Volkswagen’s sleek Arteon isn’t just a new, sporty option for midsize sedan buyers—it’s also the brand’s new U.S. flagship.

The Arteon made its U.S. debut the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. It shares its platform with the VW GolfTiguan, and Atlas, and its revamped cabin offers seating for five passengers. The Arteon also features a rear hatchback that VW says offers 19.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear split-folding rear seats up.  

The new Volkswagen Arteon is the automaker's replacement for the CC, one of the first affordable coupelike four-door sedans. The CC drove well, but its low profile and sleek silhouette conspired to limit access and visibility. The CC also had less passenger room than the Passat family sedan it was based on, and it received few updates since its arrival in the 2009 model year.


The sole Arteon powertrain is a 268-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is a significant boost in power from the CC’s base 200-hp turbocharged engine. Front-wheel drive will be standard, and all-wheel drive will be optional for all trim levels.

Volkswagen stretched the Arteon so it's more than five inches longer than the outgoing CC, then moved the wheels closer to the front and rear bumpers. That translates to more interior space—addressing a complaint we had about the car it replaces.

The cabin follows current VW styling trends seen in the Atlas and Tiguan SUVs, with an eight-inch touch screen for infotainment duties, as well as conventional knobs and buttons for common tasks.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility are standard. Volkswagen's "digital cockpit" is optional, putting a large, configurable screen behind the steering wheel to display navigation and other data.

Heated, leatherette front seats are standard, while leather, ventilated seats, and a massaging driver's seat optional.

Volkswagen Arteon interior
Volkswagen Arteon interior

Forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot warning are standard, while dynamic cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and an overhead-view camera are optional.

Pricing has also not been announced for the U.S. It’s likely the Arteon will stay close to the entry-level price of the CC—starting in the mid $30s.

The Arteon will look to improve upon not only the already strong driving credentials of the previous CC, but to boost its standing in our reliability and owner satisfaction surveys, where the CC was only midpack, at best.

At face value, it seems like the Arteon might be a bargain Audi A5 Sportback, the slick five-door version of the A4.

Volkswagen Arteon rear