It’s been more than three years since the Volkswagen Arteon was unveiled to the world, but the slinky five-door coupé has finally arrived in Malaysia. The replacement for the popular CC has been launched (alongside the Tiguan Allspace) in just a single R-Line trim level for maximum visual impact, with specs that largely mirror the Passat apart from a few changes.
Locally-assembled in Pekan, Pahang, the Arteon is priced at RM221,065 on-the-road without insurance and the sales and service tax (SST), which is a significant premium over the RM182,879 Passat Elegance. Included in the price are a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, three years of free maintenance and five years of free roadside assistance.
Firstly, it should be noted that the Arteon is in its original 2017 form, not the facelift that was revealed in June. Powering the car is the Passat’s 2.0 litre TSI turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, producing 190 PS from 4,180 to 6,000 rpm and 320 Nm of torque between 1,500 to 4,180 rpm. All this is sent to the front wheels via a seven-speed DSG wet dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters.
The Arteon is far sleeker and more dramatic than the CC that preceded it and is quite a bit larger to boot. At the front is a louvred full-face grille that neatly integrates the headlights which, by the way, are LED units with sequential indicators. The clamshell bonnet links the lamps with the front fender appliqués along the side, while the low-slung glasshouse stretches further towards the rear of the car compared to the CC.
Moving to the back, you’ll find slim two-piece LED tail lights (again with sequential indicators) and integrated trapezoidal tailpipes. The R-Line model gets a sportier front bumper with pronounced C-shaped accents, plus a subtle boot lid spoiler. It also rides on fetching 19-inch Montevideo turbine-style two-tone alloy wheels.
Inside, the Arteon has a similar interior to the Passat, with a no-nonsense dashboard design that still features a central analogue clock (the facelifted Passat ditches the clock for nameplate badging). Accountrements exclusive to the R-Line are a flat-bottomed steering wheel and carbon fibre-esque Nappa leather trim. Unlike the CC, the Arteon has a powered handsfree rear hatch that opens up to reveal a 563-litre boot.
The local model comes with an 11.7-inch digital instrument display and the range-topping Discover Pro navigation system with a 9.2-inch touchscreen. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto connectivity come as standard, as does an 11-speaker, 700-watt Dynaudio sound system.
Other bits of kit include keyless entry, push-button start, triple-zone auto climate control, cruise control, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, three-colour ambient lighting and front and rear parking sensors. The Arteon adds a couple of features not found on the Passat, which are the 360-degree camera system and Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive dampers.
Safety-wise, the Arteon does not come with autonomous emergency braking, nor the blind spot monitoring that is offered on the Passat. However, it is fitted with seven airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, stability control, a tyre pressure monitoring system and ISOFIX child seat anchors at the rear.