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Is the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon a luxury car? Volkswagen seems to think so based on its price, which continues to skyrocket. 

The German fastback directly competes with the Kia Stinger as affordable alternatives to luxury models from BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. However, updates to the 2021 Arteon may change this narrative. According to MotorTrend, Volkswagen is tagging the 2021 model with a starting MSRP that is $1,175 more expensive than the 2020 model.

Now, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon might be stuck in no man’s land. Its upgrades are certainly welcome, but the new price tag of $38,190 may leave shoppers in a state of sticker shock. After all, the Kia Stinger is available for over $4,000 less, and true luxury cars aren’t too much more expensive than the Arteon.

What’s new for 2021?

A red 2021 Volkswagen Arteon driving down a street
The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon in action | Photo via Volkswagen

As the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon’s price tag inches closer to luxury car territory, so does its features.

Volkswagen tweaked the styling of the Arteon, inside and out. However, the redesigned dashboard and center console are among the most significant changes. It now comes with a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster, which houses crucial driving information. Meanwhile, the eight-inch touchscreen now utilizes VW’s updated infotainment system. This includes a wireless smartphone integration system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Finally, the Arteon offers an available 12-speaker sound system with a host of pre-configured settings.

Meanwhile, the rest of its interior also received some refinement with new leatherette and aluminum interior trim. It now features available 30-color ambient lighting that adds an upscale atmosphere to the vehicle.

Whether upgraded features and designs are worth the extra money compared to the 2020 model is up to you. Nevertheless, these additions make the 2021 Arteon more formidable against its competitors.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon has a streamlined model lineup

There’s a lot to love at the base level of the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon. However, those looking for added features will have several options. The Arteon is available in four trim levels – SE, SEL R-Line, SEL R-Line 4Motion, and SEL Premium R-Line.

The entry cost is fairly substantial for the base model, but subsequent trims aren’t too pricey. The top-of-the-line SEL Premium R-Line is only $10,000 more than the price of the SE. Meanwhile, the SEL R-Line has a starting MSRP of $42,790.

Every model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powerplant delivers 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, and it moves by way of a front-wheel-drive system. Although, an all-wheel-drive system comes standard on the SEL R-Line 4motion and SEL Premium R-Line trims.

Is the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon worth the money?

All-in-all, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon doesn’t quite stack up for the money. While the Arteon signifies luxury, the price tag just simply doesn’t fit what you’re getting in return compared to the BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. 

Meanwhile, those looking for affordable luxury could save thousands by choosing the Kia Stinger over the VW Arteon. Or shoppers could grab a 2021 Stinger GT for around the same price as a base-level Arteon.

Suffice it to say, Volkswagen got the car right, but it didn’t get the price right.


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