2023 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SEL Premium R-Line 4MOTION: Review


This is awkward. I don’t think I’ve tested a vehicle that was about to be discontinued. Volkswagen confirmed that 2024, after eight years in production, will be the last year for their Arteon sedan. It is still 2023 and you have plenty of time to decide if this midsize sedan will be a good addition to your driveway. In order to find out what this car is like, I drove it for a full week. This VW sedan is it any good? Let’s start the discussion.

2023 Volkswagen Arteon Overview

Any 2023 Arteon is fine, so long as it’s an R-Line. Below you can see the main differences. All iterations are powered by a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder with 300 horsepower paired with a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The price ranges between just under $43,000 for SE and just over $50,000, which is the price of our tester.

VW offered the stunning Kingfisher blue metallic paint (395 dollars) and, as a likely leftover of the shortage of chips, a $495 voucher for nothaving heated and ventilated rear seats or a massaging and ventilated driver’s chair. It’s a shame, because I love massaging seats.

Arteon SEL premium is in good company with a price of $50,890. We’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s move on to the important parts.

2023 Volkswagen Arteon Inside & Out

Look at it, it is absolutely stunning. Stop and scroll up again. I’ll wait. It’s just a beautiful car. From the sculpted lines that run along the side, from headlight to rearlight, to the wheels (mercifully not black), to the simple and attractive back, to the reasonable use of chrome, it is all so nice. The Arteon is a car that looks good from every angle.

There are many horizontal lines on the front. It’s still all integrated nicely and doesn’t resemble a Mach-3 blade like the Ford.

If I’m being honest, the interior is mixed. The interior has some great features. That pixelated panel on the right side of dash looks really good, especially when surrounded by metallic accents and (likely fake) carbon fiber. The layout of the dashboard is also solid, with a touchscreen which feels well integrated, especially when compared to other screens that are tacked onto dashes. VW has an excellent storage space up front for wireless charging, right next to the giant shift knob. It has a retractable lid, which is great if you need to quickly grab something (and don’t mind leaving your phone behind for that time).

Volkswagen also used actual buttons for functions such as the volume of the audio, something that is not true on some more recent VW products, like the golf R which I just drove. The new VWs have haptic feedback surfaces that are difficult to locate while driving. It is a conundrum that the Arteon feels dated when you compare it to the new VW interior. Usability is higher but the details, like that tall gear shifter and button layout, make it seem like a model from yesterday. It is, I suppose.

On the window sticker, the interior is described as “Mistral Gray with Raven Leather”, however on the website the only choice is “Titan Black”. The leather interior is wrinkled, no matter what you call it. This is true even though the car has only been driven a few miles. The Jetta GLI, which arrived shortly after the Arteon, had a similar outcome. The black option may have been a better way to hide that.

Legroom in the rear is 40.2 inches, which is more than adequate for my tall teenage children to drive an hour. The hatchback layout provided a generous 27.2 cu. The hatchback layout offers 27.2 cu. The Arteon bag fit my son’s hockey stick, but it was too tight.

The Arteon is a good choice for daily driving duties. It has room for up to five adults and a large cargo area.

The 2023 Volkswagen Arteon on the Road

A 300 horsepower AWD car that looks stunning is a great recipe. It takes around six seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, which is quite quick. Turbo lag was very evident off the line, just like the Golf R. I did not notice any difference between regular and sport mode. The big shifter, as I mentioned above, is unusual in today’s world, when most cars have a dial or button. However, I know that the Arteon will be gone soon, so I don’t find it surprising.

VW is the best at making flat-bottomed wheels. The little nubs on the wheel help me to maintain my grip when I’m in tight corners. The Arteon’s cornering is good, if not the best in its class. The AWD system is reliable and keeps the car moving in the right direction.

It was only when I rolled the window down after a heavy rain that I noticed the cold water dripping onto my leg. It could have been a flaw in the design, or a perfect storm with water at the wrong spot.

You can read more about it here:

Bottom line, the Arteon is a great daily driver for most situations. It’s comfortable, quick and looks fantastic. As I mentioned earlier, there is a plethora of cars in the $50K range that are worth considering. The Acura Type S is priced lower than the top-spec Arteon. It also has 55 more horsepower. There are many sedans in this price range. These include the Cadillac CT5, Audi A4, Volvo S60, and others.

The Arteon looks better than the others and is worth considering if you are in the market.

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