268 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive costs an additional $1,800 on all of the Arteon’s trim levels except the top SEL Premium R-Line, which I tested, where AWD is standard.

The powertrain might be the part of the Arteon that feels the least luxurious, in part due to that transmission. Volkswagen has a superb dual-clutch seven-speed automatic, but the company chose to use the eight-speed instead and it isn’t as good. There’s noticeable off-the-line acceleration lag, and shifts aren’t quite as crisp as they could be. Once the engine gets up into its power band (around 3,000-4,000 rpm is when it really kicks), it’s up to the task of hauling the Arteon around, but keeping the engine in that range can be challenging.

What does feel luxurious, however, is the ride. The Arteon comes standard with an adaptive suspension, and it puts it to excellent use. There was also a unique feature that I found in the Arteon that I haven’t seen in another vehicle before: Instead of just a few different firmness settings for the shock absorbers, there’s a slider that allows the driver to select within a range from Comfort to Sport. I counted the tick marks: There are 42 different settings you can pick from.

The suspension, in combination with the excellent MQB platform that Volkswagen uses under the Arteon (and many of its other vehicles), make for a pleasant cruising experience. The car rides buttery smoothly but without feeling vague. At both low and highway speeds, there are no bobbles, and it rumbles over even imperfect roads with nary a care. Overall, the setup is tuned for comfort — even in Sport you’ll feel some body roll in corners, especially on entry. But by the time you get through the corner, the suspension has worked out what the car is doing and it stays surprisingly level on exit. The Arteon isn’t a blast to drive like the Kia Stinger, but it feels solid and competent in its own right.

A Flagship-Worthy Interior

Hop inside the Arteon and a few things are immediately apparent: There’s no skimping on materials, and man does it have a lot of space. The accents that appear to be metal throughout the cabin actually are, higher trim levels get Nappa leather seating surfaces, and the whole front setup appeared familiar to me. It reminded me of several Audi products, except the Arteon keeps its physical climate controls. You can even get the same 12.3-inch instrument panel display, but here it’s called Volkswagen Digital Cockpit instead of Audi Virtual Cockpit.

There’s also a ton of space, especially in the backseat. The Arteon is the “spiritual successor” of the CC, says Volkswagen, and the Arteon has a 5-inch-longer wheelbase than the CC while being only 2.3 inches longer overall. This allowed the interior to expand — nearly all of that added wheelbase went into a backseat that offers 40.2 inches of legroom. One thing to watch out for is that the roofline does start to dip as it moves to the rear of the car; if you’re taller, you may run into some slight headroom limitations the farther back you lean. There’s enough legroom, however, that you can settle back into the seat nicely and avoid the roof.

The interior isn’t perfect — the only charging option in the backseat is a 12-volt outlet, but otherwise there are no USB ports or wireless charging mats to help out with that. I was disappointed to see touch-sensitive buttons flanking the multimedia screen, and Volkswagen’s digital display doesn’t offer the same Google Earth satellite navigation view or the same level of customization as the Audi system. But on the whole, it’s an impressive cabin that’s comfortable for four occupants over long trips.

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Competes With What?

Given its size and price, where the Arteon fits in the competitive landscape is open to interpretation. It starts at $36,840 and tops out right around where my test vehicle was at $47,705 — that’s with all of the bells and whistles plus the sportier looks of the SEL Premium R-Line (all prices include destination charges). Against other large sedans, it fits right between the sporty Kia Stinger and the frumpy Toyota Avalon. It can also fight upward; I think the Arteon makes a strong case against premium vehicles like the Acura TLX and the Buick Regal, against which its mix of impressive cabin materials, roominess and ride quality give it an edge.

But what was most interesting to me was comparing it against closer relatives than that: the Audi A5 and A7, which are also fastbacks. The A5 has a starting price ($45,195) that’s close to where the Arteon is at the top — and I think I’d rather take the Arteon over the A5 in that scenario, especially considering that the Arteon has much more interior room and the two both have turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The Arteon’s luxury trappings aren’t enough to best an A7 in a straight-up match, but the A7 starts at $68,995, which puts quite a gulf between the two. And if you carry folks often, though the A7 is just over 4 inches longer, it has 3.2 inches less backseat legroom.

I came away from my time in the Arteon impressed. Its ride and interior quality, good use of space and value give it strong appeal — but we’ll see if that translates to sales. The 2019 Arteon arrives at dealerships this month.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.8
19 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(5.0)
Performance
(4.5)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Beautiful Ride

by Original G from JACKSONVILLE on July 26, 2020

I traded the Atlas for this car after seeing it on the lot while in for service. I was not looking for a new ride, but this car is the epitome of German styling. I have received many compliments from ... Read full review

(4.0)

Great car and value. But could be better.

by StoicInPA from Narberth, PA on May 20, 2020

In the first 48 hours of owning the 2019 Arteon, I've received more positive compliments than I ever have in owning any vehicle. It's flat out a good looking car. The fact that it's such a low volume ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon has not been tested.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Volkswagen

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    72 months / 72,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 72,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    MY 2015-MY 2017 vehicles / 75,000 miles, MY 2018- MY 2019 vehicles/72,000 miles, MY 2020 and newer vehicles/ 75,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    For vehicles purchased on or after January 5, 2021: Model-year 2017 and older, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever occurs first) limited warranty; model-year 2018-2019, 1 year/12,000 miles (whichever occurs first) limited warranty; model-year 2020 and newer, 2 years/24,000 miles (whichever occurs first) limited warranty

  • Dealer Certification Required

    100-plus point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    2 year 24-Hour

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2019 Arteon Stories

See all 2019 Volkswagen Arteon articles

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All Model Years for the Volkswagen Arteon

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Arteon received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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*MSRP and Invoice prices displayed are for educational purposes only, do not reflect the actual selling price of a particular vehicle, and do not include applicable gas taxes or destination charges.