Motors

Volkswagen's elegant Arteon gains sleek 'shooting brake' estate

Volkswagen Arteon

VOLKSWAGEN'S big Arteon fastback has rather flown under the radar since it took off in 2017, writes William Scholes.

Despite its manifest qualities, not least its unarguable elegance, the Arteon seems to suffer the fate of many a large and expensive car bearing a mainstream maker's badge - that is, most potential customers seem to decide to spend the same money on a car with a premium brand's badge, even if it is smaller, less powerful and not quite so good.

Badge snobbery is a tough adversary. But perhaps the newly facelifted Arteon will dissuade a few more sheep-like punters going the way of Audi, BMW or Mercedes.

Rather unusually for a mid-life refresh, VW has added a new body style - a sleek and very attractive 'shooting brake' estate. It's a desirable car, and probably the best looking model in VW's portfolio.

There's a plug-in hybrid drivetrain this time, pairing a 154bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 113bhp electric motor, and a high performance R model - complete with 316bhp, 310lb.ft, four-wheel-drive and a seven-speed double-clutch automatic gearbox - joins the range.

There are three other petrol and two diesel engines as well. Transmissions are either six-speed manual or seven-speed double-clutch, and four-wheel-drive is available across the range as an upgrade from front-wheel-drive.

Other updates include a cockpit which looks to be largely lifted from the new Golf and driver assist kit which looks after steering, braking and acceleration.

The new grille has a 'light band' running across its full width. There's a similar feature at the back of the car, giving it a distinctive light 'signature'.

Passenger space is a highlight of the Arteon. Maximum rear legroom is a humungous one metre, while the Shooting Brake offers even more headroom than the fastback.

With the rear seats erect, both versions have almost identical boot volumes (565 litres for the estate and 563 litres for the fastback); fold the seats, and the shooting brake's capacity swells to 1,632 litres compared to 1,557 litres for the fastback.

Prices and on-sale dates for Northern Ireland have yet to be announced.

Volkswagen Arteon

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