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$35,845 - 46,710 MSRP

2019 Volkswagen Arteon Review

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon ranks in the bottom third of the luxury small car class. It’s not a bad vehicle by any means, but outside of some high-end tech features, it struggles to distinguish itself from competitors.

Pros & Cons

  • Lots of cargo space
  • High-tech available features
  • Not as sporty as rivals
  • Some rivals have nicer cabin materials
  • Poorly designed controls

Rankings & Research

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon's #9 ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Small Cars category. Currently the Volkswagen Arteon has a score of 7.6 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 18 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 7.8
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 9.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Volkswagen Arteon a Good Car?

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is a decent luxury small car, but many classmates have more to offer. Some of its strengths include a large cargo hold (thanks to its liftback design), a good balance between ride quality and handling agility, and lots of advanced tech features. However, rivals have richer cabins, smoother or more agile rides, and brisker acceleration.

Should I Buy the Volkswagen Arteon?

The Arteon brings a lot to the table, but some of its rivals overshadow it with sharper handling or more upscale cabins. The Audi A5 and BMW 3 Series are some of the most athletic models in the class, and they have a wide range of brawny engines too.

Compare the Arteon, A5, and 3 Series »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volkswagen Arteon?

Volkswagen released the Arteon as an all-new model for 2019 as a replacement for its predecessor, the 2017 Volkswagen CC. Because of that, your odds of finding a used model are low.

We Did the Research for You: 10 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about the Arteon in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions with professional evaluations from 10 automotive sources.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Volkswagen Arteon Cost?

The Arteon has a starting MSRP of $35,845, which is in line with many rivals. The high-end SEL Premium trim starts at $46,210, and it comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive and the R-Line package. However, some of the Arteon’s trims have limited availability.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

Volkswagen Arteon Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Arteon or Audi A5?

The Audi A5 is one of the best luxury small cars you can buy. It comes in three body types: coupe, convertible, and Sportback, and it has a lineup of powerful engines ranging from a turbocharged four-cylinder to a twin-turbo V6. Dynamic handling and a gentle ride help make it enjoyable to drive. It also has premium cabin materials and excellent fuel economy estimates for the class. Like the VW, the A5 also offers a virtual cockpit gauge cluster. The Audi costs around $8,350 more to buy. If you can handle that kind of jump in price, pick the A5.

Which Is Better: Volkswagen Arteon or Kia Stinger?

The Kia Stinger is another high-ranking luxury small car. Although it lacks the passenger and cargo space of the Arteon, the Stinger offers a punchy V6 engine option and agile handling. Its infotainment system is straightforward, and it has the interior quality expected of a luxury sedan. The Kia also has a starting price that is around $2,850 less than that of the Arteon. Unless you want the Volkswagen’s extra space, the Stinger is a better choice.

Compare the Arteon, A5, and Stinger »

Arteon Interior

How Many People Does the Arteon Seat?

This four-door sedan seats five people. Synthetic leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Genuine leather upholstery, a massaging driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

The roomy front seats provide plenty of head- and legroom. The rear seats have excellent legroom for the class, though critics are divided regarding headroom.

Arteon and Car Seats

As of this writing, Volkswagen has not released any information regarding the LATCH system in the Arteon.

Arteon Interior Quality

Although some plastic surfaces make the cabin look less luxurious than some rivals, the Arteon has a handsome interior with otherwise solid build quality.

Arteon Cargo Space

Thanks to its liftback design, this Volkswagen has an SUV-like 27.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold the seats down, and you’ll find a total of 55 cubic feet of space. Those are cavernous dimensions for the class.

Arteon Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Arteon include an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirror Link, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and a USB port. Upgrades include a navigation system, a 12-speaker stereo, and the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit.

The Digital Cockpit replaces the traditional gauge cluster with a 12.3-inch digital screen. It’s designed to place the most infotainment and navigation items in closer view of the driver, reducing the need to look as far away from the road. The car’s main touch screen is quick to respond to inputs, but an overabundance of buttons around the screen leaves it looking cluttered.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Arteon Performance

Arteon Engine: From Good to Better

Every VW Arteon comes equipped with a 268-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The turbocharged engine has little trouble zipping this car around town or on the highway. Critics are divided on how strong the acceleration actually feels, but most praised the automatic transmission for its smooth shifts. The engine sounds a bit buzzy under hard acceleration, which feels a little out of place in a car at this price.

Arteon Gas Mileage: Disappointing

This car gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Those are below-average figures for the class, but the Arteon uses premium gasoline. Models with all-wheel drive return 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

Arteon Ride and Handling: Balanced

While this Volkswagen isn’t the sportiest sedan in its segment, it tackles turns with composure. Its ride can be firm but not uncomfortably so, and it cruises over most road bumps with grace.
You can alternate between different drive modes for added comfort or sportiness. Front-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

Read more about performance »

Arteon Reliability

Is the Volkswagen Arteon Reliable?

The 2019 Arteon does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Volkswagen Arteon Warranty

The Arteon is covered by a six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Arteon Safety

Arteon Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested this Volkswagen.

Arteon Safety Features

The base trim has a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and a pre-collision warning and braking system with pedestrian detection. Several driver aids are available, including a surround-view parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist, lane keep assist, and automatic high beams.

Read more about safety »

Arteon Dimensions and Weight

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is about 15.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,655 to 3,854 pounds. It has a gross vehicle weight rating of 4,740 to 4,938 pounds.

Where Is the 2019 Arteon Built?

Volkswagen builds the 2019 Arteon in Germany.

Which Volkswagen Arteon Model Is Right for Me?

Volkswagen offers the Arteon in three main trim levels: SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. An R-Line package featuring distinctive exterior and interior styling elements is available in the SEL and standard in the SEL Premium. Each trim level has the same engine, so the main differences relate to features. The base trim has a decent helping of tech and safety features, but since there are few packages or options available, shoppers after more driver aids or comfort amenities will have to get the top-level SEL Premium.

It’s important to note that many of these trims have a limited availability, as of the time of this writing.

Volkswagen Arteon SE

The base Volkswagen Arteon SE has an MSRP of $35,845. Standard equipment includes VW Car-Net App-Connect, an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a USB port, tri-zone automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, V-Tex synthetic leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Some safety features come standard too, such as a rearview camera, forward collision warning, brake assist, a pedestrian detector, blind spot monitoring, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. All-wheel drive is available for $1,800.

Volkswagen Arteon SEL

With an MSRP of $41,795, the SEL trim comes standard with all-wheel drive (4Motion, as Volkswagen calls it). It also features remote start, genuine leather seats, a navigation system, adaptive cruise control, and the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit.

Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium

The high-end Arteon SEL Premium retails for $46,210. It features everything listed above as well as parallel and perpendicular park assist, a massaging driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a surround-view parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, lane keep assist, and a Dynaudio premium stereo.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volkswagen dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Volkswagen deals page.

See 2019 Volkswagen Arteon specs and trims »

The Final Call

In the best way, this VW is a budget-friendly version of an Audi. State-of-the-art infotainment features, a composed ride, and a ton of cargo space rank among its strong suits. It offers a lot of bang for your buck. However, many luxury small cars offer sharper handling and more upscale cabins.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "In this age where SUVs and crossovers rule the Earth, it’s good to know that some companies still believe in sedans. This one is actually a liftback/hatchback, with 60/40 fold-down rear seats, making it almost as convenient as a crossover anyway, without the sometimes ungainly proportions of a crossover SUV. In that regard, you can argue that an Arteon is the best of both worlds." -- Autoweek
  • "It's not the biggest or most expensive model in Volkswagen's lineup -- those accolades belong to the Atlas. But as the brand's chosen flagship, the 2019 Arteon puts its best foot forward both as its own vehicle and as a balanced representation of VW's design and performance ideals and most premium features." -- CNET
  • "If you’re in the market for an Audi A5 Sportback or an Audi A7, but find they’re a bit beyond your budget, the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon deserves a look. It costs less than its German cousins, yet it’s similarly refined and represents an excellent blend of good versatility and outstanding design. And let’s not forget that this sleek new fastback VW sedan is backed by an excellent 6-year/72,000-mile powertrain warranty. Consider this: A 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL, with leather, sunroof, remote start and active cruise control, represents a lot of car for $40,000." -- Kelley Blue Book
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2019 Volkswagen Arteon

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