The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is a compelling sedan with good features, but it’s overshadowed by premium sedans and lack of marketing. The Arteon is a sedan shaped like a coupe that seats five. Successor to the Volkswagen CC, this sleek Euro-styled flagship equips itself like an Audi A5 Sportback but is priced about $10,000 less.
For 2021, the refreshed curvy sedan sports a revised rear with more prominent badging and a new front with a LED light strip running across the grille and through the badge. The air intakes sit a little lower to help cool the same 268-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that hiccups when coming out of first gear. Adaptive dampers are standard, as is an electronic limited-slip differential that makes for sportier ride characteristics and better handling in the snow or on the long and winding road.
The long wheelbase and hatchback style counter the low roofline for a relatively roomy interior with enough rear leg room and cargo space with the rear seats folded down to rival compact crossovers. Standard heated front seats with 12-way power adjustments grace an understated but attractive cabin.
New for 2021, an updated 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility are standard across the lineup. Also standard is a sharp 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster that renders the touchscreen as a plaything for the passenger. A new steering wheel and climate bar with touch-capacitive controls looks good but has impaired functionality if you’re wearing gloves.
These luxury-leaning tech upgrades are complemented by standard driver-assist systems that include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, while higher trims get adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, active lane control. The IIHS bestowed a Top Safety Pick award on the Arteon, but the NHTSA hasn’t tested it.
For 2021, the Volkswagen Arteon comes in SE, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line trims. Starting at $38,190, including destination, the Arteon tops out below $50,000, but you get a lot for that price. The $48,190 SEL Premium R-Line includes all-wheel drive, 20-inch alloy wheels, a Harman Kardon sound system, a heated steering wheel, a massaging driver’s seat, cooled front seats, and heated rear seats.
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is an impressive and very unique vehicle like the Passat CC before it. The Arteon boasts swoopy styling, cutting edge technology, with pricing that won’t break the bank for something special. The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is a top pick but even more so because people hardly know it exists and definitely deserves a look.