About the Arteon, we’d say that If you’re the sort that appreciates driving a vehicle that makes people do a double-take to see what it is, you’ll appreciate this vehicle. We happened to own a Volkswagen Phaeton back in the mid-2000s and it, in fact, was one of the most memorable cars we ever owned–very Bentley-esque both in the way it performed and the way people perceived it, but with a much lower price tag. So, while others have doubted whether VW can compete in the price range of entry-level luxury territory, we’re fans. The Arteon is sleek and modern, and as a hatchback, has a four-door coupe look and wagon-like utility, too. Handling and steering support the fact that it is a cousin to Audi.
The Arteon is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (268 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is standard on all trim levels above the base SE trim. Our SEL R-Line added 20-inch wheels, a sporty front bumper and several other aesthetic upgrades including contrast interior stitching with a delivered price tag right at $44K.
The renaissance of the hatchback has fared well for the VW Golf. VW’s GTI added performance and a more powerful engine to the basic Golf platform to make it an iconic hatchback when it was first introduced in the 1980s, a reputation that it maintains and one that sticks with millennial buyers who can have our upper level trim variant (SE) with a sunroof, leather seats, 8-inch touchscreen and connected services for about $33K. The base already has a rearview camera, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system. The engine is the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that can be paired with a six-speed manual or new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.