Volkswagen definitely has a knack for selecting grand-sounding names for its automobiles. Notable ones embody the Touareg, Scirocco and Phaeton.
Its newest Arteon, nevertheless, takes the cake. It combines the phrase “art” (Volkswagen believes it has created a design masterpiece) and “eon” (which has hyperlinks to its Chinese luxurious mannequin Phileon).
The new automobile rivals solely the Tiguan, a compact crossover which derives its title from “tiger” and “iguana”.
Looking on the Arteon, it’s apparent Volkswagen has tried exhausting to make the grand tourer stand out. Perhaps, somewhat too exhausting.
The automobile has the final define of an Audi A5 Sportback, however is noticeably greater. It is a busy design, with extra traces and creases on its physique than an origami creation. An enormous radiator grille, with a number of lateral traces spanning practically the entire frontal part, provides extra traces.
Then, as if the bonnet is just not fairly full, designers have added an additional strip atop the grille to present the impression of a bonnet cascading downwards. It does not work.
The rear is extra elegant, with the automobile’s shoulder traces becoming a member of slim tail-lamps to trace of aerodynamism. They ought to have stopped there.
SPECS / VOLKSWAGEN ARTEON 2.0TSI R-LINE
Price: $220,400 with COE
Engine: 1,984cc 16-valve inline-Four turbocharged
Transmission: Seven-speed dual-clutch with guide choose
Power: 280bhp at 5,100rpm
Torque: 350Nm at 1,700-5,600rpm
Zero-100kmh: 5.6 seconds
Top pace: 250kmh (electronically restricted)
Fuel consumption: 7.three litres/100km
Agent: Volkswagen Group Singapore
Sitting simply above the properly crafted tail-lamp ensemble is a barely there spoiler that seems to be as a lot of an afterthought because the bonnet “lip”.
But should you take within the automobile in its entirety, it’s surprisingly inoffensive. In reality, it’s fairly comely, particularly at a distance and within the gold-like Kurkuma Yellow Metallic paintwork worn by the test-car. (See what we imply by grand-sounding names?)
Inside, the Arteon impresses firstly with its roominess. Rear legroom is greater than first rate and headroom is astounding for a automobile with rakish A and C pillars. The boot is cavernous. Flip open the motorised “kick action” fastback tailgate and you can find a 563-litre golf bag-swallowing compartment – the largest in its section.
The cockpit is replete with trim and options found in a premium mannequin, reminiscent of a 9.2-inch infotainment touchscreen with gesture management, simulated carbon-fibre panels, and air-conditioner vents spanning the whole width of the sprint – one thing found additionally within the new Audi Q7.
On the go, the all-wheel-drive Arteon is somewhat torpid if pushed leisurely. Its less-than-responsive stop-start mechanism provides to this impression.
Drive it with a heavy foot or in sport mode and the automobile transforms into one thing else altogether. Even if it doesn’t appear as fast as its declared 5.6-second century dash, it normally has no bother leaving the pack within the mud.
When cruising, the Arteon betrays a turbulent acoustic hum within the cabin – a trait found in some automobiles a few a long time in the past. Its dimension makes it somewhat unwieldy in tight areas. But fortunately, it’s blessed with sharp steering. Ride high quality is a tad above common, however nothing to write down home about. Its dealing with prowess, nevertheless, is.
Still, the automobile doesn’t depart a robust impression on the entire. For a automobile which is each a Volkswagen Comfort Coupe alternative and a brand new flagship (now that the Phaeton is gone), it thus falls somewhat brief on this entrance.
In which case, a grand-sounding title helps.