Volkswagen Arteon owner reviews
"The Volkswagen Arteon is a polished all-rounder, with the potential to upset premium rivals"
by Carbuyer team
21 May 2021
100%of people would recommend this car to a friend.
- Engine (1 cases)
4 out of 5
I would recommend this car to a friend
1.5 TSI Elegance manual
Year of registration
Average annual mileage
More than 20,000
Less than a year
Having previously run a 60 plate Passat CC for about 3.5 years, I was very interested in the Arteon when it first appeared, although the initial indication was that VW were planning to push it upmarket with a corresponding increase in price. However, when it came to choosing a new company car, some investigation revealed that my budget would stretch to an Arteon so the decision was made (I had also considered the new Peugeot 508 but the release date was slightly too late). I was originally thinking about an R-Line but looking into the relative specs revealed that the differences were minimal, with the variations being revised suspension and cosmetic changes, so I decided that either trim level would be fine. I specifically wanted a manual gearbox as I enjoy the additional interaction and control during the driving process and an auto/DSG just doesn't cut it, even with manual control. Having had 2.0 diesels in my last two cars, I opted to go back to a petrol unit for this one. The availability of the 1.5 turbo played a big part in that decision as it offered a decent blend of performance (148bhp, about the same as the diesels) and economy (I've seen just over 50mpg on a steady run) while it also avoided the 4% diesel uplift for the benefit-in-kind tax. I used to think that the elegant image of the Passat CC was ruined as soon as I started the engine so it's also nice to've ditched that diesel rattle. My chosen vehicle was an Elegance in Pyrite silver with a black interior but, crucially, it was fitted with the 19" Chennai alloys instead of the slightly dowdy standard rims. It also has the reversing camera, which is a handy edition to the parking sensors in such a long car with relatively limited rearward visibility. This was a pre-reg by the dealer so it was basically a brand new car (5 miles on the clock) on an 18 plate and I have to say that I'm really pleased with my choice. Even after 6 months of ownership, I've seen very few other Arteons on the road so I'm also enjoying the current air of exclusivity than something like a 3-Series / A4 / C-Class / XE etc could never hope to achieve. The space in the car is truly impressive, there being enough room for my 6'6" frame in the front with space remaining for me to fit 'behind myself' as well. In addition, the boot is huge and the hatchback, as opposed to the boot lid on the Passat CC, makes it hugely practical too. My son's hockey goalkeeper bag, which used to have to go across the boot of my previous Hyundai Tucson, will fit lengthways in the Arteon leaving half the boot free. The technology fitted to the car works very well, although the digital dash is not quite as configurable as equivalents that I've used from other manufacturers. The display of the sat-nav map between the dials is also nowhere near as slick as the presentation in Audi's Virtual Cockpit. The active function of the full LED headlights works well, providing welcome illumination around corners, and the automatic full beam is a neat feature, allowing the function to remain active by directing the beams around approaching vehicles or those that you're following; the only frustration is that it won't activate in areas with street lighting. My one bugbear with the car, and what has reduced the rating from 5 to 4 stars, is a fault with the 1.5 TSI engine that results in hesitation and jerkiness between about 1,500 and 2,000 RPM, making a smooth getaway quite difficult without using excessive revs. This fault effects both manual and DSG equipped cars and is known by the manufacturer. My local dealer has stated that VW are working on a software fix for this issue but it has been discussed widely on Internet forums, in relation to a number of different VW Group models, and for quite some time before I even got my car, so it appears that VW are potentially just ignoring the issue in the hope that it'll go away. In summary, the Arteon is a rewarding car to own as long as you're not a shy, retiring type (I haven't had so many people ask me about my car since I owned a TVR many years ago) and perfectly fulfils the brief of spacious, practical family car and stylish pseudo-coupe all rolled into one. It's just such a shame about the significant blot on its copybook due to that engine fault.
3 out of 5
The car has been completely reliable with the exception of the known fault with the 1.5 TSI engine, as detailed in the main review. VW are supposed to be devising a software fix for this but they don't appear to be in any rush to do so.
4 out of 5
The 148bhp petrol engine is never going to provide huge performance, particularly without the extra slug of torque that a diesel would provide, but the acceleration is sufficient for most situations and the petrol engine has a higher red line than an equivalent diesel, which helps to make up the deficit if you're happy to hang on a bit longer before changing up.
5 out of 5
The fuel economy isn't up to diesel levels but the petrol engine will return 50 MPG on a steady run and it avoids the 4% benefit-in-kind surcharge for diesel cars. No other expenditure has been required to date.