Forget about SUVs, 2021 VW Arteon is the ideal solution for Accord/Camry upgraders
Shaun · Aug 19, 2021 09:00 AM
In a hypothetical situation, you currently have a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord as a result of the progress you’ve made in the corporate ladder. Since the current generations of the Accord and Camry are pretty much RM 200k cars, the next step might as well be a compact executive sedan.
Being locally assembled, the Volkswagen Arteon gets a more competitive price at RM 248,692 (OTR without insurance, with SST rebate), aimed squarely at the compact executive sedans – the BMW 320i and Mercedes-Benz C200.
If you’re coming from a D-segment sedan, you would be sacrificing space to a certain degree when opting for a compact exec. It also doesn’t help that they are typically rear-wheel driven, which further sacrifices cabin space on top of having smaller overall exterior dimensions.
The larger executive sedans like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class do provide similar levels of space, but prices are significantly higher and are perhaps out of reach for the time being.
Here’s a true story, yours truly has a relative who bought a BMW 3 Series and one of the aspects of consideration was the outright size. To which the BMW sales advisor gladly pointed out that it’s larger than the C-Class at that point in time. Not only badge matters, but size as well apparently.
Now, as much as we’d like to provide the perfect solution, a car that has the right badge and space at the right price, there isn’t any. Something’s got to give. However, we think that the Volkswagen Arteon is as close to the perfect solution as it gets.
For one, it certainly looks the business. The sleek exterior that seems to turn heads everywhere you go is perhaps an indication that you’ve got yourself something special. Doors are frameless, which automatically makes a car 10 times more appealing. Yes, it’s just how the automotive world works.
Joking aside, it’s not just the frameless doors that makes the Arteon special, it’s the cabin and the overall driving experience too. Material and build quality are no poorer than the compact execs, while the design is cohesive and free of clutter.
You get all the luxury amenities expected at this price range; digital instrument cluster, crisp infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity (wireless too), ambient lighting, and a premium sound system.
More importantly, the Arteon is far more spacious than the compact execs. The spaciousness can be felt even from the front seats, as the dashboard has a thin sculpture to maximise the sense of space. It just gives occupants a sense of airiness, instead of being cocooned in a cosy interior.
Legroom at the rear is comparable to the current generation Honda Accord, so you won’t be sacrificing room to stretch here. Headroom is slightly compromised due to the sloping roof, but still adequate for averaged-sized adults.
And look at the massive boot (rated at 563 litres) and the supremely practical hatch-style opening.
To drive, the Arteon is a composed, matured cruiser. With 280 PS/350 Nm, all-wheel drive, and DCC adaptive dampers in its armory, the Arteon never seems to be fazed by anything you throw at it.
Pockmarked roads? It’ll soak it up. Winding roads? Turn the steering wheel and it’ll go exactly where you want it with oodles of confidence. High-speed cruising? The Arteon is made for it.
Think the compact executive sedans are more comfortable? Think again. The G20 BMW 320i’s suspension doesn’t bother filtering out road irregularities, it communicates them, which is good for the driver but less so for the passengers. The W205 Mercedes-Benz C200 AMG Line’s high-speed damping over undulations makes this writer want to stop cruising altogether.
If there’s one glaring downside, you guessed it, it’s the lack of Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). To omit this feature in this day and age is inexcusable, especially a car that wears this price tag. But who knows? This may not be a deal-breaker to you personally.
The biggest problem for the Volkswagen Arteon isn’t the car itself, it’s the badge. While we may not agree on buying a car for its badge, it’s understandable why. A BMW or Mercedes-Benz gets you into a different social circle, one that has the potential to help build your portfolio as your network expands.
But a Volkswagen is no different than the current hypothetical situation. So really, you have to choose – badge or power, space, and comfort. Do you want to look successful or enjoy a bigger fruit of success?
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.