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2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line review: Red Art

Ben Chia
16/09/2022
2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

Volkswagen’s stylish Arteon gets a mid-life update, but is it enough to keep it relevant in the minds of Singaporean drivers?


2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line

Launched September 2022, Price S$241,900 with COE (September 2022)
Five door executive sedan, five seats
190hp, 2.0-litre petrol engine, VES B, 5.9L/100km


PROS
Stylish good looks
Punchy engine
A very pleasant drive
Well-appointed cabin with a nice ambience

CONS
Gearbox feels a bit indecisive at slower speeds
Updated infotainment feels a bit finicky to use


Photos: CarBuyer Team and Volkswagen

SINGAPORE

Most car companies make a big deal about facelifts, with some even going as far to christened their mildly updated models as ‘new’. Volkswagen though seemed to have gone the other way, acknowledging that the updates to the facelifted Arteon are relatively minor in retrospect.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior rear CarBuyer Singapore

But they’re selling themselves a bit short with their modesty, because the facelifted Arteon does make for a slightly more compelling package than before. True, there are relatively small things like the slightly redesigned lights that you’ll be hard-pressed to notice, but there are also some other stuff like the upgraded interior, as well as a new engine and drivetrain for our market.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior headlights CarBuyer Singapore

In case you needed a, erm, refresh, the Arteon is basically Volkswagen’s take on the four-door coupe genre, first popularised by the Mercedes-Benz CLS. It first landed in Singapore in 2018 as the replacement for the equally stylish CC (also known as the Passat CC), but it then disappeared off the local price lists for a while, before now returning, all primed and updated.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

As mentioned above, most of the changes are relatively small, but for Singapore at least, the major news is that the car now gets a new powertrain. The engine is still 2.0-litre in capacity, but it now produces 190hp and 320Nm of torque, down from the more powerful 280hp and 350Nm of torque of the earlier model. Less is more in this case, because Volkswagen says that the Arteon is now more efficient than before.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line engine CarBuyer Singapore

Officially, Volkswagen quotes an average fuel consumption figure of 5.9 litres per 100km, but over a three day test drive we achieved almost double that, at around 10 litres per 100km. It doesn’t sound like great reading, but we also covered more than 400km in the three days, with half a tank of fuel left, so it is plausible that you can actually go quite far in this car, even if you aren’t particularly light footed.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

It doesn’t lose out that much in terms of performance either. Truthfully, 190hp is plenty for Singapore, and the more important figure is the 320Nm of torque, which gives the Arteon a rather sprightly and energetic character that is really quite enjoyable to drive.

The car pounces forward at a jab of the throttle, letting you overtake slower traffic with ease, and is helped by the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which responds mostly quick enough to your inputs. That said, the gearbox does tend to be a tad indecisive at lower speeds, but this doesn’t happen regularly enough for you to notice it too much.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior front driving CarBuyer Singapore

The other major change to the Arteon now is that it drops the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, and while it remains a reasonably good drive, the front wheels do tend to break traction and wheel-spin a little when you put the power down at lower speeds. Otherwise though, the car handles capably, and feels relatively light on its feet in the corners. The ride quality is quite well-sorted too on the highway, but it does tend to get a bit unsettled when it encounters larger bumps on the road.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line interior dashboard CarBuyer Singapore

In truth, the Arteon is really most comfortable as a long distance cruiser, and the cabin does bear that out. There’s plenty of space for five to lounge in, and the seats are nice and plush, with the driver’s seat even getting a massage function. At the same time, the R-Line trim of the test car does add a dash of sportiness to the ambience, with the bolstered sports seats and grippy steering wheel that now features the capacitive touch controls that was first seen on the latest generation Golf.

The other changes to the interior pertains to the infotainment system and the digital driver’s instrument panel, which have both been updated. Truthfully, the new infotainment system can be a bit finicky to use, as compared to the previous version which seemed more straightforward and intuitive, but it’s best to try it out for yourself to make your own mind up. Sharp-eyed punters will also note that the analogue clock between the air vents is also now gone.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior rear CarBuyer Singapore

But really, the Arteon is a car that one presumably buys mostly for the way it looks, and while it is now mid-way through its life cycle, it still looks like the head-turning stunner that it was when it showed up four years ago. The sleek lines still come across as fairly contemporary and yet unique enough to make it stand out from the crowd, and Volkswagen has done well to not mess with a good thing, with the only changes being a slight tweak to the lights and lower front bumper, as well as the thin LED light strip that runs across the grille, like on the Golf GTI.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior front CarBuyer Singapore

Volkswagen does seem to have a winning formula with the Arteon, with its eye-catching looks and excellent all-round package. The facelift is very much a case of not fiddling too much with the original recipe, but it remains to be seen whether Singaporean buyers, who tend to prioritise practicality over style, will bite. If you fancy something that stands out from the crowd though, then the Arteon would surely be something that would tick all the boxes.

2022 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line exterior badge CarBuyer Singapore

Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 2.0

Drivetrain typePetrol engine
Engine1,984cc, inline 4, turbocharged
Power190hp at 4200-6000rpm
Torque320Nm at 1500-4100rpm
Gearbox7-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h7.9 seconds
Top Speed237km/h
VES BandingB / S$0
Fuel Efficiency5.9L/100km
AgentVolkswagen Centre Singapore
PriceS$241,900 with COE
AvailabilityNow
Verdict:Mildly updated Arteon remains as good-looking as ever, and offers a capable and well-rounded package

Tags:

5-door 5-seats arteon Arteon R-Line gasoline sedan volkswagen

About the Author

Ben Chia

CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben

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