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After a single-generation run from model years 2017-2024 as the flagship sedan in the Volkswagen lineup, the Volkswagen Arteon is officially discontinued. And we wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never heard of it. The Arteon was the successor to the Volkswagen CC, and it’s being replaced by the electric Volkswagen ID.7.

Did this stylish and upscale liftback sedan have a shot at mainstream success, or was it doomed from the day it was unveiled? Is it destined to be a future classic, or will it simply be forgotten? Let’s look at the legacy of the freshly dead Volkswagen Arteon.

The Volkswagen CC had a pretty narrow target market

The Volkswagen CC came out for the 2009 model year. It was slotted above the more mainstream Jetta and Passat as a sportier, more premium sedan. However, we’re hesitant to call it a sedan since CC stands for “Comfort Coupe” (yes, it had four doors).

The Volkswagen CC was mechanically similar to the VW Passat at the time. Both were considered midsize sedans, but the CC has a sloping roofline that added a sportier aesthetic but compromised rear-seat legroom and cargo space. Think of it like the Sportback variants of today’s Audi SUVs.

Unfortunately, the CC wasn’t luxurious enough to be a luxury car or sporty enough to be a sports car. Reviews were middling, and sales were low throughout its life. It got a facelift in 2012 and was discontinued in 2016.

Volkswagen thought the Arteon would crack the code

The direct replacement for the Volkswagen CC was the Volkswagen Arteon. The Arteon had a more unique aesthetic that didn’t quite look like any other VW. It didn’t focus so much on sportiness like the CC but leaned upmarket above the Passat.

Although the Volkswagen Arteon was more different from the Passat than the CC ever was, it still wasn’t a sales success, leading to the announcement of its discontinuation, according to Car and Driver. The Arteon was one of those cars that wasn’t bad but also not good enough to stand out. Not to mention the fact that it was a large sedan that came out at a time when that segment was in decline.

The Volkswagen Arteon also had the problem of outstanding competition. The Kia Stinger liftback sedan came out just one year later. The Stinger was a direct competitor to the Arteon, and the Stinger was arguably better in every way. It was on par with the VW in terms of luxury but had the stunning GT model with a genuinely exciting performance that the Arteon couldn’t match. The Kia Stinger got the formula right in a way that the Arteon didn’t. Alas, the Stinger was also recently discontinued for lack of interest in the segment.

Is this just too narrow of a target audience?

The Volkswagen Arteon (and Kia Stinger, Toyota Avalon, and Buick Regal) is one of many casualties in large sedans from non-luxury brands. The segment has all but disappeared entirely. The only full-size sedan on the market today from a non-luxury brand is the hybrid Toyota Crown, and it’s debated whether that’s really a sedan. The full-size sedan segment now belongs almost exclusively to luxury brands. Cars like the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8, Lexus LS, and Genesis G90 soldier on for well-heeled motorists who can afford an expensive luxury car and prefer a sedan to an SUV.

For Volkswagen enthusiasts who would rather have a big sedan than an SUV, get an Arteon while you still can. Or save your pennies for an Audi.


Short-Lived Volkswagen Arteon Suffers Same Fate as the Toyota Avalon