Long Term Review: The Bloody Irritating Volkswagen Arteon
- Model spec: VW Arteon R Line
- Price: £34000
- Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, TSi
- Max Speed: 149
- 0-60: 7.7 seconds
- BHP/Torque: 187 / 320
- Economy: 51mpg combined
- C02: 170g/km
- Tax: 265/year
As a young child heading off to my Grandparent’s vineyard in the South of France, during my summer holidays, I most looked forward to seeing the Concorde on the way to Heathrow airport. Actually, I never saw it in flight, never even saw it parked on the runway. But I did hear it, often as I was being dragged by my mother through Terminal 2 car park on route to check-in. Concorde’s engines at take-off made a distinctive sound that filled the airwaves, much more so than a 747 at take-off. But you knew when Concorde was taking off and it was always thrilling to hear it rocket off into the distance.
I never expected the bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon to have a similar effect, to rekindle those long-gone childhood memories… but not for the better. It’s very loud from inside the bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon when on the move. The bloody irritating Arteon R Line rides on 19-inch low profile alloy wheels. They look fantastic, however, the noise these tyres generate will shame Concorde at take off. And it’s bloody irritating. Not a great start to this long term review.
But here’s the deal folks, VW markets the bloody irritating Arteon as the company’s flagship sedan. But if you look at all models in VW’s product range then you discover that the entry-level bloody irritating Arteon SE is the third most expensive vehicle. It sits below the entry-level Sharan, the bloody Sharan? that’s hardly flagship territory.
The bloody irritating VW Arteon is available in 4 trim levels, prices start at £33k for the entry-level bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon SE. Forget about SE and the Elegance, just opt straight for the R-Line trim because you get a leather interior, those 19-inch alloys, a sporty body kit with a tiny rear spoiler, 8-inch Sat-Nav complemented by a 12-inch digital instrument binnacle, LED headlights and daytime running lights, climate control and adaptive cruise control with lane assist.
But this is where the bloody irritating Arteon gets bloody irritating. Before we got our hands on the R Line model VW released a new model trim to sit above the R Line. The imaginatively named R Line Edition, which basically packs more equipment. The problem is that VW played a sleight of hand here. They deleted some equipment from the R Line and said there you go R Line Edition here’s some extra bit of equipment, wink-wink.
And when we got our hands on our long term bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon R Line one prime bit of equipment had been deleted. Dynamic Chassis Control. Bloody irritating. The bloody irritating Arteon R Line without the magic bullet Dynamic Chassis Control is hit and miss, much more miss than hit. The bloody irritating Arteon shuffles from side-to-side over moderately bumpy road surfaces. Compression modestly OK, rebound not so good.
And that sporty bodywork with the lowered suspension, 19-inch alloys, it looks great, the bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon is a nice looking car. But it handles and rides in a confused manner. It doesn’t understand the principles of a good anti-roll bar setup when cornering. It is comfortable on only the smoothest of road surfaces and totally deluded on most others. Good luck UK buyers trying to find such a road. But the bloody irritating Arteon’s ride and handling is nowhere near as bad as the bloody awful Tiguan.
The bloody irritating Arteon is a big car, therefore it’s big on the inside. The seating is comfortable, rear-seated passengers enjoy plenty of space, although if you are over 6-foot rear headspace is limited because of the sloping rear roof. However, the rear lift tailgate means you have estate-like practicality in terms of load space and accessibility but with the styling of a saloon.
And the bloody irritating Arteon does get attention. I presume most people are pondering the question, why is VW actually making a stylish looking vehicle? And then there is the interior… it’s from the bloody PASSAT! FOR GOD’S SAKE VW! SO, SO! BLOODY IRRITATING!
Actually, it’s a nice interior, it’s solid as a rock, no squeaks or loose bit of trim and it feels as premium as a BMW 5 Series, the morally and ethically corrupted Mercedes E Class and the Audi A6. Although admittedly the bloody irritating Arteon’s interior design language doesn’t offer the visual appeal of an E Class, I would say it feels better built. Indeed, I like the bloody irritating Arteon’s Passat based interior design, it’s neat and tidy, it feels premium for sure… unlike the bloody awful Tiguan. Anyway…
And you know what? Despite the inconsistency of the irritating suspension, the bloody irritating Arteon is still a comfortable car to drive. I have driven just over 200 miles from new, plus 90 delivery miles. I need to break it in for another 300 miles. The 7-speed DSG transmission works fine, a bit clunky at low speed, but if VW improved the software the gearbox could surely perform better on the downshift at low speed.
In terms of economy, our long termer is powered by the 2.0-litre TSi, 187bhp petrol engine. I haven’t yet pushed it too hard, but it performs smoothly and has more than enough performance punch.
I was expecting the fuel economy to fall around the 35mpg range and that is indeed what I am getting when driving a 10 mile round trip in an urban environment. That’s good for a 4-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo petrol (gasoline) engine. I was expecting similar economy on a longer motorway (highway) journey. After a 40-mile motorway round trip the bloody irritating Arteon was returning 50 mpg. I initially believed there was a fault with the trip computer. Then I thought VW may well be falsifying the data somehow, as they pre-eminently demonstrated with Dieselgate. Indeed I was preparing to instruct my lawyer to take legal action against VW.
Before I did so, the next day I determined to make the same 40-mile round trip. And this time the digital readout registered 51mpg. That’s almost as good as VW’s 2.0-litre diesel. It’s actually better than a BMW 520d. So, on that evidence, I decided to end the lawsuit for I was finally satisfied VW was not falsifying real-time fuel economy data.
So the bloody irritating Volkswagen Arteon showcases the good, the bad and the ugly of modern-day Volkswagen-isms. Many irritants still remain that are yet to be divulged. However, while the standard suspension is hit and miss, it still offers enough comfort to afford a pleasant driving experience. Be warned, the bloody irritating Arteon is no automotive athlete. And If you are stupid enough to drive the bloody irritating Arteon like a sports car, then good luck, buying a pair of Nike’s is a much more preferable alternative.