The Volkswagen Arteon is an attractive take on the almost lux mid-sized sedan market. There isn’t much that it goes up against, and the sedan segment is regrettably shrinking, but it’s got a great form going for it, and it’s got an impressive 268 horsepower 2.0 turbo four under the hood. All of that is good in my book, but the recently announced Arteon Shooting Brake kicks all of that up a few notches with a smokin’ hot wagon version. Unfortunately, we won’t see it on these shores.
The revised Arteon sedan is headed here in November, however, as a 2021 model. Not a ton has changed between the old and the new. There’s a new more-aggressive front fascia with fewer horizontal slats in the grille and a refined headlight shape. Aside from that, it’s mostly the same Arteon underneath. I honestly had to look pretty hard to tell the 2019 from the 2021.
Most of the change comes on the inside. The interior has been massively revamped. It now comes standard with Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, which is a gorgeous digital display as your gauge cluster. It’s been in several Audi products for a handful of years and I’ve loved it every time I experienced it. Adding to that tech-focus is a scad of haptic touch buttons on the steering wheel itself, plus a new 8 inch touchscreen and a new touch-sensitive climate control panel. Personally, I’m big time anti-touch screens in cars, but they look cool, I guess.
Volkswagen got burned by the U.S. market on wagons before, as none of you ungrateful shits bought the Golf Alltrack. Volkswagen is happy to point out that the wagon market is shrinking in the U.S. Is it the market who doesn’t want wagons, or the American dealer network and a need for instant gratification that killed off the wagon in the states? Are people not buying wagons because they can’t find them to buy on dealer lots, or are dealer lots absent of wagons because people aren’t buying wagons? Is it a chicken/egg or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
But I digress.
Regardless, there is no point in arguing this, because Volkswagen has already ruled out the wagon version coming to America. There’s no point in asking, because they didn’t even design the thing to meet U.S. standards, allegedly. But we already knew VW didn’t care about selling the Arteon in the U.S. because Europe also gets an impressive 215-horsepower plug-in hybrid version and a 315-horsepower 2.0T-powered R model, neither of which are earmarked for this market.
It’s a damn shame, too, because an Arteon Shooting Brake PHEV fits the exact spec for what I was looking for when we bought our Buick TourX. I’d have traded in for such a beast, without question. C’est la vie.
Anyway, the Arteon sedan will be here in November, and shouldn’t cost much more than the current model, which starts at $37,015 for a FWD SE model. An AWD SEL Premium R-Line will run you $48,715 before options.
Jesus, just look at that rear three-quarter. It’s so good.
Oh, and for the record Volkswagen, a Shooting Brake does not have four doors.