One would think that a manufacturer as big as VW would do some in depth market research on car sales trends before they just jump in and build another luxury saloon car that may not even sell. In recent times VW has tried to compete with other luxury car manufacturers by introducing saloon cars such as the VW Phaeton, the VW Jetta and even the VW CC into their range, and one must admit, it hasn’t been much of a success story.
European sales statistics shows that people are more likely to purchase SUV’s such as the Tiguan and even Panel vans, such as the Caddy, are more popular than these luxury cars. This has affected their sales so much that VW has recently discontinued the CC and Jetta ranges respectively.
Now once you take all this information into consideration, one then wonders why VW has chosen to build yet another luxury saloon, namely the all new VW Arteon, if sales are dwindling more as the years pass by.
These are tough times and VW has decided that the Arteon is what they need if they want any real chance of keeping up with the ‘big’ luxury car manufacturers. Keeping in mind that Audi and VW are sister companies this is no challenge for them at all.
At first glance when I saw the VW Arteon, this car was seemingly huge. It convincingly filled up a parking bay, and for some, it may seem like a daunting challenge to navigate this ‘ship’ around the bustling streets of Johannesburg. The 19 inch Montevido wheels filled the wheel in proportion to the car, and the R-Line body kit, with its unique front bumper, were very eye-catching.
The finer details such as the chrome beading down the side of car, the double chrome tail pipes and my favourite, the panoramic sunroof, had managed to give the car a stylish and sporty look that could definitely standout alongside any of its competitors. So stylish that it commanded the attention from owners of Audi’s, BMW’s and even the Golf 7 R, as I saw them peer over at the car when I stopped at the traffic light.
I used the car in around Johannesburg, during the heart of the school holidays, and I took full advantage of the luxurious car by taking my family on several outings as we explored our city.
The R-line theme was carried on throughout the interior with the signature R-line steering wheel, silver pedals, interior lighting, and my favourite for the cold winter mornings, the R-line heated seats. The infotainment system is very similar to other cars in the VW range and this means that it is easy to use, whether you use the Bluetooth connectivity, or more advanced features such as the navigation, anybody can figure it out.
After driving from one side of the city to the other side of the city one thing was clear to me, this 2.0 litre Turbo diesel engine, was very economical, VW claims a consumption of 5.6L/100 km, and yes you heard me right! Although this Arteon has the TDI engine, VW offers you the option to fit the R-Line body kit onto all its models as an optional extra. If I had the option I wouldn’t have it any other way, the TDI engine paired with the R-line body kit is the perfect balance of both sportiness and economy. The only downside is that you don’t have 4-motion on the diesel option, but who needs all wheel drive when you can save money on your fuel costs, especially with the price of fuel rising so rapidly in recent months.
Watch the video below where I visited 4 places in Johannesburg using the Arteon.
As my time with this beautiful car came to an end, I realized that this ride had grown on me, and although I was scetical about this car in the beginning, VW has proven that they can most definitely compete with the big boys, now we wait to see if VW can improve on their previous saloon car sales failures and prevent this beauty from also being discontinued.