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Driven: 2022 Volkswagen Arteon eHybrid 204 Shooting Brake. Image by Volkswagen.

Driven: 2022 Volkswagen Arteon eHybrid 204 Shooting Brake
Is VWís svelte estate car still relevant in a world of SUVs and premium brands?

   



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2022 Volkswagen Arteon eHybrid 204 Shooting Brake

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At a time when estate cars are supposedly dying, the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is a brave proposition. But it's also one of the most beautiful designs to come from a mainstream manufacturer in the past decade. So can the Arteon prove its worth as a family wagon and a pseudo-executive estate, or is it just a pretty face?

Test Car Specifications

Model: Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake R-Line eHybrid 1.4 TSI DSG
Price: £50,455 as tested
Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol plus electric motor
Battery: 13kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: six-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power: 218hp
Torque: 400Nm
Emissions: 31g/km
Economy: 208.3mpg
0-62mph: 7.8 seconds
Top speed: 138mph
Boot space: 455 litres

Styling

The Arteon Shooting Brake is a gloriously designed car, with a lovely silhouette and some smart detailing. The grille gives it a low, wide stance, and the way it merges with the headlights make it look particularly distinctive and classy. At the back, the windows taper and the roofline swoops into the raked rear window, while the lights and bumpers further accentuate its width. It's a really cohesive design that manages to look sporty, premium and understated all at once. Is there any better-looking estate on the market?

Interior

Volkswagenís interiors are not known for their flair, and the Arteon is true to that form. However, itís a beautifully made car, with premium materials and typically German build quality, as well as some of Volkswagenís better touchscreens. While the larger infotainment system in the Golf and ID.4 has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Arteonís more modest technology proves much more user friendly Ė including the excellent digital instrument display. But there are a few misses, including the irritating haptic buttons on the steering wheel and the touch-sensitive climate control switches, for which a special place in Hell is surely reserved.

Practicality

Although the Arteon's design is clearly more interested in aesthetics than practicality, the Shooting Brake is quite a roomy thing. As standard, it comes with 590 litres of luggage capacity, which is more than enough in anyone's book. The eHybrid version, however, cuts that to 455 litres. Even so, that's still substantially more than you get in a VW Golf, and it means the eHybrid's passenger space is uncompromised, offering a huge amount of rear legroom and ample headroom.

Performance

The Arteon Shooting Brake is available with a choice of engines, all of which are more than powerful enough. Even the least potent 2.0-litre diesel has ample grunt, with 150hp, but this 1.4-litre plug-in hybrid produces an even more ample 218hp. That's enough for a 7.8-second sprint to 62mph, which is as much performance as you need on the public road, but those who want more can have the 2.0-litre Arteon R, with 320hp, all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

For most customers, though, economy is more important, and that's where the eHybrid comes in. Officially, the eHybrid system can return more than 200mpg, but to achieve that you'll need a specific set of circumstances. With an official all-electric range of 37 miles, those who can charge the 13kWh battery regularly and keep most of their journeys below the 30-mile mark will find the eHybrid hugely efficient. Those who do longer journeys, however, will prefer the diesels that can achieve well over 50mpg. We're particularly drawn to the all-wheel-drive 200hp diesel, which is slightly faster than the eHybrid and manages 46.3mpg. That feels like a real do-anything car.

Ride & Handling

Key to the way the Arteon drives is the Dynamic Chassis Control system, which allows the driver to tune the suspension to their needs. Yes, itís an expensive option, but itís one thatís well worth specifying. On a good country road, you can stiffen things up to provide better body control, at which point the Arteon becomes very competent in corners, if not especially engaging Ė light steering puts paid to that. But around town or on longer journeys, you can soften the suspension to provide a smooth, mature ride that makes the VW enormously comfortable over long distances. It isnít quite a magic carpet at lower speeds, but itís supple and smooth, and it makes motorway miles a breeze.

Value

Arteon Shooting Brake prices start at £39,900, which pays for the R-Line model we tested. That comes with plenty of equipment, including heated front seats, keyless entry and a reversing camera, as well as a panoramic sunroof and some sporty design features. But our car came in at over £50,000, which paid for the hybrid powertrain, some driver assistance tech and a heated steering wheel, as well as extra sound suppression (well worth £315) and a head-up display.

Verdict

In the right specification, the Arteon can be a very effective, very attractive family car, but it can also hold its own in the executive market. This eHybrid version is going to be more attractive for company car drivers, and it works strikingly well, but for private buyers the 2.0-litre, 4Motion diesel would be our pick. With 200hp, all-wheel-drive and almost 50mpg on a long run, it's the complete estate car. Just make sure you specify the Dynamic Chassis Control.



James Fossdyke - 18 Nov 2022



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2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.2022 Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake eHybrid. Image by Volkswagen.







 

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