Luxury on a budget can be a challenge. Enter the Volkswagen Arteon.
If you’re seeking the luxe lines of an Audi for a Volkswagen price, the Volkswagen Arteon is place to explore. Starting at $35,845, it is a luxurious car with an attainable budget. The Arteon taps its family DNA, mirroring the look of the Audi A5 Sportback with a sweeping roof and trunk line, and inside it shows off VW’s best features and luxe details.
We had so much fun driving around town while reviewing the Arteon for a week. A fan of (and now missing) the sleekness of the VW CC model, which also emulated its Audi heritage, when I saw the Arteon, I was intrigued.
The Arteon turns heads, and rightfully so!
With its 20″ alloy wheels and R-Line exterior design package option bumpers in high-gloss black accents, this car is pretty. But tech that keeps pretty rolling smoothly is a bonus: Remote start means I can turn the car on before even entering it and warm it up or cool it down depending on the weather.
Push button start means I can leave the key fumbling behind and welcome a functional keyless entry and start to my commute. And the steering wheel: soft material and brilliant shape, it’s easy to grip and not slip your hands off mid turn. In the winter, you can also heat it, which is something I never knew I needed until I moved from Florida to Texas.
Related: Why luxury is worth the splurge (you’ll be surprised)
Chrome front and shiny LED headlights invite you to unlock, sit inside to get to know the Arteon.
It’s always a big win for me if a car can show me the road as far as the eye can see and beyond. The Volkswagen Arteon has headlights that cut clear through fog or pitch black nights. I typically don’t drive at night unless I have to, since it can be hard to see with most car headlights. This car lights the way and can help you see more of what’s ahead. It’s helpful to be equipped with lights like this, especially in rural areas. You can see if there might be deer or debris way before you encounter it.
Whether you’re traveling day or night, there’s a feature for everyone to fawn over.
You can also open up the moon roof and gaze at the stars or vent it up for those highway weekend drives. Kids in the backseat always love it, because they can spot the clouds, stars, moon, sun, or rain. Playing “I spy…” just got a whole new makeover with the kid’s vantage point here. The ambient lighting is a subtle attention to detail that sparks life into the dark interior, too. The rear view mirror reminds me of an infinity pool, where the edge gives you optimal views of what’s going on in endless, rimless directions. However, I do wish it had a bit more height than length.
Inside the car, you’ll find soft leather and a sleek, minimalist dashboard with a futuristic aesthetic to it.
It curves and there’s this spacious feel to it. The height adjustments along the side of the seat were helpful. I adjusted myself close enough to the pedals and high enough to see in all directions. I enjoyed the extra lumbar support, and I think it’s an underrated feature we often don’t think about when driving. There’s no way you could slouch in this car, when you’ve got so much power under your feet. For fuel efficiency, you’ll see around 22 City / 31 Highway mpg. That’s not bad at all considering this car has a 2.0L TSI turbocharged engine, which means all of that 268 horsepower can get you where you’re going with speed without breaking the bank at the pump.
Beam me up. This car is the total package to almost bring that Jetsons feel to life.
When you’re sitting back and enjoying the drive, the infotainment center makes it easy to set up your phone, music, and GPS to get you where you’re going with your favorite songs and hands-free calls. And if you’re feeling daring, you can switch the drive modes and test the handling for each one for yourself. I preferred sport mode over the comfort mode, because the sport mode made me feel more in control of the car and I didn’t feel every bump in the road. Comfort mode did the opposite of comforting for me. I felt like I was getting tossed around, and when you’re driving, you want to feel stable and centered with the best maneuvering possible.
If you’re one for personal space, you’ll be pleasantly surprised about the front and passenger seats.
I didn’t have to feel at odds with my husband’s elbow across the center arm rest. The front of the car is comfortable, but I felt the seats in the back didn’t have much clearance over the head. Meanwhile, this wasn’t apparent until my husband and I installed the car seat. The car seat was only a couple of inches from the roof of the car. This concerned me, but what put my mind at ease were the safety ratings. If there was more room there, then I could relax my mama bear mode and give it a better rating towards a great starter family car.
It’s aesthetically pleasing as much as it is functional for you and your family on the go.
There were ample USB and power outlets upfront, so every device could hold a charge for your next trip. The interior was dark in a black leather trim, which is my personal preference since I have a toddler. The seats not only look great, but they’re relaxing along the drive, too. Darker interiors tend to add a sporty yet sophisticated sense of style in my opinion. Plus, this allows your car to be presentable at all times, and moms like me know how easy it is for a vehicle to get dirty in the blink of an eye. Drive around guilt-free and gift yourself time to be able to spot clean on the go when you can.
The front of the car is comfortable with its heated seats, but I felt the seats in the back didn’t have much clearance over the head. Meanwhile, this wasn’t apparent until my husband and I installed the car seat. The car seat was only a couple of inches from the roof of the car. This concerned me, but what put my mind at ease were the safety ratings. If there was more room there, then I could relax my mama bear mode and give it a better rating towards a great starter family car.
Having a car seat in the back also brought my attention to the smaller back window. While I could see outside perfectly fine, I could see how this might be distracting with more passengers or if a toy goes flying into the back window.
What’s mind-blowing is the storage space in the hatchback style trunk.
It came in handy, when I had to park close between two huge SUVs. I was able to fit everything I needed into the hands-free and easy to open trunk, while avoiding opening up the back seat doors for additional storage. Although the doors are a bit big, when opened in a tight space, you can squeeze into your car without the door swinging wide open. It’s a scenario we all dread, but it’s important to know your resources.
Not ready to switch your sedan for an SUV? This is an option to consider.
You can fit your whole family in this vehicle, run errands, organize groceries in the trunk, and plan your route home without missing a beat of your favorite songs. Getting plush features which normally would be upgrades elsewhere truly makes you feel like you’ve got the best of both worlds.
What We Listened to in the Arteon
Disclosure: VW provided the Arteon for my review; all opinions are my own.