2019 VW Arteon upscale sedan makes US debut

Volkswagen chose the Chicago Auto Show to launch their 2019 Arteon into the US market, a premium four-door coupe that might give Audi pause for concern. Based on the MQB architecture, the car was originally unveiled in March 2017 at theĀ Geneva Motor Show but now makes its US debut, showing off its wide, planted stance, short overhangs, and generally coupe-like design. Arteon's wheelbase is more than 5 inches longer than the Volkswagen CC, at 111.9 inches compared to 106.7 inches, while its interior also makes use of more upscale premium materials and a more modern design.

"This car is the spiritual successor to the CC, but it is bolder and faster," Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North American Region, Volkswagen, said of the new sedan. "Arteon has the style and performance of a luxury Gran Turismo for about the price of a fully loaded midsize sedan."

That performance may not give the 2019 Audi A7 we drove recently much to worry about, but it doesn't mean the new VW is slow. The Arteon is powered by Volkswagen's latest 2.0-liter TSI engine, producing 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. The power is delivered to the front wheels via a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, though optional 4Motion all-wheel drive is available on every trim level. The power is sent to the pavement via standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

Full LED headlights are also standard too, along with Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, and DCC adaptive damping. Dynamic Chassis Control offers you a way to adapt the Arteon's suspension to the road, between three modes: Normal, Sport, and Comfort. Each mode makes changes to both the suspension and the steering feedback.

Other standard features include keyless access and push-button start (KESSY), 3-zone Climatronic automatic climate control, and an 8-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen's Car-Net App-Connect technology. That offers smartphone integration with the three major platforms: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink.

On the options list are a few other niceties, meanwhile. That includes 19-inch wheels, the 12.3-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit which swaps the driver's instrumentation for a fully-digital panel in the vein of Audi's Virtual Cockpit, ambient lighting, a panoramic sunroof, and a massaging driver's seat. An upgraded Dynaudio sound system, Volkswagen Car-Net connected vehicle services, and a power trunk with Easy Open and Close are also available.

As for driver assistance, Volkswagen made all of its latest safety technology available. A rearview camera is standard, along with Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert. Optional are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop and Go; active Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist); High Beam Control (Light Assist); Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) including Park Distance Control; and the Overhead View Camera (Area View) available as an optional package.

On the inside, Arteon sports heated front seats with leatherette surfaces are standard, while options include ventilated front seats, a massaging driver's seat, driver seat memory, Nappa leather seating surfaces, and heated rear seats. Every Arteon model will come with Volkswagen's "People First Warranty," with its coverage for six years or 72,000-miles.

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon will be available in SE, SEL, and SEL Premium trim levels and is expected to arrive at U.S. Volkswagen dealers in the third quarter of 2018. Pricing will be announced closer to release.