Arteon

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2020 Volkswagen Arteon Overview

The Volkswagen Arteon debuted just last year and carries on mostly unchanged for 2020, though Volkswagen’s added a couple of new features. The Arteon is a coupe-styled sedan with luxury aspirations, up against cars like the Mazda6, Acura TLX, Genesis G70, Kia Stinger, and Volvo S60.

While most of Volkswagen’s cars and crossovers go for sporty styling, the Arteon aims for sophistication. Its side profile is well-defined, thanks to strong, clean lines that wrap around to a shapely rear. VW's efforts are largely successful, and touches like the wide front grille and chrome window surrounds make nice finishing touches. For 2020, the SEL trim level gains 19-inch alloy wheels, and the new SEL Premium R-Line trim provides 20-inch wheels and exclusive styling.

Every Arteon comes powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine rated for 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) comes on the base trim, though all-wheel drive (AWD) is either standard or available across the lineup. An adaptive suspension system enables different driving modes. The Arteon requires premium fuel and also yields below-average fuel economy for the class, coming in at 22 mpg city, 29 highway, and 25 combined for FWD models and 20, 29, 23 with AWD.

For 2020, the Arteon is offered in four trims: SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. This more or less matches up with last year’s offerings, though VW isn’t always consistent about calling out the R-Line as a separate trim (it’s better thought of as an appearance package, anyway). Regardless of trim level, many of the Arteon’s interior elements will be familiar to those who have recently driven other contemporary Volkswagen models. They don’t stand out as being cheap, but it’s easy to see how VW met the Arteon’s competitive price point. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery and heated front seats, while the SEL adds remote start and genuine leather, and the SEL Premium gets cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

For infotainment, the Arteon gets an 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and new for 2020, a standard WiFi hotspot. The SEL trim adds navigation and the VW Digital Cockpit customizable information display, and the SEL Premium adds a Dynaudio premium sound system.

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon (identical to the 2020 model) was awarded the top score of Good in the six crash tests administered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Standard driver-assistance features include a reversing camera, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. For options, there’s a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic post-collision braking.

The Volkswagen Arteon is a compelling addition to the growing segment of value-oriented entry-level luxury cars. Shoppers who can get past the fact that VW is not traditionally a premium brand can save money while still enjoying the privileges of an upscale vehicle.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She owns a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx XT, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, 2015 Honda Grom, and 1979 Boston Whaler Montauk.

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