First drive: Volkswagen Arteon

The premium saloon segment is one of the most important in the car industry and also one that is dominated by marques like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

A German marque one wouldn't normally think of being in this segment is Volkswagen, but that's exactly what they seek to achieve with the Arteon. AOL Cars went to have a closer look.

What is it?

The Volkswagen Arteon is a brand new premium saloon car, designed to sit above the Passat as the German manufacturer's new flagship model.

The Arteon boasts a sporty feel and plenty of autonomous technology, but with space for four passengers and a boot capacity of 563-litres.

What's under the bonnet?

When the Arteon is released in Britain in September, there will be a choice of two engines – a 2.0-litre diesel, producing 237bhp, and a 276bhp 2.0-litre petrol.

Volkswagen has yet to release extensive details for either, so we can't say how economical or fast they are. What we do know is that VW predicts the petrol will be the most popular version.

What's the spec like?

The price is another aspect of the Arteon that so far eludes us, but we expect it'll be somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000. UK customers will have a choice of two trim levels – Elegance and R-Line, the latter of which has a lower ride height.

There's a huge selection of equipment available too, but whether each feature will be standard or an optional extra, we can't yet say.

Any rivals?

The Arteon faces some very tough competition from cars such as the Audi A5 Sportback, BMW 3-Series GT and Mercedes-Benz CLA. The key advantage held by the Arteon is how unique it is.

What's it like to drive?

The Arteon is definitely a predictable car to drive. The steering is heavy, especially in sport mode, only lightening slightly at higher speeds. It has to be said though that the car's size can make it feel rather cumbersome.

The ride is firm, undoubtedly because of the large alloy wheels, but the Arteon copes fairly well on pothole-ridden roads. The 2.0-litre diesel engine our test car was fitted with felt as though it would be suitable for daily use, but the gearbox doesn't have as quick a response as it should.

The Arteon is fantastically well refined, as we experienced very little wind or road noise. Driving this car is a relaxing experience, making it suitable for use over long distances.

AOL Cars Verdict

The Arteon is well made, good to drive and a good-looking premium saloon. It is set to command an equally premium price tag too, and it could be this as well as the lack of more engine choices that puts buyers off.

The Knowledge

Power (bhp): 237
Torque (Nm): N/A
Max speed (mph): N/A
0-60mph: N/A
Emissions (g/km): N/A
Price: N/A

First Drive: Volkswagen Arteon

First Drive: Volkswagen Arteon