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Latest report: Volkswagen Arteon long-term test

Date: 07 September 2018   |   Author: Rachel Boagey

The Volkswagen Arteon joins the BusinessCar fleet as we take it on its first few office runs.
Standard equipment:
Alloy wheels, LED self-levelling headlights with separate LED running lights; headlight washer system, dynamic light assist, LED tinted rear light clusters with dynamic indicator
Options:
Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system with voice-activated control system. 9.2in colour touchscreen control system for navigation, DVD, CD and radio functions. Preloaded European navigation data, 3D map view, three calculated routes (Fast, Short, Eco), speed limit display, gesture control, USB port in front storage compartment (£895)
Keyless entry - with electrically operated opening and closing function, operated via foot movement under rear tailgate or from driver's door. Time delayed push button electrically closing tailgate (£900)
Turmeric Yellow metallic (£595) with 'Nappa' leather upholstery

Update 2: The premium package

Although everyone assumes the Arteon is a direct replacement for the Passat CC of 2012, that story is soon contradicted by a base price almost £10,000 more than its sedan brother.

The inclusion of almost entirely digital instruments is just one string to the Arteon's premium bow, but does this and its other premium touches make it worth the
extra dosh?

The trim of our long-termer is the top-spec Elegance and the 9.2in touchscreen console with the Discover Navigation system costs £895 on top of the standard infotainment kit. 

I'm surprised to be writing this but one of my favourite gadgets in the car at the moment (when I remember to use it) is the gesture control, which comes as standard in all trims. I've tried it in other cars and its function has either been completely pointless or just hasn't worked at all. 

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At least VW has got it right. It works flawlessly every time and it's actually proving really handy while driving (not to mention stopping the inevitable dirty fingerprints all over the screen). It can be used to switch between pages on the home menu or to change radio station or change song if you have your Apple CarPlay or Android Auto Spotify set up. The most impressive thing when you get the hang of it is that you don't have to look at the screen in detail while you're driving - just a simple wave of your left arm and a lovely whoosh sound tells you it's working. 

Due to the gesture-control function, the infotainment system detects when your hand is approaching the screen, and menus also pop up from the bottom. It's odd as it's almost like the system is trying to second-guess what you're going to do, but when your hand lowers and the menus disappear, it leaves a nice, clean and sophisticated looking screen while you drive.  

The high-tech infotainment system is part of a smart and sophisticated cabin setting with a luxurious ambiance, and is just one slice of the fancy cake that we're excited to try in the months to follow.  

Update 1: A welcome ray of sunshine

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"That car is a bit bold isn't it?" joked one of my colleagues as I pulled up in our company car park in my new long-termer. Bold is the right word for Volkswagen's Arteon actually, but little do my colleagues know that bold doesn't just refer to its £595 Turmeric yellow paint job as they might have thought, although I fully believe it's worth the money. 

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2017, the Arteon is built on the same VW Group MQB platform as the Passat - which means it's also a relation of a host of models from Audi, Skoda and SEAT, not to mention VW. Like the outgoing CC, the Arteon is a Passat-based flagship with coupe pretensions, and is designed to rival the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe and Audi A5 Sportback, so it has a tough competition on its hands, then. 

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But unlike the CC that went before it, the Arteon boasts truly head-turning style, dramatic lines and elegant detailing, as well as low running costs and ample technology, and, if anything, is turning up the competition heat against its other German rivals. The first few weeks of the car's time with us have been spent in a sizzling summer in London - weather so hot that everyone in the city seems to bring out their garage favourites to pose in, and the Arteon fits right in, as turning heads is a walk in the park for this car. 

The car only comes in one body style,  five-door hatchback, and trim level choices are kept to a minimum too, with just two to pick from, although you can choose between two diesel and two petrol engines with power ranging from 150 to 280hp.

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Our test car is the powerful 2.0-litre petrol with 190hp and comes with a seven-speed DSG gearbox, although most engine choices are available with a six-speed manual too. As with many cars in its class, there's a choice between driving modes to suit what you're doing at any given time - Eco, Normal, Comfort and Sport. In Sport mode, it's an agile performer that handles splendidly. Overall though, it's a very quiet machine, and while changing through the gears, the Arteon barely makes a sound. Only when you really rag the engine do you notice it's there. 

Being a turbo, it also has plenty of torque given the relatively small capacity, with the maximum produced between 1,500 and 4,180rpm. We'll see over the next few months how it handles the varied driving roads and tests we'll be unleashing it on. 

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The Elegance trim gets you 18in alloys, LED self-levelling lights and predictive cornering lamps, as well as matt chrome mirrors and detailing. Inside the Elegance boasts nappa leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, three-zone climate control and sat-nav, all the things you would expect for a flagship car. 

As for optional equipment on this car, as well as the paint job, VW has fitted a Discover Navigation Pro infotainment system with voice-activated control system that costs £895 and includes a 9.2in colour touchscreen control system for the navigation and radio functions. We have also opted for the keyless entry package for £900, which means the doors can be operated by a foot movement under the rear tailgate or drivers door. 

We've already established that the Arteon stands out in the company car park but by releasing a car in this segment, VW has proved it's up for a challenge and we're looking forward to putting the car up for one too. 

Volkswagen Arteon Elegance 2.0 TSI 190hp 7spd DSG

P11D price£33,545

As tested £36,195

Official consumption 60.1mpg

Our average consumption 48.2

Mileage 2457



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