ARTEON comes from the Latin for art and that’s how the maker wants you to regard its attempt at creating a fourdoor coupe that doesn’t look generically VW.
The mechanicals and interior are derived from the more conservative Passat sedan and wagon but it is the outside that will grab the attention of buyers and onlookers.
If sales are any indication, this approach seems to work; the Arteon has outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia and BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe to date this year.
From $71,750 to $76,884 on the road, the Arteon pushes into premium territory but the quality of the build and the materials – nappa leather upholstery – is standard.
The digital driver’s display from the Audi parts shelf is among the best in the business and the only thing that doesn’t reflect the price is the repeater-style head-up display, projecting information on to a plaque in front of the steering wheel rather than on the windscreen.
The 2.0-litre turbo (206kW/350Nm) is lifted from the Golf R, along with a sevenspeed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive.
It takes 5.6 seconds to hit 100km/h from rest; brisk but not fast in today’s sporty cars.
What impresses is just how accessible the acceleration is from any speed.
The Arteon’s biggest strength comes from the range of adjustment in the adaptive dampers. In comfort mode they’ll ensure a smooth ride over everything short of a speed hump. Go hard in sport mode and they’ll tie the 1658kg car down with confidence-inspiring conviction.
Some four-door coupes are too style-driven for their own good. The Arteon isn’t one of them.
There’s great legroom fore and aft and the boot takes a whopping 563L. VW even fits a full-size spare.
The Arteon packs software and every sensor in the arsenal. Autonomous emergency braking operates up to 250km/h. There’s the usual lane assist, where the car intervenes to stop it drifting out of its lane, plus mild semi-autonomous driving around freeway bends.
Surround view reversing camera, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert and selfparking complete the package.