French leave

Top Gear (UK) - - GARAGE - JASON BAR­LOW

Re­port 4 Volkswagen Ar­teon £40,305/£47,810

VW might fancy the Ar­teon as an AlpesMar­itime lux­ury boule­vardier, but it’s also a hugely ef­fec­tive GT. And long-haul trans­port, for a last-minute Bar­low fam­ily so­journ. It de­mol­ished the first part of the jour­ney, for our Lyon stopover, with only the oc­ca­sional grum­ble from the en­gine, re­mind­ing you that it uses the devil’s own pro­pel­lant. Truly lux­u­ri­ous grand tour­ing is not hav­ing to stop at a su­per­heated French ser­vice sta­tion – we saw 39.5°C – and once again the Ar­teon’s gi­ant range and mile-swal­low­ing high-speed gait proved al­most hyp­notic.

For fu­ture ref­er­ence, though, avoid the A7 l’au­toroute de soleil on the first week­end of Au­gust. It runs from Lyon to Marseille, and ba­si­cally be­comes a 185-mile traf­fic jam.

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