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Volkswagen Arteon Singapore Review - 2.0 DSG R-Line (A)

The Volkswagen Arteon is a front wheel drive 5-door coupe featuring a 2.0L power unit similar to the one found in a Golf GTI, and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. In the Arteon R-Line, the car also comes equipped with sports seats, R-Line body styling and trim, as well as an R-Line steering wheel. Low slung and sporty, the Arteon possesses a firm and decisive ride quality, and the car handles like a smaller, more agile vehicle than it is, making it an excellent performer in its class.

In a world where current new car offerings can feel a little jaded - with little to differentiate it from one another, it must be said that the Arteon feels like a breath of fresh air. While the latest iteration of the Arteon doesn't feel as dramatic as its predecessor, it seems to have come at a good time.

You see, under normal circumstances, a Singaporean looking for a premium executive sedan would likely gravitate towards purchasing an Audi, BMW, or a Mercedes-Benz, simply by virtue of the brand status that comes with the car. However, with COE prices being the way they are now, it would seem that an abundantly capable car vehicle like the Arteon now has a fighting chance - especially for those who prioritise build quality ,value for money, and want something a little bit different from the norm.

There are a few things that stand out about the Arteon from the get-go, and one of those things has got to be its design. Built as a fastback that is armed with a swooping rear end, the Arteon is a handsome vehicle, especially in its R-line trim variant, which also come with those dramatic blacked out turbine-design wheels. The sexy rear end is complemented by an equally attractive front fascia, which feels extremely aggressive. Compare this to the Arteon's competition, and its pretty evident that the Arteon is the best looking of the lot, perhaps with the exception of the Audi A5, but that would set you back at least $40,000 more for a car that is tuned to a lower specfication than the Arteon.

The second thing that stands out about the Arteon, is the value for money performance that you get with the car. Even if you weren't keen on spending the extra to get the Arteon in its R-line trim, engine specfications on the lower end Elegance trim level are identical to what you'll get on the R-line, which is a turbocharged 2 litre engine that produces 188 bhp, 320 Nm of torque, and will carry you and the Arteon from 0-100km/h in a very respectable 7.9 seconds. In fact, aside from EVs, I can't think of anything at the same price point that will outrun the Arteon, with many of the Arteon's more premium continental competitors still packing fairly entry level specs on their base trim level. What is also a bonus is of course Volkswagen's long standing reputation of producing very good and very engaging 4 cylinder power units that are used across the VW range of cars, like the GTI for example.

While not a performance car, the Arteon feels like a driver's car, and seems to lean toward the sportier side of things. Driving dynamics is pleasant and the car feels planted and sure-footed, though ride comfort is a little on the firmer side, through never uncomfortable. Handling is also composed, and lean is kept to a minimal during cornering. Overall, the Arteon is a car that does induce confidence in its operator. In fact, I was rather looking forward to getting back into the Arteon throughout my 3 days with the car. Interestingly, all this sportiness doesn't seem to have dulled the Arteon's practicality credentials, and the Arteon is a surprisingly capable family car, with generous amounts of legroom in the rear, and a liftback style boot, which makes loading and unloading really easy. The boot is also long and deep, and should accommodate full sized golf bags with ease.

Where the Arteon loses a little bit of shine is likely its interior, which like most Volkswagen's, have a tendency to feel a little bit utilitarian. It's important to note however, that what Volkswagens lack in style, they make up for in build quality, and the overall package is still one that is distinctly premium and well put together. That said, as the "cool" car in the Volkswagen line up, it would have been nice if the car was offered in a variety of seat colours for that extra bit of luxury. A dark brown or beige interior in my opinion, would do just as well as the stoic black that is standard on most VW's out there. Thank goodness the Arteon has wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

If you were to consider the Arteon, the car does actually make a lot of sense from an ownership perspective. Generally speaking, you'd be spending less for a more powerful and more beautiful car, with excellent build quality, and possesses an engaging drive with positive driving dynamics. In that sense, the Arteon provides a very compelling case on paper, and is the best in its class in many aspects. However, it must be said that to fully appreciate the Arteon for what it brings to the table, its future owner must be discerning and recognise where the Arteon thrives. If you're a buyer than prioritises performance over brand, and are looking for a family sedan or coupe that looks beautiful, is well built, and drives well - there aren't too many cars in the same segment that will outperform an Arteon, or provide you as much value for money.


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