Is the Volkswagen Arteon a Luxury Car?

With a $40,750 starting price, the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon is positioned significantly higher than the Volkswagen Passat by the German brand. It’s also in the same price range as the 2022 Acura TLX, Genesis G70, and more models from luxury brands. This, of course, qualifies it for an upper-class sedan designation, but would that make it a luxury car model, or is that reserved for Volkswagen’s luxury brand, Audi?

2022 Volkswagen Arteon features and specs

A blue 2022 Volkswagen Arteon executive car model driving on a highway near a cliffside of trees
2022 Volkswagen Arteon | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon is the fourth model year available in the U.S. after the first debuted in American dealerships in April 2019. As mentioned above, the starting price for the lowest trim, the SE R-Line, is $40,750, while the highest trim, the SEL Premium R-Line, starts at $49,550. There’s also the SEL R-Line mid-trim which Volkswagen prices at $45,550.

For this price range, Arteon buyers get a five-seater sedan with a 2.0 L turbocharged engine that produces 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, according to Edmunds. The engine in the sedan is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and achieves 60 mph acceleration in 4.6 seconds on Car and Driver‘s test run.

Notably, while the lowest trim features FWD, the other two have AWD drivetrains as standard. There are also a few standard safety and driver assistance features, such as blind-spot warning, forward collision warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. Also worth mentioning is that while the exterior body style puts the Arteon in the sedan car category, it can also be described as a hatchback or fastback.

Even the cargo space is synonymous with this categorization, with the vehicle having 24.2 cubic feet of trunk space with upright back seats. Once the back seats are folded, storage space more than doubles to 56.2 cubic feet.

According to Consumer Reports, the sedan does feature quite a few pros, including excellent handling and braking, a nicely done interior, comfortable seats, great controls, and even hatchback versatility. As for cons, the reviewer highlights the Arteon’s engine noise during acceleration and at low speeds.

The classification of the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon

The 2022 Volkswagen Arteon is classified as an executive car. This makes it significantly smaller than full-size luxury sedan alternatives like the 2022 Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series. That said, it still qualifies as a luxury vehicle.

While Certified Autoplex argues the term “luxury car” doesn’t have a clear definition, there are a few commonalities between these types of vehicles. They include high-quality materials in the interior layout, spacious cabins, automatic safety features, and some extra comfort features not available in regular cars. Examples include heated or ventilated seats, massage functions, and more, some of which are available with the VW Arteon.

Additionally, seeing a luxury offering from a “non-luxury” brand like Volkswagen is no longer surprising. Even the German automaker markets the Arteon sedan as more premium and fancy than most of its Volkswagen counterparts while also being more affordable than Audi.

Similar luxury offerings from non-luxury brands

Hyundai, despite not being a luxury brand, also offered the Hyundai Equus in 2016. The car had blind-spot warning and rear-cross traffic alert as standard according to Car and Driver, both of which are available in the Arteon. Rear-cooled seats were also an option with the Ultimate model. However, it was discontinued, instead relaunched under the newly created Genesis brand.

Elsewhere, Kia has arguably had a few luxury offerings recently, including the Kia K900 and the Kia Stinger. The Kia 900 was discontinued due to low sales but had quite a list of comfort and safety features. The interior was also sufficiently furnished for a luxury vehicle, although not up to par with luxury brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz.

As for the 2022 Kia Stinger, it’s in the same price range as the Volkswagen Arteon and has comparable power output for the base model with its 2.5 L turbocharged engine. However, a more powerful engine option is also available with the Kia Stinger GT.

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