stats Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


  This site         Tips

  The Web Google


  Where to Find It

Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business



Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store

Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business




  Arts & Entertainment



   Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Births & Deaths






  Facts & Arguments




  Real Estate









  Food & Dining




  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...


   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site



  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us



 Web Site

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


The VW Arteon has plenty of class, but too little choice
The successor to the CC mid-sized sedan is a nicely rendered car, but for its price tag it lacks a bit of pizzazz
Special to The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article
Friday, May 10, 2019 – Page D4

OJAI, CALIF. -- 2019 Volkswagen Arteon Sedan BASE PRICE/AS

TESTED: $47,995/$53,085 Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Transmission/Drive: eight-speed automatic/AWD Fuel economy (litres/100 km): 11.8 City, 8.7 Hwy., 10.2 Comb.

Alternatives: Acura TLX, Infiniti Q50, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Buick Regal Sportback, Kia Stinger G o to Germany and shop for the all-new Volkswagen Arteon sedan, and you'll be spoiled for choice: different engines, different trim levels - it's always the way. Not in North America, though. Apparently, we're too impatient to want a choice.

In the United States and Canada, there's one engine - the most powerful one - and in Canada, only one trim level, the very top end with all-wheel drive, which costs $47,995.

"In Europe, you're okay to wait six weeks and maybe longer, but here, you buy it right now," says VW North America's product manager Kai Oltmanns.

He's talking about a prospective buyer walking into a dealership to purchase a car. "If we give too many choices, the customer may not be able to get the right car right now. We're good with this one choice."

That's the nature of buying a car these days, when drivers narrow down their choices with internet research and then visit a dealership at the tail end of the process.

The average dealership often can't keep one example of every trim level on the floor, and if it's not in stock, the customer will walk - maybe to the next VW location, but more likely, to the Acura or Nissan dealership across the street.

Volkswagen Canada expects to sell maybe 1,000 of the new flagship Arteon sedans, the successor to the mid-sized CC, each year.

CC buyers almost always opted for the loaded editions, so that's what is available this time around. All singing, all dancing, and all built on VW's new MQB platform, which also underpins the Jetta, Atlas and Tiguan.

"There was nothing wrong with the CC, but it runs on the old platform," Oltmanns says. "If you want to upgrade the technology and develop it further, and you want a new shape, you need a new platform."

The new Arteon is thoroughly updated with leading-edge technology and a modern Gran Turismo design.

It's intended to be Volkswagen's flagship vehicle, at least until its new lineup of all-electric vehicles arrives in 2021.

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

RATINGS LOOKS The Arteon has a fastback design that's low and sleek. It looks good - not so much a boring sedan as an attempted coupe, which is always more exciting, for better or worse. It's not particularly memorable in a parking lot, but drivers will notice those swivelling LED headlamps coming up in their rear-view mirrors, shrouded beneath the clamshell hood.

In Canada, there's a $2,995 option for the sporty R-Line package, which includes paddle shifters, lots of logos and 20-inch wheels to replace the standard 18-inchers.

INTERIOR Certainly comfortable, and everything falls to hand as it should, but again, not especially memorable. I had to look at a photo to remind myself what it was like, and that's after spending all day in the car.

It's spacious inside, with enough space in the rear for a pair of six-foot passengers to be comfortable, although their hair will brush the headliner. Since Canadians only get the top-end trim level, the seats will be Nappa leather and both heated and cooled in the front, heated in the rear. A heated steering wheel is standard, as is a massaging driver's seat, although it's not really a massage - the lumbar support band pushes in and out against the small of the driver's back. Feels good, though.

PERFORMANCE Yes, the only engine available in North America is the most powerful one, with 268 turbocharged horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque, but this is no German rocketship. Overtaking is still a manoeuvre to be planned well in advance. More impressive is the handling. The Arteon's dimensions are very similar to the CC, but while the new sedan is about 5 cm longer, it has an additional 12 cm of wheelbase.

This gives it a bigger overall footprint. There are five different drive modes - Econ, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Custom - and there are many settings within each that are easily adjusted by the driver. The computer will even set the active cruise control to stick more aggressively to a specific distance behind the car in front, or swivel the headlights more quickly around corners. But when you select Sport and the Dynamic Chassis Control adjusts the damping and rebound of the shocks, the Arteon changes instantly into a well-planted, aggressive car that tracks flat through curves with no surprises.

Or select Comfort and wallow along the interstate with everyone else.

TECHNOLOGY Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - check. Blind-spot monitoring and active cruise control - check.

If you spring for the only other available option - the Driver's Assistance package ($2,095) - you get parking assistance both parallel and perpendicular, a 360-degree camera displayed on the 12.3-inch central high-resolution screen, and lane assistance for semi-autonomous driving, although I didn't find it very good at holding a central line in the lane. WiFi is not available, but Volkswagen says it will be as soon as they can figure it all out for North America.

CARGO This is a major jump from the CC, which could fit 374 litres of stuff in the trunk. The Arteon benefits from its fastback design, which allows the rear door to be basically a hatch. There's now 643 litres of room behind the 60/40 split rear seats, and if they're folded down, that bumps up to a very impressive 1,558 litres. This is on par with the Buick Regal Sportback - again, not a hatch according to the maker, but every bit as spacious as one.

THE VERDICT 7.0 A nicely rendered car, with all the advantages and breakthroughs that you'd expect from a company that employs 44,000 engineers. Ultimately, though, it blends into the crowded background rather than stands out, and at this price, a buyer should expect just a little more pizzazz.

Associated Graphic

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, which has a base price of $47,995, sports a fastback design that's low and sleek - although not particularly memorable.


The Arteon's interior is spacious, with enough room in the rear for a pair of six-foot passengers to sit comfortably in the back.

Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Roy_MacGregor Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.


7-Day Site Search

Breaking News

Today's Weather


Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes

Where Manley is going with his first budget



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
Margaret Wente arrow
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game

Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
Mathew Ingram arrow
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
Andrew Willis arrow

Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
Eric Duhatschek arrow
Allan Maki arrow
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
 The Arts

John Doyle arrow
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
Johanna Schneller arrow

Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
Paul Knox arrow
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
William Thorsell arrow

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page