Sedans & Coupes

Do the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon’s Updates Signal Trouble?

The Volkswagen Arteon is one of the German automaker’s latest entries in the American market. But this four-door midsize car is already getting a major update. Volkswagen is no stranger to scandals, so this early update might seem to signal trouble.

But that’s not necessarily the case with the 2021 Arteon, and here’s why it’s getting a major update so soon.

What’s new with the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon

According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon saw a major update despite being a relatively new car in America. As with most major updates, VW changed both the Arteon’s interior and exterior. For example, the automaker restyled the front and rear bumpers, made the LED headlights more distinctive, and updated the badging design. 

Inside the 2021 Arteon, VW also changed its dashboard display and steering wheel design. It also made the Arteon more modern and advanced. A 10.3-inch digital gauge display is now a standard feature, as are wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other changes include an updated infotainment system and the SEL trim’s discontinuation.

All of these updates come with a price hike of about $1,200, MotorTrend reported. A standard 2021 Arteon now starts around $38,000. 

These updates shouldn’t be cause for concern

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The Arteon debuted stateside the 2019 model year. So the fact that Volkswagen rolled out such a major update so early in the Arteon’s American life might rightfully worry customers. But according to MotorTrend, there’s no cause for concern: Fortunate timing, not serious issues, prompted the updates.

The Arteon’s equivalent in Europe had been on the market longer than the U.S. Arteon. The European version needed major updates, so the American Arteon got those updates as well. 

As a result, the Arteon didn’t actually change as much as it could’ve, as many of its features and systems have remained the same. Regardless, MotorTrend still thoroughly enjoyed the 2021 Arteon, though it’s not a perfect car.

The 2021 VW Arteon at a glance

The Arteon’s exterior design changes are among the car’s strongest points, MotorTrend reported. In fact, one of the publication’s test drivers called the 2021 Arteon “the best-looking vehicle in Volkswagen’s lineup.” The new standard tech equipment is also helpful, but MotorTrend said the standard eight-inch touchscreen display is “small and grainy by today’s standards.”

Plus, the Arteon’s powertrain hasn’t changed, and it still offers only one engine: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It gets about 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The Arteon can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.1 seconds. But according to MotorTrend, it isn’t really that sporty or fun to drive.

That said, the publication praised the Arteon’s practicality. It’s quite a large car that can comfortably fit adults in its rear seats. Additionally, thanks to its hatchback, the Arteon can get about 55 cubic feet of cargo space with its rear seats folded down. That cargo capacity is impressive for a car that looks more like a sedan than a hatchback, MotorTrend reported.