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Drive and Review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon on Everyman Driver

The new 2021 Volkswagen Arteon starts at $36,995 MSRP. The updated brand halo offers a new front end with sharpened design elements and greater levels of refinement inside, along with advanced connectivity and new driver assistance options.

The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine, making 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The power is taken to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic® shifting; 4Motion® all-wheel drive is available on the midlevel trim and standard on the top trimline. The DCC® adaptive damping system is standard, as is the XDS® cross-differential lock at the front and rear, improving vehicle dynamics and handling.

The refreshed Arteon features a refined front end and sharpened design elements. The long, wide hood and front apron have been modified to emphasize the vehicle’s ample width with three striking chrome bars. For the first time, the Arteon can also be configured with an illuminated light bar in the grille. On midrange and top trim models, new LED daytime running lights (DRLs) connect to form a central light bar in the grille, surrounding the new Volkswagen logo and giving an unmistakable lighting signature. A character line starts in the radiator grille at the front and runs smoothly across the silhouette up to the tail light clusters. At the rear, the VW badge and Arteon lettering have been redesigned. Three new colors are added for model year 2021—Kings Red Metallic, Oryx White Pearl, and Lapiz Blue Metallic (latter two exclusive to R-Line® trims).

On the inside, Arteon has been equipped with a redesigned cockpit that has been refined to match the model’s exclusive nature. New décor trim and an available 30-color ambient lighting system augment a new dash design, while new digital touch surfaces with haptic feedback are used on the new multifunction steering wheel and with the new Climatronic® Touch interface. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is standard and all models are equipped with the MIB3 Discover Media infotainment system, which offers an 8.0-inch display, navigation, SiriusXM® satellite radio with 360L (three-month trial), and wireless App-Connect; wireless charging is available. All trims come standard with the next generation Car-Net® telematics system and have in-car Wi-Fi capability when subscribed to a data plan. The top trim includes an all-new 700-watt, 12-speaker harman/kardon® premium audio system.

Arteon features a full suite of driver assistance features, including new options for 2021. Standard features include Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor (Side Assist), and Rear Traffic Alert. Mid-level and trims and up include Automatic Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go; Lane Keeping System (Lane Assist); Travel Assist; Emergency Assist; High Beam Control (Light Assist); and Park Distance Control. Features exclusive to the top trim include Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist); and Overhead View Camera (Area View).

The Arteon SE starts at $36,995 MSRP, features standard front-wheel drive, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels; LED headlights, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), and taillights; five-door KESSY® keyless access; rain-sensing wipers; auto-dimming rearview mirror; leather-wrapped touch multifunction steering wheel; chrome window switches; stainless steel door sills and pedal caps; 12-way power heated front seats; leatherette seating surfaces; heated front seats; Climatronic Touch three-zone automatic climate control; Volkswagen Digital Cockpit and Discover Media infotainment system with navigation; wireless App-Connect and Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices; two USB-C ports; Car-Net with Wi-Fi capability; SiriusXM® with 360L; and rearview camera. Standard driver assistance features include Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert.

SEL R-Line
Building off the SE trim, the Arteon SEL R-Line starts at $41,595 for the FWD, and $43,395 for the 4Motion. Standard features include: 19-inch wheels; illuminated light bar in front grille; LED headlights with an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) and dynamic cornering lights; panoramic sunroof; power-folding side mirrors; remote start; wireless charging for compatible devices; driver’s seat and side mirror memory; translucent décor with multi-color ambient lighting; leather seating surfaces; R-Line design elements, including front bumper C-signature and rear lid spoiler in gloss black, black headliner, paddle shifters, contrast stitching on steering wheel and shift knob, and R-Line badging. Standard driver assistance features include ACC with Stop and Go, Lane Assist, Travel Assist, Emergency Assist, Dynamic Road Sign Display, front and rear Park Distance Control, and Light Assist.

SEL Premium R-Line
Top-of-the-range SEL Premium R-Line models come standard with 4Motion all-wheel drive and prices start at $46,995. Building off the content of SEL R-Line models, standard features include: 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; harman/kardon® premium audio system; heated steering wheel with paddle shifters; massaging driver’s seat; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; rear seat climate controls and USB-C port (charge only); and power trunk with Easy Open & Close. Standard driver assistance features include Park Assist and Area View.

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