Caught in the classifieds: 2017 Volkswagen Arteon R Line
In this weekís ďCaught in the ClassifiedsĒ section, Iím highlighting one of the greatest Ďordinaryí cars currently on sale. Perhaps calling it ordinary is a bit harsh, because the Arteon is a car which punches well above its weight in both looks and performance. Since I didnít want to go down the regular route and highlight a mile-munching diesel, Iíve decided to showcase something much spicier today.
This is an R-Line 280 Arteon, making it the flagship of the Arteon range. Weíll get into what makes it so special in a bit, but for now, hereís everything you need to know: it has just over 32,000 miles on the clock and itís for sale right now at £21,500. Compared to its competitors, cars like the Skoda Superb and Mazdaís 6, I honestly struggle to see how either of them can even begin to compete with a 280 R-Line Arteon.
Whether something is pretty or not is purely subjective, but Iíve yet to find a single person who doesnít think the new Arteon looks striking. When Volkswagen decided to replace the Phaeton and design something new, build it from the ground-up, they were under a ton of pressure. Most automotive journalists and owners loved the Phaeton, so the Arteon had some pretty big shoes to fill and not disappoint.
Thankfully, VW completely nailed the design, creating a car thatís a large departure from the Phaeton we know and love, but in doing so making it completely unique. My biggest fear was that theyíd take a Passat and just make it longer, but they havenít. They put in the time and effort to create something different, a stand-alone model, and for that, I think we should all be thankful.
The Arteonís front three-quarter view is its most appealing angle in my opinion. The front end is such a breath of fresh air, I almost thought it was a concept car the first time I saw it. VW managed to beautifully mash the grille and the headlights together, creating this wonderful design that shouldnít work, but it somehow does. I love the way the headlights blend into the grille seamlessly.
The Arteon is a relatively long car but itís nicely proportioned, so it doesnít look bulky or bulbous. Thereís a single line spanning all the way from the front headlights, directly into the side panels, and all the way back to the rear end. It creates a dual waistline, making the car look lower and sleeker than it actually is. The rear end is equally impressive too, with two exhaust shrouds on either side and a small lip spoiler on the boot.
Inside, the Arteon is traditional VW: simple, elegant, and a touch monotone. Let me start off by saying that I absolutely love the dashboard. Instead of using multiple air vents, they decided to stretch a large horizontal opening across the entire dash, similar to what youíd find on the Audi Q7. I know some people donít like it, but I think it works because it visually breaks up the dash into two separate pieces.
I also like the large infotainment screen and the fact that VW hasnít ditched buttons entirely. You can still operate most things through regular buttons on the centre console or the steering wheel, so you donít have to fiddle through menus using the touchscreen alone. The gearshift is the only thing that looks dated. Instead of using a column-mounted gear selector like Mercedes does, or designing a nicer gearstick like BMWís unit, VW opted for something that looks like it belongs in the mid-2000s.
I have no complaints about the steering wheel or the digital instrument cluster though. The driving position is superb too. You sit a tad too high, but the visibility is great. The Arteon is a roomy vehicle. Cabin space is excellent in both rows, and boot space is enviably large. In terms of practicality, this is up there with the best in its segment.
Engine and Performance
Hereís where things get exciting because instead of using VWís famed 2-litre diesel, the flagship Arteon uses the brilliant 2.0-litre TSI unit. With 280 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, it can propel the Arteon to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds and go on to 155 mph. For a large executive saloon, thatís mighty impressive. Itís quicker than a Mk.7 Golf GTI, which is a really quick hot hatch itself.
The 280 Arteon uses a 7-speed DSG to send power to all four wheels using VWís 4Motion all-wheel-drive system. Even though itís front-wheel biased, the system works flawlessly when distributing power to the front and the rear axle. Whenever it detects slip, it sends power to whichever wheel needs it the most. Itís really quite flattering as a driver because it inspires so much confidence in your skills.
Is the Arteon an exciting car to drive? Not in the same manner a Volkswagen Scirocco is, but itís more than decent for what it is. I will say that it is immensely competent at covering ground rapidly, regardless whether itís sunny, rainy, or even snowy for that matter. The Arteon isnít a car you fall in love with instantly, but it does grow more on you the longer you own it.
Model: Volkswagen Arteon
Trim: 2.0 TSI 280 R-Line 4Motion
Why buy one
To be honest, Iíd buy this car over its competitors for the looks alone, but that would be a real shame because itís got so much more to offer. Itís the right size for the UK, the suspension is sublime, and in 280 R-Line trim, itís mega quick. You can go for a diesel if you plan on saving a few quid at the petrol station, but Iíd just get a 280 and call it a day. Itís only a few thousand pounds more expensive and itíll probably hold its value better because of how much rarer it is. All in all, itís a great car. So, what are you waiting for? Head to DesperateSeller.co.uk where we have great deals on used Volkswagen Arteon cars for sale.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 9 out of 10
View the car here: 2017 Volkswagen Arteon - £21,500