Grip levels provided by the Pirelli P Zero tyres are unlikely to be surpassed by even committed driving. The uniformity of weight in the steering is disappointing but to be expected, and the tuning – this is an electrically assisted set-up with speed-dependent gearing – is at least accurate and consistent.
It’s not hard to get the car turned in to bends, after which it never strays from your chosen line, despite the conspicuous understeer balance of the chassis. Inert? Yes, but also dependable.
With its long wheelbase and broad tracks, the Arteon exhibits good natural stability on the Hill Route at Millbrook. As with the regular Arteon, the Shooting Brake offers little in the way of excitement or involvement but does possess good accuracy in its steering. Roll is generally well contained, although it lacks the control you would find with a BMW 3 Series or 5 Series Touring riding on M Sport suspension.
In short, the Arteon will tolerate being hustled and is comfortable making swift progress, but it begins to feel uncomfortable above, say, seven-tenths effort. You sense this most in the calibration of the ESP system, which acts upon the brakes long before the Arteon is in danger of losing grip at the front axle.
It’s a highly conservative set-up that wouldn’t be so necessary were the eHybrid also to benefit from a driven rear axle. As it stands, the Arteon is easy enough to drive fast, but it is also fairly staid.
Comfort and isolation
There’s little wrong with the ‘ergoComfort’ driver’s seat in the Arteon (the front passenger seat does without the same level of adjustability), beyond the fact that it positions its occupant a touch too high. BMW and Peugeot have the better of VW in this respect, with their lower, more heavily bolstered and generally sporting offerings, but in truth, a more relaxed set-up suits the Arteon, which doubles down with considerably more cabin space than either the 330e Touring or 508 SW Hybrid.
Unlike the R-Line Arteon, the Elegance is not fitted with the 20mm shorter suspension springs and wears only 18in wheels with tyres in possession of healthy sidewalls.