2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake review


Volkswagen’s coupe-like Arteon is back in Australia after a long absence, and it now has a long-roof Shooting Brake cousin. We get behind the wheel of the wagon to see if it’s a worthy addition.

What we love
  • Stacked to the nines with tech and equipment
  • Interior presents more ‘Audi’ than Volkswagen
  • Super-smooth driving experience

What we don’t
  • Not as sporty as it looks
  • Low-rent pop-up HUD
  • Servicing costs are astronomical

Introduction

Just over a month ago, I spent time in the entry-level 2022 Volkswagen Arteon and came away thoroughly enjoying the experience. But I secretly wished to actually be behind the wheel of its new Shooting Brake cousin, which is powered by the hot 206TSI 2.0-litre turbo engine.

Well, good things come to those who lie in wait, apparently. The flagship variant in the 2022 Arteon range is in the garage with my name on it. In its full name, the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake acts as the sportiest offering in the line-up and is powered by a 206kW/400Nm engine.

This power is routed through an all-wheel drivetrain too. Who doesn’t love a sporty wagon?

Few alternatives are offered in this niche segment, but they do include the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake and BMW 3 Series Touring. These offerings are both more expensive.

The Arteon 206TSI Shooting Brake costs $70,740 before on-road costs. It’s well-equipped for the price, including all the kit offered on the lower-spec Elegance plus R-Line-specific gear such as R-Line styling accents inside and out and 20-inch alloy wheels.

With regard to the items added as standard, these include a power tailgate, adaptive dampers, tri-zone climate control, 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, colour ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, 700-watt Harman Kardon premium sound system, and puddle light projection.

All cars in the range are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but a 206kW/400Nm engine tune is reserved for the R-Line model grade.

There are next to no options available – everything is included as standard. A $2000 panoramic sunroof is the only extra thing you can add to the Arteon.

Key details 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake
Price (MSRP) $70,740 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Lapiz Blue
Options None
Price as tested $82,032 (drive-away in VIC)
Rivals Audi A4 Avant | BMW 3 Series Touring | Genesis G70 Shooting Brake

Inside

Interior space and presentation are areas where the Arteon punches well above its weight grade. It arguably presents far more ‘Audi’ than Volkswagen with premium materials and eye-catching design inside. It also strikes the right balance between new and old Volkswagen.

With that last point, this car still uses buttons and dedicated panels for important functions such as air-conditioning. I think it’s a miss that VW has moved a lot of its functionality within the infotainment system on other vehicles in its line-up.

The spec list includes a 9.2-inch infotainment screen taking pride of place on the dash, satellite navigation, a large 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, nappa leather upholstery, and 12-way-adjustable seats with heating, ventilation, and Volkswagen’s ErgoComfort massage function.

It also gets a premium Harman Kardon sound system, ambient lighting, head-up display, 360-degree camera, tri-zone climate control, and puddle lamps.

Despite being a low-slung Shooting Brake design, the Arteon feels as though it has a lofty seating position for front-seat driver and passenger. There is no feeling of being cramped in the front row, and there are a good few storage nooks and crannies to leave items. Nice, wide door pockets allow for oversized bottles and key slots hold smaller items within the centre console.

The R-Line-specific seats not only look cool with their interesting carbon-effect pattern, but also feel snug to sit in and hold you nicely through corners.

Contrary to other Shooting Brakes, the Arteon comfortably hosts people in the second row with a large amount of leg space and there’s even enough room for your head – despite that sloping roof line.

Boot space is a commodious 565L when in five-seat mode, but can expand to a full 1632L space when all seats are flattened. The Shooting Brake gets a nifty hands-free boot release, which activates after you’ve kick-motioned underneath the rear bumper.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake
Seats Five
Boot volume 565L seats up / 1632L seats folded
Length 4866mm
Width 1871mm
Height 1447mm
Wheelbase 2840mm

Infotainment and Connectivity

I’m personally fond of this Volkswagen’s infotainment, whereby it incorporates bits of old and new VW systems.

This car’s 9.2-inch display contains just the right amount of new features and blends it with older functionality and screens. The menus and layouts all make intuitive sense, and items like the integrated satellite navigation present well. For those keen on utilising Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, those systems are available, too, and both are able to connect wirelessly.

Harman Kardon sound is piped into the cabin through a 700-watt, 12-speaker system and it sounds brilliant. While there’s a great amount of bass and clarity of sound from the standard equaliser set-up, there are myriad ways you can personalise your sound to your own tastes.

The pop-up head-up display does feel a bit low-rent for this kind of VW product, where a more polished projection onto the windscreen glass itself would be expected. It’s barely needed anyway when you’ve got a configurable digital instrument cluster that shows speed and all other pertinent vehicle information.


Safety and Technology

The Arteon’s five-star ANCAP safety rating awarded in August 2017 carries over for this facelifted model.

A suite of active safety features comes standard including Volkswagen’s new Travel Assist feature, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane-centring assist to accelerate, brake and steer the Arteon within its lane at speeds up to 210km/h, enabling semi-autonomous (albeit supervised) driving.

It’s joined by autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, semi-autonomous parking, proactive occupant protection, driver fatigue monitoring and emergency assist.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake
ANCAP rating Five stars (tested 2017)
Safety report Link to ANCAP report

Value for Money

The Arteon Shooting Brake’s closest competitor is the Genesis G70 Shooting Brake. While the latter arguably competes in a more premium space above the VW, both compare fairly evenly in terms of specification.

Considering the Arteon is priced roughly $10K below the G70, this paints the Volkswagen in a favourable light.

At a glance 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake
Warranty Five years / unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $1823 (3 years), $3585 (5 years)

Volkswagens in Australia come with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals occur either at 12 months or 15,000km (whichever comes first). Costs-wise, it’ll set buyers back $1823 over three years, or $3585 over five years (according to VW’s service plan). That $899 second service cost is a doozy.

Against VW’s fuel claim of 7.7L/100km for combined use, a week on test recorded a 9.9L/100km consumption for us – albeit our time was geared more towards town use.

Fuel Consumption – brought to you by bp

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 7.7L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 9.9L/100km
Fuel type 98-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 66L

Driving

For something billed as the sporty specification with the engine plucked from Volkswagen’s performance range, the 206TSI R-Line isn’t as hot as its looks would have you believe. It errs on the side of its luxury-focused range-mate the 140TSI Elegance, which delivers a smooth and serene driving experience, albeit with a sizeable power bump courtesy of the 66 extra kilowatts.

However, it’s no slouch. Stick the car’s powertrain into its Sport setting and the 206kW/400Nm outputs are deployed easier. It’s a confident overtaker and surges ahead under a prod from the throttle, if not always the most responsive powertrain. VW has come leaps and bounds with its dual-clutch transmissions, as they are now some of the most refined and smoothest-shifting in the business.

A subdued ride-control profile suits the engine’s smooth nature, with the car able to breeze over speedhumps and through road imperfections with minimal cabin upset. It’s quiet inside on the move and is well-refined in terms of vibrations.

The steering is lovely and light, which makes snaking its nose through town very easy. I’m not a huge fan of the oddly shaped steering wheel, which feels too thick to the touch. The Arteon can change direction without complaint, and stays largely flat through bends without getting upset on mid-corner bumps or road joins. While not the ultimate in engagement, the Arteon’s drive character turns to fun once you set it upon a nice stretch of road.

Key details 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake
Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 206kW @ 6600rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 2000-4950rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
Power to weight ratio 120.0kW/t
Weight (tare) 1717kg
Tow rating 2200kg braked, 750kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.9m

Conclusion

It’s not quite as sporting as it looks, but the 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI Shooting Brake is still a fantastic performer across a breadth of areas.

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but it’s a sexy-looking thing in R-Line specification and comes with all the goodies to make an ownership experience joyful. Comfort levels are very high despite the car’s low look.

Plus, for a Shooting Brake, it actually contains a usable boot space, which is oddly novel for its body style.

The post 2022 Volkswagen Arteon 206TSI R-Line Shooting Brake review appeared first on Drive.



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