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If you’re unfamiliar with the Volkswagen Arteon, you’re not alone. It’s one of the automaker’s lesser-known and lesser-appreciated models, largely ignored by consumers and industry critics alike. Not that it’s necessarily a bad car. It just never really earned its place among the likes of more popular VW models like the Golf GTI and Golf R.

But with the introduction of the 2022 Volkswagen W Arteon, critics are saying this sedan will finally demand attention. In fact, if you had your heart set on a VW Golf R, you might find the 2022 Arteon an even more attractive option.

Where did the Volkswagen Arteon come from anyway?

A red 2021 Volkswagen Arteon travels on a highway through mountains
2021 Volkswagen Arteon | 2021 Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

Volkswagen officially unveiled the Arteon in 2017 at the Geneva Motor Show and the Chicago Auto Show. But it wasn’t necessarily a groundbreaking introduction. At the time, Americans demanded crossovers and SUVs. 

MotorTrend points out Volkswagen’s attempts to tweak the four-door sedan to improve its appeal. Lackluster sales and delays plagued this car’s success too. Plus, cars aren’t VW’s prominent focus — its sedan lineup consists of only the Golf GTI, Golf R, and less-than-sensational Arteon. But that’s about to change.

Upgrades you can expect with the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon

After striving to improve the Arteon’s luxury aesthetics without success, Volkswagen changed direction and opted for more power. The 2022 model’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine can now harnesses 300 hp instead of the previous 268 hp.

Additionally, VW ditched the old eight-speed automatic transmission and replaced it with a snappier seven-speed dual-clutch. The new Arteon will feel more like an energetic sports car and not the yawn-worthy sedan it may have felt like before. 

Plus, the R-Line appearance package will be available across all trims, including the SE R-Line, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line, CNET reports. It adds 18-inch wheels, rear parking controls, and wireless phone charging for every Arteon configuration.

This sedan might even be better than the 2022 VW Golf R

Volkswagen recently released the insightful extras consumers can expect in the 2022 VW Golf GTI and Golf R. They get an updated 2.0-liter engine producing 241 hp and 315 hp, respectively. The GTI will start at $29,545, while the R will cost $43,645. Comparing these hatchbacks with the new Volkswagen Arteon, you might find the sedan far more attractive.

In addition to some of the updates mentioned above, the Arteon SEL R-Line gets 4Motion all-wheel drive as a standard upgrade, and 20-inch dark graphite wheels are available. Jalopnik applauds the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon’s makeover. And consumer comments include those from Golf R and Golf GTI owners, who’ve said that this car “makes more sense than the Golf R.”

Despite the Arteon’s price hike of $3,000, bringing its starting price to about $41,190 (destination charge included), it still might be the better buy than the Golf models. If you’re not overly concerned about 0-to-60-mph times and you want robust standard equipment and stylish appeal, the 2022 Arteon is worth a test drive.

If you’ve been like most industry critics, largely ignoring the Volkswagen Arteon in years past, it’s time to reconsider your stance. This quasi-luxury sedan is getting a serious upgrade, including R Line standard equipment and sportier power. You might even like it better than the VW Golf R, with its more affordable price tag too.


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