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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Summary highlights:
  • Nice styling made even better with the facelift, especially interior
  • Impressive interior room and comfort
  • Doesn't drive as sporty as it looks, no discernible difference among different drive select modes
  • 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.6 sec @ 94.2 mph
  • Interior feels cheap beyond primary touchpoints: 8.0" touchscreen is small, grainy and located too low on the dash, terrible resolution of backup camera and no 360° view, HK stereo is low fidelity and not worth the upgrade, capacitive buttons for climate control and steering wheel are a nuisance.
Motor Trend first Drive 2021 Arteon SEL-P R-line
 

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I have to say I disagree with their assessment that there's "no discernable difference" between the drive modes. The suspension changes alone are very noticeable going from Comfort to Sport, but when you add in that it shifts the transmission from Drive to Sport, makes the adaptive headlights more responsive to changes in wheel angle, modifies the adaptive cruise acceleration speed, etc. it seems pretty comprehensive to me, behind the wheel.

I'll agree some of the interior plastics on the lower doors and the trim in between the rear seatback cushion and the door could be higher-end, or padded better - but we're talking entry level luxury here. The 8-inch screen could be bigger but I find the quality fine and placement is mere preference - I prefer it down low over stuck on the top of the dash. Shame about the H-K stereo.

Finally, the SEL-P has a 360 area view cam, not sure if these guys just missed it or what.

Glad we got another review of the facelift from a major publication, thanks for sharing Ali.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
SpokaneGTI,
I have only been able to sit inside a 2021 SEL R-line (not Premium) so far. I agree with you that the interior looks more than good enough for a near luxury car. I did notice that the digital gauge cluster looks too small and the 8.0" touchscreen also looked to be on the smallish side by current standards where brands like Genesis are putting wide 14.5" screens in their cars. I think VW should have put in the larger 9.2" Discover Pro Media screen on the top trim. Quality of back-up camera is not important to me but sound quality of the Harman Kardon system is. I'll have to check it for myself. I find it hard to believe that it would be "low fidelity" based on my positive experience with the HK system on my previous 2007 BMW 335i.

I am trying hard to justify getting the same exact car as the one Motor Trend used in their test, but the dollar numbers are tough to overlook. With the uncertainty about the future of the Arteon in this SUV-crazy market, I think the safer bet would be the lease route. If the Arteon is discontinued in 3-4 years, I think the resale will suffer greatly and I would rather not deal with the resale aspect down the line. So I looked into leasing one from a northern CA dealer. The money factor is virtually 0 (actually 0.00001) but the 3 yr/36K mile residual is only 50%. Even with a discount of about $7,500 off the $48,585 MSRP, the lease payment is in the $560-575 per month (including tax) with all inception feels rolled in. I could be wrong but I think that type of payment puts me in the category of some luxury brand sport sedans from Audi, BMW, etc (maybe even a Premium trim Audi S4). It becomes a tougher proposition. I think I'll wait to see if higher discounts off MSRP becomes available down the line.
 

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SpokaneGTI,
Even with a discount of about $7,500 off the $48,585 MSRP, the lease payment is in the $560-575 per month (including tax) with all inception feels rolled in. I could be wrong but I think that type of payment puts me in the category of some luxury brand sport sedans from Audi, BMW, etc. It becomes a tough proposition. I think I'll wait to see if higher discount off MSRP becomes available down the line.
I think this is right move. I'd normally say "get them before they're gone," but the 2019s sat on lots for months - some for more than a year before they were moved. With VW discounting these heavily from the get-go, incentives are only going to get better.
 

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Motor trend has become such a joke! I've been driving an Arteon for the last year and currently drive a 2021 SEL Premium which I absolutely love! There is a HUGE difference between the DCC modes so they obviously have something against VW since they cant give an honest review of any of their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Motor trend has become such a joke! I've been driving an Arteon for the last year and currently drive a 2021 SEL Premium which I absolutely love! There is a HUGE difference between the DCC modes so they obviously have something against VW since they cant give an honest review of any of their cars.
Can you comment on the sound quality of the HK system? Did you purchase or lease your 2021 SEL-P?
 

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Summary highlights:
  • Nice styling made even better with the facelift, especially interior
  • Impressive interior room and comfort
  • Doesn't drive as sporty as it looks, no discernible difference among different drive select modes
  • 0-60 in 6.1 seconds, 1/4 mile in 14.6 sec @ 94.2 mph
  • Interior feels cheap beyond primary touchpoints: 8.0" touchscreen is small, grainy and located too low on the dash, terrible resolution of backup camera and no 360° view, HK stereo is low fidelity and not worth the upgrade, capacitive buttons for climate control and steering wheel are a nuisance.
Motor Trend first Drive 2021 Arteon SEL-P R-line
On interior comments, I think that the VAG group have the delicate balance between brands. Think Audi A7 and Arteon - improve the interior of the Arteon and the gap narrows potentially threatening the Audi brand. If you do this A7/Arteon model comparison, you’ll find the Arteon is really very good value for money, especially with the huge tailgate and space.

and yes, the backup cameras resolution can be poor. I have and SE and and SELP and the SELP camera is poor resolution, so much so I keep toying with claiming the SELP camera is faulty. I am reluctant to take it to the dealer, since they usually give me back 2 new problems in return for the one they fixed!!
 

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The resolution my rear camera is also very good, about the same as my last car, Audi S5. The drive mode on this car affects the suspension more than any of the cars with drive select which I have driven. The tranny shift point is not affected as much with the drive mode, maybe that is what Motor Trend is talking about. I do notice when I put the shifter in sport, it reacts better than putting the drive mode in sport, both on sport is the sportiest.
 

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  • Interior feels cheap beyond primary touchpoints: 8.0" touchscreen is small, grainy and located too low on the dash, terrible resolution of backup camera and no 360° view, HK stereo is low fidelity and not worth the upgrade, capacitive buttons for climate control and steering wheel are a nuisance.
What am I missing here?
SEL P R-Line is top dog right?
Interior cheap?

There is a 360 view. No? I mean you might have to touch something but it's there.
The touch screen size is adequate, and 'too low on the dash'. Is that code for 'I prefer the stuck on tablet as an after thought look'? Because eff that noise.
I dunno how HK compares to Dynaudio, but Dynaudio seems better than the Fender system in my Golf R.
 

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My first thought was: Did they review the right car?? 😄

I think the "lack of 360 camera" thing could be due to what S1ack said, where the Arteon does not show the 360 view by default. They probably did not know they had to press the MENU button -- but missing a detail like that is what I would have expected from a random YouTube reviewer who's just starting out, not an "established" automotive magazine...
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
My first thought was: Did they review the right car?? 😄

I think the "lack of 360 camera" thing could be due to what S1ack said, where the Arteon does not show the 360 view by default. They probably did not know they had to press the MENU button -- but missing a detail like that is what I would have expected from a random YouTube reviewer who's just starting out, not an "established" automotive magazine...
So it appears they screwed up about the lack of 360° view camera. Frankly, I don't care as much about the clarity of the back-up camera or different views since backing up is a tiny fraction of the time.

With regards to placement of the infotainment screen, I think there is a middle ground between the tacked-on iPad screen look and having an integrated screen placed low in the dash. For example, the dash vents could be reloacted such that the top of the screen is near the top of the dashboard, like in this VW design (Jetta, perhaps?).


Arteon's screen placement is no worse than what you find in an Audi A6/A7/A8/Q7. I do think it was a missed opportunity for VW to not put in a larger size screen with the 2021 facelift, at least on the top line trim. They already have the MIB3 9.2" Discover Pro Media unit in European Arteons. I think that size would have been more adequate for a $49K car. Another thing I noticed sitting in a 2021 SEL R-line is that the 10" digital gauge cluster is just too small. The 1st generation Digital Cockpit was right sized. Maybe the main gauges would be adequately sized for a Golf, but the Arteon is a large car and using the same small digital cluster in all VWs works to the detriment of the larger vehicles like Atlas and Arteon. The other cost cutting move that annoys me is that the metallic trim above the ambient door lighting strips is missing from the rear doors. Perhaps I shouldn't care about small details like this but I do.
 

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This writer is horrible with inaccurate information in his article, the Arteon did not get a facelift after its 1st year, 2021 would be Arteon’s 3rd year in the US. He also called the 2020 Arteon an oversized Jetta when it is more similar to a Euro Passat than a Jetta. i bet this guy barely drove the car and do not know how to operate all the settings And did not bother to learn it. some of his complaints are from his lack of knowledge of the car, seems to me this guy would be better writing for a clothing catalog ins of a auto enthusiast magazine.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
This writer is horrible with inaccurate information in his article, the Arteon did not get a facelift after its 1st year, 2021 would be Arteon’s 3rd year in the US.
It’s a facelift after 2 model years in the US but the 2019 model actually went on sale in March or April 2019, and the 2021 model went on sale in late 2020, so roughly about 18 months. The MT author said the car got a facelift after 1 year, not 1 model year.
 

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This writer is horrible with inaccurate information in his article, the Arteon did not get a facelift after its 1st year, 2021 would be Arteon’s 3rd year in the US. He also called the 2020 Arteon an oversized Jetta when it is more similar to a Euro Passat than a Jetta. i bet this guy barely drove the car and do not know how to operate all the settings And did not bother to learn it. some of his complaints are from his lack of knowledge of the car, seems to me this guy would be better writing for a clothing catalog ins of a auto enthusiast magazine.
Why Car and Driver's favorite hobby is to take well deserved shots at Motor Trend.
 

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It’s a facelift after 2 model years in the US but the 2019 model actually went on sale in March or April 2019, and the 2021 model went on sale in late 2020, so roughly about 18 months. The MT author said the car got a facelift after 1 year, not 1 model year.
Yes, I own a 2019 MY and I was one of the earlier buyer of the Arteon. Saw the car online and wait 6 months for it before it hits the US dealer due to emission testing. 18 months and a bit more sounds about right but its closer to 2 years than 1 year, the author is misinformed About that and many other things. As a 18 months Arteon owner, I can safety say the article was not well researched, was not written for or by a car enthusiast and in no way represent the real world experience of Arteon owners, at least not in my case.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
so far there have been two major magazine tests (MT and C&D) where the 2021 SEL-P has been clocked at 6.1 and 6.4 seconds, respectively. Someone on this forum mentioned that the VW official 0-60 time for the pre-facelift model was 5.6 seconds. Did VW change gear ratios or shift points to gain 4 highway mpg (from 27 to 31) to the detriment of the acceleration?

what’s the likelihood that the Arteon gets a minor powertrain change in 2022 or later in the US? Nothing major to intrude on Arteon R territory, but perhaps a switch to the 7-speed DSG and the 276-hp rating of the Euro model. The Aisin 8-speed gearbox seems to be limiting the torque output to 258 lb-ft. This wouldn’t be unprecedented. The Mk 7 GTI went from 210 hp to 220 hp and finally 228 hp.
 

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From the literatures I have seen, the gear ratio is the same, but vw can play with engine and valve timing to increase mpg giving up a little power. The 2019 arteon is not a mid 5 second car, mot]re like a mid 6 sec car. Braking test was also more than 10 feet shorter on 2019 test for some reason.
There will probably be no engine upgrade, VW is concentrating their effort in EVs, VW’s latest US marketing effort has been going bigger and softer, DSG will add cost and reduce comfort, 2 things that VW is trying to stay away from.
 
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