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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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A black 2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line is shown parked in a modern driveway.

2021 Volkswagen Arteon: No Longer the Rookie

Have you ever owned a car that was manufactured in Germany? If you have, then you already understand the thought and care that goes into the craftsmanship behind every automobile. If you haven’t, then this is a fantastic time to learn a bit more about the most famous german automotive manufacturer and one of their latest releases, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon.

Not only is the 2021 Arteon model one of the newest vehicles from this esteemed manufacturer, but the Arteon is generally not that old of an automobile at all. The first Arteon model shipped only a few years back, with the 2019 variant setting the stage for things to come. Critics have been quick to note how stylized the Arteon is, and this has given it a place amongst drivers who want a dash of international luxury with their purchase.

2021 Arteon Trim Levels

Volkswagen earns commendation for offering the Arteon in a more condensed way as there are only three available trims to select from. This sometimes can go one of two ways as this can mean the base model is either lacking those qualities that competing models will have or quite the opposite. For the 2021 Arteon, it’s the latter as the base model, the SE, is generously jam-packed full of features with a starting MSRP of $36,995. Whether you’re talking about infotainment, safety tech, or general amenities, the Arteon is sure to impress any potential buyer.

The following trims include the SEL R-Line, and this trim puts forth a few upgrades over the base model, such as larger wheels and a panoramic sunroof, which makes breezy summer drives in this vehicle as magical as it sounds. Lastly, the SEL Premium R-Line will cost you the most out of the three trims, but this extra cost gets you exactly what you pay for. Upgrades you can expect with this trim include an even larger wheel upgrade, this time to 20-inches, and you can expect your music to sound clearer and punchier than ever before with a premium audio system. This trim will come standard with all-wheel drive, which is not available on the base model, but you’ll have the option to implement this into the SEL R-Line.

A close up shows the tire on a 2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line.

No Cut Corners

For such a stylish car that comes with so much tech, you probably think that there may have been some corners cut. Were these corners cut in regards to performance? Well, we can say that it doesn’t look like any corners have been cut whatsoever, and the turbocharged engine that comes with every trim is enough proof of this concept for us to believe it. This is a win-win situation regardless if you’re buying a base model or even a top-end SEL Premium R-Line.

Let’s say you don’t have the extra money to spend on a pricier trim like this one we’ve mentioned here; then, you can at least rest assured that the model you purchase will perform one-to-one with the most expensive model. That’s something that we suspect most drivers will experience as the base model is likely to be the more popular amongst shoppers. This isn’t to say those that buy the more expensive models are wrong for doing so; quite the opposite. Those who purchase the more expensive models will see this translated directly into the overarching luxury of the vehicle with state-of-the-art features at every corner, all housed in a brilliantly designed mid-size sedan.

However, this is an important time to mention the performance that you can expect from a 2021 Arteon, and this is all thanks to a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder that produces 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Paired with this engine across the board is an 8-speed automatic transmission, and for a vehicle of this kind, this is a highly stomachable setup. However, it’s understandable some drivers may be yearning for a V6 option. Since this engine is turbocharged, you can expect to save plenty of money on fuel, and this is especially true for the 2021 Arteon with its EPA-estimated ratings of 22 MPG city and 32 MPG highway.

Notable Highlights

Volkswagen has been vocal about some of the features that you can look forward to in the 2021 Arteon, and one that we wanted to make brief mention of is what they’re calling the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. To best describe this feature, imagine the cockpit of your vehicle where your analog gauges usually reside and replace it with an all-digital screen that measures 8-inches across. What do you display on this screen, you may be wondering? While you’ll still be keeping track of your fuel consumption, speed, and all of those important aspects, you can also put a variety of different applications on it.

One of the apps that stuck out to us was shown off by Volkswagen on the official Arteon site that showed a navigational map directly in front of the driver. Okay, we hear you; infotainment centers have been doing that for years now. But, here’s the difference. With an extra screen for important info such as directions, for example, you can alleviate the other screen’s duties to focus on other aspects such as changing the media playback.

With the infotainment screen left to be utilized however you like, this is a great opportunity to check out Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are two kinds of implementations of both of these pieces of software, and the one you’ll usually find revolves around plugging your phone into the infotainment center with a USB cable. With the 2021 Arteon, every model takes advantage of a Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, so as long as your phone is within a certain radius of your vehicle, you can still utilize these features. With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, your infotainment center gains communicative abilities with the option of calling your contacts, and you can download a slew of available apps for a variety of unique functions.

A black 2021 Volkswagen Arteon SEL Premium R-Line is shown leaving a modern driveway.

Do We Recommend it?

We’ve hardly found any reasons to criticize the 2021 Arteon. For a vehicle that first saw its debut not more than a few years ago, the Arteon seems to be built with quality and careful consideration from the manufacturer. Volkswagen fans will feel right at home as this is something the manufacturer has grown a reputation for over the years. This vehicle is an excellent option to get, whether it is the 2021 model or a used 2019 or 2020 one. We suspect that as this model gains more updates and more traction, it will be a race to get any new models as they come out or used models as they arrive on dealership lots.

Where can Volkswagen’s Arteon improve from here? For our money, we wouldn’t mind seeing the inclusion of a V6 engine like we had mentioned prior, but at that point, you may be losing out on the excellent amount of efficiency that the current Arteon models offer. If you’re going to be buying a new vehicle this year, you may as well go for the Arteon as it has our wholehearted recommendation, and we think buyer’s remorse will be at an all-time low if Volkswagen keeps producing models such as this one here.

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