The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon offers a little something different from the norm. This midsize hatchback isn’t a luxury vehicle, but it feels like one. It can hold its own against sports sedans such as the Acura TLX, Kia Stinger, and Nissan Maxima.
The latest Volkswagen Arteon is also spacious, elegant, and a nice change of pace if you’re looking for something beyond the mainstream. Plus, it proves its performance chops even in nonideal conditions.
The Volkswagen Arteon’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is part of the Audi A7 family, and it looks like it with more of its cousin’s upscale vibe. Though it’s not as exciting to drive as the A7 or Kia Stinger, the Arteon has a lot to offer.
The Arteon has one powertrain, and VW didn’t alter it for 2021. Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The team at Cars.com likes its performance, describing the ride as energetic and responsive. The Sport mode adds a little excitement with sharper steering and a boosted accelerator response.
Cars.com reviewers tested an SEL R-Line model equipped with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system for two weeks. It got a great workout during two weeks of persistent precipitation, including ice, sleet, and snow. The Arteon consistently navigated inclement weather conditions with the optional AWD system and easily made adjustments to achieve needed traction.
Thanks to its standard adaptive suspension, the Arteon can absorb the road’s blows and still handle well. It navigates corners like a pro and with a level of control that inspires confidence. Its composed, refined ride will impress you in town and on the highway.
Speaking of city and highway driving: In its front-wheel-drive configuration, the Arteon gets an EPA-rated 22/32/25 mpg city/highway/overall, and it takes premium gas. With AWD, the numbers lower slightly to 20/31/24 mpg. But the numbers are on par with key rivals like the TLX and Stinger, which also require premium fuel.
The Volkswagen Arteon’s interior
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon also makes a great family vehicle. There’s plenty of headroom and legroom in the front and back for adults. The flat and wide backseat is an advantage, whether two adults will sit there or you have kids in car seats.
The Arteon also offers an impressive amount of cargo space. The team at Cars.com even took the family sledding in it. They had plenty of room for their good-sized sleds, gear, and food, with free space left over. The cargo area is also nicely sized for easily carrying bulkier items.
You get a backseat with a 60/40 split, too. There’s also a narrow center pass-through area to help with hauling long, slim items.
The cabin has an upscale vibe that’s visually appealing and uses quality materials. The team’s test car had two-tone Nappa leather-trimmed seats and glossy-black and brushed-metal accents throughout the cabin. An ambient system has 30 selectable colors that shine through translucent console and door panels.
Safety and great value
You’ll get a ton of great safety features in the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon. Expect blind-spot warning, forward collision with automatic emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alerts across the lineup. Other active safety features — like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-keep assist, and more — are available.
The backup camera is another great feature. It’s situated under the rear VW badge and emerges only when you put the car in reverse. It remained free of all the ice, snow, and other chemicals the Cars.com team experienced those two weeks.
The price for most Arteon trims jumped a bit for 2021. The base model starts at $38,190, but it’s priced to be competitive. Classy and unique, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is a compelling blend of convenience and luxury that can navigate all weather conditions too.