Volkswagen's 2.0 TDI engine isn’t a new unit on us. We have seen it in everything from the Golf through to the Tiguan, and the headlines are as follows: it’s a smooth, refined and frugal unit.
That is why its strengths aren’t a surprise in the Arteon. The oilburner is at its happiest when at a constant motorway cruise with the engine barely audible. It makes eating up large distances easy.
Where the 2.0 TDI comes up short is from a standstill, where it feels slightly sluggish and doesn’t pick up speed as quickly as at any other time. It’s not an inconvenience, but it is more trying when attempting a quick getaway at roundabouts or junctions.
The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is a delight, quickly and swiftly changing ratios around you without any fuss, while the ability to hold onto first gear compensates for the engine’s lack of thrust.
The ride on the Arteon is very good, having previously being left unconvinced with the car on 20in wheels. The larger side walls on the 18in and 19in alloys found as standard on the respective Elegance and R-Line trimmed cars help improve the overall damping, although the larger wheels do make the car more fidgety over broken surfaces.
Volkswagen has clearly set up the Arteon with cruising in mind and it shows with the way it has tuned the steering rack. It's quick, making the Arteon agile when cornering, while it's also remote and light.
Inside the Arteon is a tech fest. A 12.3in Active Info Display is fitted as standard, as is an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system, LED headlights and tri-zone climate control. That level of kit means it keeps pace - and, in some cases, beats - offerings from rivals.
Where the Arteon scores most points is on space. There's plenty of room up front and rear room puts the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupé, Jaguar XE and Audi A5 Sportback in the shade. There is ample knee and leg room for a six-footer to get comfortable, even with someone the same size sat in front. However, shoulder room would be tight for three to sit side by side on the rear bench, while head room may seem limited to some due to the tapered roof – although not to the extent that some may experience in the back of an Audi A7, for example.