2021 Volkswagen Arteon Gets a Lifting and a New Interface

The Volkswagen Arteon gets a mid-cycle update for 2021 that includes fresh styling, an Audi-style interior and a new human-machine interface. There are no mechanical or technical changes in store for the German brand’s most stylish sedan, however.  

Sales of passenger cars in North America are falling just as fast as those of SUVs and crossovers are rising. Volkswagen executives predict the latter will represent about 2.9 million units by 2028 as traditional sedans lose 30 percent of their market share to around one million units.

Nevertheless, they insist to maintain the Arteon alive and well, setting their sights on competitors like the Kia Stinger, Infiniti Q50, Nissan Maxima and Acura TLX.

Let’s make one thing clear right away: the new Arteon with plug-in hybrid technology, the 320-horsepower Arteon R and the five-door Arteon Shooting Brake will not be coming to our shores. That last one certainly makes a few enthusiasts sad, but the fact is that homologation costs are too high given the low projected sales volume. In our opinion, though, this variant looks even sleeker than the coupe-style sedan we have here.

Photo: VW AG

A Single, Fully Loaded Model

In Canada, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will be available in a single trim level feaurting the R-Line package as standard. The only option is the body colour, and three of the seven choices are new this year including Oryx White, Kings Red and Lapiz Blue.

This upscale, fully loaded Arteon sports an LED light bar on the grille connecting the headlight units along with oversized air intakes including the C-shaped openings near the front wheels. In the rear, you’ll notice the new VW logo and “Arteon” lettering on the trunklid.

The car’s dimensions remain unchanged. Thanks to a wheelbase of 2.84 metres, the Arteon offers excellent legroom for rear-seat occupants. Cargo capacity amounts to 563 litres with the rear seatbacks up or 1,557 litres when you fold them down. With 2.1 metres of total cargo area length you could even lie down and take a nap.

Photo: VW AG

Audi-style Interior

Inside, attention to detail and material selection are impressive—more so than in the outgoing model—while ambient lighting with 30 available colours adds flair.

When it comes to technology and connectivity, the 2021 Arteon gets Volkswagen’s new MIB 3 system with an eight-inch, haptic-feedback display plus wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Designers also incorporated a physical button each for radio volume and tuning, but you won’t see them on these pictures as they show the European-spec model featuring touch-sensitive controls. On a related note, the 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system delivers a total of 700 watts. 

Photo: VW AG

No Technical Update

As mentioned above, the engine in the Canadian-bound Arteon is carried over, namely a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that generates 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It still relies on an eight-speed Tiptronic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

Likewise, the chassis, suspension, steering and brakes are the same. Customers here can only select 20-inch wheels whereas those in the U.S. also have the option of 18- and 19-inch alloys.

The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will hit the market by the end of this year. Pricing should be close to the outgoing model’s $47,995 MSRP. 

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