After a gap of two years, Volkswagen has finally released the Arteon in its US dealerships in April 2020. Assembled in Volkswagen’s Emden plant in Germany, it is slated as a successor to the outgoing CC model, technically. However, the Arteon is an all-new product and is more grown-up as compared to the CC.
Built on the trustworthy MQB platform, it encompasses a longer and wider body that translates into generous cabin and boot space. The 2020 Volkswagen Arteon shares nothing with the CC except the dramatic silhouette, and even that, now more closely resembles the Audi’s, rather than the CC.
Filling in the shoes of the CC, the Arteon now sits atop the Volkswagen table and is ornamented just how a top of the line VW should. The sleek exterior sheet, near-luxury fit and finish, along with a plethora of advanced technology, very well complement its positioning.
It is currently available in the United States with just a 2.0-liter motor that comes paired to an 8 speed automatic. Buyers get three different trim lines to pick from along with an optional R-Line sport appearance package.
Riding on VW’s subtleness and Audi’s exclusivity, and with prices ringing in from $35,840 and up, the Arteon goes against established Asians like the Nissan Maxima and Kia Stinger. However, how well the Arteon would fair out in the current crossover revolution, remains a major concern though.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Features
Trims and features
In 2017, its final production year model, the CC was rolled out with just a single 2.0 liter engine in the United States, and with the Arteon, Volkswagen seems to have started off from where it left. The only engine option available to American buyers with the Arteon, is the EA888 2.0 Liter turbocharged, in-line 4 engine, paired with an 8 speed automatic transmission. However, buyers get to choose from three available trims, the base SE, mid range SEL and the range topping SEL Premium, with the opening up of more premium and luxury features as you move up the trim order.
2.0 Liter I-4
2.0 Liter I-4
2.0 Liter I-4
Adaptive dampers system
Adds to SE -
Adds to SEL -
Three-zone automatic climate control
Nappa leather upholstery
Cooled front seats and heated rear seats
Forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
12.3-inch digital gauge cluster
Massaging driver's seat
Adaptive cruise control
8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality
Premium audio system
Heated power front seats
Heated steering wheel
The 4motion all wheel drive system comes standard with the loaded SEL Premium, and is available as an $1800 option on the front wheel driven lower trims. There's also an available R-Line sport appearance package brings along a different front fascia, either 19-inch or 20-inch wheels, a black rear spoiler, metal-look interior trim, contrast stitching inside, and R-Line badges. The R-Line package can be paired with any of the three trims at a premium of $1265 with the 19 inch wheels and $1765 with the 20 inch wheels.
We would recommend considering the top of the line SEL premium trim level. The Arteon is a very niche car, and it would certainly appeal to a small group of people who want luxury, refinement and exclusivity from a mainstream car brand. Keeping in view the sale figures of the CC, it's very likely that the Arteon too is not going to generate large volumes, especially in the present day SUV culture. It is very likely that those fewer and rare customers who would go with this rare coupe sedan would prefer to have it with all the bells and whistles.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Engine and Performance
"Despite the large opening for the rear hatch, the Arteon’s unibody chassis felt tight, and the VW’s ’s turbocharged 2.0-liter engine -- which produces 268 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at only 1,950 rpm -- didn’t feel overwhelmed by the Arteon’s approximately 3,500-pound curb weight". - Kelly Blue Book
The Arteon features a similar 2.0 liter engine which the last generation CC came with, but thanks to the fine tuning and updated turbocharger, Arteon’s 2.0 liter turbo churns out a healthy 268 horses and 258 ft-lbs of torque.
2.0 Liter I-4
2.4 Liter I-4
2.0 Liter I-4
3.5 Liter V6
2.0 Liter I-4
8 Speed Auto
8 Speed automated manual
7 Speed shiftable automatic
Continuously variable-speed automatic
8 Speed shiftable automatic
On paper though, the power output is certainly impressive from a small 2.0 engine but things change once you start driving it around town. The engine feels adequately powered. It does not feel underpowered, but it is not as exciting as the Nissan Maxima or the Kia Stinger either.
On the transmission front, the 8 speed auto is a CVT, not a DSG and it does shift smooth at city speeds, however it is not as spirited as the audi A5’s dual clutch. At higher speeds the transmission’s response might get messy at times, and the available paddle shifters seem somewhat like an aesthetic addition. There is barely any noticeable change in the engagement of those paddles in different drive modes. Put the Arteon in sport or manual mode, the feedback from the paddles remain pretty much the same.
Overall the engine and the transmission set-up is not as promising as its exterior, and the Arteon is tuned for comfort and efficiency rather than sportiness. With a weight of around 3800 lbs, and lying in the $35k - $45k, we would have loved to see the Arteon with a bigger and aggressive engine as well as a more responsive transmission.
In the acceleration as well, again the old-school transmission lets the Arteon down. Although it hits the 60 miles threshold in just about 6.0 seconds, which is better than the competition, but surprisingly it does not feel as quick and energetic as the Maxxima or Stinger.
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 emissions @ 15k mi/yr)
There is no launch control and hence you need to crack it straight off, and it cracks pretty softly off the line. It's more premium sibling, the Audi A5, despite having lower horsepower, feels peppier and edgy, that's the difference which the A5’s dual clutch transmission makes. We could only wish that the Arteon inherited the transmission of its elder sibling. The two liter turbo seems a bit laid-down in the lower revv counts, but gradually gets more enthusiastic after 2500 rpm when the turbo kicks in.
Ride and Handling
It's the ride and handling department where the Arteon shows its true character and what it is tailored for. The ride quality is smooth and all day comfortable with the softer suspension soaking up bumps really well and it feels strong and confident every time you take it out for a spin.
The standard adaptive dampers do not complement the ride quality in a good way, as is the case with most ‘sport’ oriented cars. Switch it into sport mode and the suspension stiffens up very noticeably. It does not get too harsh but yes, you do start receiving a fairly audible communication between the wheels and the road.
The Arteon is a large car and also has a hefty mass behind its body, but thankfully it handles just the way you would expect it to. It feels very firm and planted in comfort mode, and handles corners without any fuss or fumble. There is barely any amount of body roll that one could notice. The steering wheel is precise and accurate, delivering good feedback, but again it is not something that would delight you up.
Overall, on the road the Arteon behaves like a premium sedan should. Although with its design, the turbo engine, and the sporty suspension set-up, Volkswagen is pushing the Arteon as a sport sedan, but the Arteon certainly lacks the sporty gene of an A5, or S3. What it feels like is a more premium and refined Passat.
Although the 2020 Arteon might not be as sporty to drive, as Volkswagen projects it, but it does get a sports car like braking accessories, in fact it gets the largest front rotors among its segment. All the four corners are monitored by ventilated discs and ABS as well
Brake Front (in.)
Brake Rear (in.)
60-0 MPH (ft)
The Arteon really impresses with its braking. Although you don't get a very firm and confident pedal feel, but the brakes are very good in their business, making the 2020 Volkswagen Arteon stop from 0-60 in just 114 feet.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Fuel Economy
Even with a smaller engine that is more oriented toward efficiency, the Arteon does not impresses with its fuel economy. In fact it delivers the least number of miles per gallon among the competition.
Surprisingly though, even the Nissan Maxima, which features the biggest engine among the lot, a 3.5 liter V6, promises better economy than the Arteon, thanks to its better power to weight ratio. The Arteon is also the heaviest among the competition, and what it means is that it has a poor power to weight ratio, which also reflects in its fuel consumption.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Interior
"It’s all very Volkswagen inside, that’s to say neatly designed and easy to operate, the centre dash dominated by a large touch screen containing plentiful info and entertainment options."- TopGear
Seating and comfort
The seats of the arteon live up to its luxury expectations. They are super comfortable with good bolstering and under-thigh support. The seats are very well cushioned and the Nappa leather treatment feels very soft to touch. The front seats also come with 12 way power adjustment, two person memory and yes they are heated and ventilated too. The front seats also get massage facility, which is not as good as an Audi or Mercedes though, but is still appreciable in a Volkswagen.
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)
Apart from the seats, other touch points, like the dashboard, door panels, armrest and sides of the center console, all of these are covered with soft touch material, adding up to the luxury quotient of the Arteon.
Above all, because of its stretched body, the seats get generous space all around. There is plenty of legroom and headroom for average passengers, even in the back seat. However, taller occupants might feel a bit cramped in the rear seat because of the sloping roof line. Rest assured, the seats of the Arteon are undoubtedly among the best in its price range.
At the heart of the 2020 Volkswagen Arteon’s infotainment lies an 8.0 inch touchscreen display and a 12.3 inch drivers display borrowed from Audi. The infotainment Comes standard with Apple Carplay, Android Auto and MirrorLink Smartphone Integration. The screen is responsive to the touch and comes with a hassle-free user interface.
8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment
12.3 inch drivers display
Overhead console with storage
Leather steering wheel
Three zone climate control
Electrochromatic inside rearview mirror
Electric power steering
Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
8- way power, heated front seats
Rear ventilation ducts
Split-folding rear seatback
The Arteon is not only sharper on the outside but is also smarter on the inside. Volkswagen’s design team carved out a class-leading 27.2 cu-ft of trunk space despite the coupe profile. The secret lies in the fact that how thoughtfully the stretched up dimensions have been utilized. Not only this, the rear hatchback profile allows folding the rear seats down, that opens up crossover like staggering 55 cu-ft of boot space.
Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)
The hatchback design certainly provides an edge to modern day four door coupes, over similar alternative sedans. The new flamboyant segment of cars benefit from their generally long wheelbase and a larger opening rear hatch, to offer generous cargo room, over regular sedans.
The same formula works with the competition here. The similar styled Stinger GT too gets the fastback advantage, but not as efficiently as the Arteon does. The Stinger offers a healthy 23.3 cu-ft of cargo area which is way more than the other conventional sedans in the segment like the Q50, Maxima or the TLX.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Exterior
"The Arteon won't inspire envy from A5 Sportback owners, however it is a far more pleasing shape than theNissan Maxima,Toyota Avalon, orAcura TLX." - MotorTrend
Design and Dimension
The Arteon draws its name from the amalgamation of two words, Artem and Phideon. Artem in Latin means art and Phideon was Volkswagen’s most premium sedan. The Arteon nomenclature certainly reflects Volkswagen’s idea of presenting the Arteon as their best artwork yet and it certainly is one.
In comparison to its predecessor, the Arteon’ wheelbase is 5.0 inches longer, along with the addition of 2.5 inches in the overall body length and 0.7 inches in both width and height. This new VW flagship is now the longest sedan in its family tree, surpassing even the Passat.
The exterior frame of the Arteon is an effortlessly carved piece. Despite of its aggravated proportions it doesn't look like a large sedan and even the dramatic exterior silhouette is not as contentious as something like the Mercedes GLC coupe. What's most interesting with the Arteon is that its not instantly recognizable as a regular Volkswagen. Thanks to VW’s brilliant commixture of aggression and sleekness.
The refreshed chin up front now wears a larger chrome studded grille that gives the front fascia a wider and lower appeal. The headlights are full LED units and are standard across all trims. We also love the way the LED DRLs and turn signals beautifully integrate into the chrome strips runnings across the grille. The available R-Line package adds black accents on the grille and the larger and aggressive front air intakes. The underpinnings like the frameless windows and racy chrome highlights on the side profile, borrowed from its larger siblings, do make it recognizable as a Volkswagen group product. There's no other car maker out there which blends sleekness and fanciness better than Volkswagen group, especially in four door coupes.
The exquisite design theme is carried to the rear as well. The rear end looks minimalistic yet mesmerizing, thanks to the all new LED lights housing which is as slender as those in the Audi’s. To further accentuate things, there is a bolder bumper with a horizontal chrome strip running toward the bottom, underneath which sits the two chrome tip exhausts.
Ground clearance (in)
Track width (in) F/R
Curb weight (lbs)
Overall, the Arteon is undoubtedly the better looking car in the competition. The Kia Stinger and the Nissan Maxima try their best to match the exquisiteness of the Arteon. They even come close, but not close enough.
Liftgate rear cargo door
Rear lip spoiler
Heated power folding side-view door mirrors with turn signal indicator
Front bumper with black rub strip
Chrome rear bumper insert
Body-colored front and rear bumpers.
Fully galvanized steel body material
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Safety
Safety and Reliability
The 2020 Volkswagen Arteon is the top of the line product in the German marquee’s line-up. Needless to say, it comes dressed with Safety equipment just how a flagship should, packing in most of the advanced safety features that one would expect from its class.
Dual front side-mounted airbags
Front and rear head airbags
Front and rear head airbags
Blind spot warning accident avoidance system
Pre and post- collision safety system
Emergency braking preparation
Dusk sensing headlamps
Rear view camera
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Competition
2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs Acura TLX
The Acura TLX comes very close to the Arteon in the competition. It is well built, has premium interiors, offers good ride quality and is also aptly packed with features and tech. Where the Tlx falls short is its bland driving character. The underpowered powertrain is not as exciting as the Arteon, and most importantly it also lacks the styling flair and presence of the Arteon, and it also has nearly half sized boot than the Arteon.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs Infiniti Q50
The Infiniti Q50, has a lot to offer. It looks premium, and has premium materials on the inside too along with a powerful engine, that makes it fun to drive. However, where the TLX really struggles with its outdated interior design, lack of advanced technology and a smaller boot space.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs Nissan Maxima
The Maxima is undoubtedly one of the most promising cars in the segment. It looks stylish, is extremely fun to drive, offers great handling, and offers a cushy ride too. However, compared to the Arteon, it feels marginally behind because of its tighter cabin space, limited number of driving aids and a much smaller cargo area.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon vs Kia Stinger
The Stinger is one car which is very hard to beat for any new entrant. It is extremely stylish to look at, and flaunts a similar sportback design as the Arteon. On the driving front, it is one of the most exciting vehicles to drive in its class, thanks to its sporty character. However what might make the Arteon more pleasing over the Stinger, is the Arteon’s sleek and seductive very German profile and its plusher interior appointments.
2020 Volkswagen Arteon Final Verdict
If you're looking for a vehicle in the premium midsize sedan segment with your priorities beeing an eye-catching design, near luxury fit and finish along with a good sense of practicality, the Arteon is one car that checks all these boxes. However if you are willing to compromise on the aforementioned priorities, there are much better driving cars than the Arteon in the segment, like the Nissan Maxima and the Kia Stinger.