2022 Volkswagen Arteon COTY Review: Getting Warmer…


  • Beautiful design
  • Quicker than before
  • Spacious back seat


  • Underwhelming interior
  • Infotainment needs improvement
  • Pricey

The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon’s biggest challenge isn’t another car; rather, it’s Father Time. As Nissan, Dodge, and Chrysler exit the full-size car scene, there is no question this small segment is shrinking. So VW’s latest updates to the Arteon intrigue us, and with this improved version, we wonder whether VW can make buyers care about the Arteon before they stop buying mainstream-branded full-size cars altogether.

We hope so, because the Volkswagen Arteon is just as pretty today as when it arrived in the U.S. for the 2019 model year. “This is one of the most beautiful mainstream four-doors on the market,” Mexico editor Miguel Cortina said.

We wish we could say the same about the interior, but the Arteon’s insides don’t impress. There’s an acceptable mix of hard and soft materials for a non-premium nameplate, but we were disappointed by the number of button blanks on the center console considering our test car’s MSRP of more than $50,000. The discontinued Toyota Avalon featured a better overall interior for thousands less.

The infotainment presents another round of ups and downs. Although we appreciate the standard digital instrument cluster, the 8.0-inch touchscreen is too small and positioned far too low on the center stack. A few judges had issues with the system, with one calling it clunky and another accidentally pressing the flat buttons to the left of the screen while trying to turn the small volume knob.

Underneath a design that’s survived with minor changes, the Arteon received a full powertrain transplant for 2022. A 2.0-liter turbo I-4 good for 300 hp and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic replace 2021’s 268-hp engine and eight-speed automatic. (Thank you, Golf R.) In the 2022 Arteon, this setup helps the comfortably sized sedan hustle to 60 mph in only 5.0 seconds. That’s great, but there’s more to performance than straight-line acceleration.

“Overall, I bet most people who buy this flagship Volkswagen will find it sporty and satisfying,” road test editor Chris Walton said while also noting the steering felt a bit distant. We couldn’t agree on its dynamics, however. Some felt as Walton did, yet others found the performance underwhelming.

“Basically nothing about this Arteon communicates a willingness to tackle a twisty road aggressively,” technical director Frank Markus said. “It’s not sloppy, necessarily. It just doesn’t whistle while it works.”

The Arteon now starts at more than $40,000, and our bright red test car carried a $51,240 MSRP, a price justified partially by its spacious interior, AWD, quick acceleration, massaging driver’s seat, panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera system, and four-year/50,000-mile warranty. VW’s problem is, at $50,000, many other well-equipped luxury alternatives exist to entice buyers who don’t need a large back seat.

Certainly the allure of a luxury car is difficult for some to pass up, and the Arteon’s overall package—as improved as it is—isn’t good enough to become a Car of the Year finalist. Still, even if VW retires the Arteon before it reaches its full potential, sedan fans have reason to hope for the future: The upcoming all-electric ID Aero sedan could be the fully realized four-door the Arteon still strives to be.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon 4Motion R-Line (SEL) Specifications
Base Price/As Tested$46,845/$51,240
Power (SAE net)300 hp @ 5,350 rpm
Torque (SAE net)295 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
Accel, 0-60 mph5.0 sec
Quarter-Mile13.6 sec @ 100.4 mph
Braking, 60-0 mph125 ft
Lateral Acceleration0.84 g (avg)
MT Figure Eight26.9 sec @ 0.63 g (avg)
EPA City/Hwy/Comb22/30/25 mpg
EPA Range, Comb435 miles
Vehicle LayoutFront-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan
Engine, Transmission2.0L Turbo direct-injected DOHC 16-valve I-4, 7-speed twin-clutch auto
Curb Weight (f/r dist)3,911 lb (57/43%)
Wheelbase111.9 in
Length x Width x Height191.5 x 73.7 x 56.8 in
On SaleNow

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