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2019 Volkswagen Arteon Performance Review


Performance: 7.0

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is a mild-mannered performer. Power and handling are capable but not lively, falling short of the performance standards of some rivals. The ride is firm but not harsh.

  • "We didn’t like the way the Arteon’s engine sounded slightly harsh and hollow when pushed. The same goes with the noticeable idle vibration. This unrefined character is out of place for a luxury-oriented car at this price point." -- Consumer Reports
  • Standard adaptive dampers underscore the Arteon's generous content strategy and deftly react to changing surfaces and driver inputs to provide a smooth, quiet ride. Pushing the four-door hard solicits little body roll and reveals minimal understeer, but brake-based torque vectoring does step in to mitigate it and help tuck in the nose. Although competent when needed, the Arteon is in no danger of toppling the current order of sporting sedans." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The sole powertrain in the Arteon is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The turbocharged engine provides plenty of power for daily driving, and the transmission shifts smoothly. Some critics say acceleration is brisk, while others find the car to be slow from a stop.

This VW gets fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive, or 20/27 mpg city/highway with all-wheel drive. Those are substandard figures for the class. The Arteon requires premium fuel.

  • The turbo-four is a good fit for a vehicle of this size, delivering good off-the-line performance and responding to a heavy right foot with ample acceleration. However, the Arteon doesn't necessarily like to hustle. Even in Sport mode, the gearbox is too eager to upshift and the engine sounds buzzy and wheezy at higher revs." -- CNET
  • But the powertrain is tuned for efficiency and refinement rather than acts of aggression. Acceleration is a bit soft off the line, but the engine gathers steam determinedly – no synthetic exhaust note is employed – while the transmission shuffles gears discreetly." -- Car and Driver
  • "The four-cylinder engine provides an ample 268 horsepower, delivered with hardly any turbo lag or hesitation when hitting the gas pedal from a stop. The eight-speed automatic transmission is responsive and delivers mostly smooth shifts." -- Consumer Reports

Handling and Braking

The Arteon provides a composed and comfortable ride. It’s neither the most agile nor the smoothest-riding vehicle in its class, but it’s poised around turns and feels refined on most roads. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • Yes, you can have fun in the Arteon, whose ride strikes a good balance between isolating comfort and actually feeling the road. But even in Sport mode—which adjusts the steering, transmission, and standard adaptive suspension—it doesn't connect you in quite the same way as, say, our 2019 Car of the Year, the Genesis G70." -- Motor Trend
  • Corners are greeted with responsive steering and a well-snubbed suspension that gives the Arteon a mildly sporty feel. We were pleasantly surprised when we drove it with vigor around our test track. It proved quite balanced at its grip limits, allowing us to provoke the rear end of the car to step out in a fun, controllable fashion. The ride is on the firm side, but it is absorbent enough to keep occupants from complaining. All Arteon trim levels come with an adaptive suspension system that allows the driver to switch between different levels of ride quality. The Sport mode works well when picking up the pace on a curvy road, but we found it too jittery for regular driving. The softest setting takes the edge off nicely when cruising down the highway." -- Consumer Reports
  • On the road, the Arteon feels light, comfortable and very familiar. … The ride is smooth and pleasant with an ease to the steering that feels light, but not numb, with a responsiveness and directness that I find satisfying." -- CNET
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2019 Volkswagen Arteon

MSRP: $35,845 - $46,710

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