VW has updated the Arteon for 2022. While you may be like “Yea? And? What’s your point?” there’s news here. Big news. News that might make you consider the Arteon if you’re in the market for a new car: There’s a new engine. The Arteon now makes as much power as a Porsche 718 Boxster.
The Arteon has been on sale since 2019 as sort of a bigger, more luxurious, more stylish brother to the Passat. The only engine choice ever offered (at least here in the U.S.) was a 2.0-liter I4 with 268 horsepower. While that’s plenty of power for what amounts to a premium family sedan, it was mid-pack compared to competitors, especially in the premium segment that VW wanted it to compete in. VW has solved this for 2022.
The 2022 Arteon has been updated across the board. All models now get R-Line trim, and they all get the same 2.0-liter EA888 turbocharged I4 from the Golf R. While that engine makes 315 horsepower in the Golf R, it’s been slightly detuned in the Arteon to “just” 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This gets paired to a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission and your choice of front- or all-wheel drive. That AWD happens to be the same Haldex system used in the last-gen Golf R. Think of it as sort of a grown-up Golf R without the hoonish image, and with more room for your family and stuff.
All this will cost you though. Pricing has never been one of the Arteon’s strong points. Including a $1,195 destination charge, the Arteon SE R-Line starts at $41,945. A loaded-out Arteon SEL Premium R-Line is an Audi-like $51,140. While VW has positioned the Arteon as a premium offering, asking more than $50,000 for it may be too much for some buyers. Still. Golf R power in a sleek sedan. That’s not bad.