What is it?
Volkswagen’s flagship five-seat fastback has arrived in new entry-level guise.
When it first appeared last summer, the Arteon had a limited choice of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines. Each came at a price that put it in direct competition with established executive saloons such as the BMW 4 series Gran Coupé, Jaguar XE and Audi A5, along with newcomers including the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Kia Stinger.
This 1.5-litre TSI, borrowed from the latest Golf, brings the list price (and benefit-in-kind tax) down to a more fleet-friendly level. It produces a Golf-matching 147bhp and 184lb ft of torque, yet still manages to propel the considerably heavier Arteon from 0-62mph in 8.3sec and on to a 138mph top speed.
As well as losing out on performance to its range mates, it sends drive to the front wheels only instead of all four, and comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.
Having previously only experienced entry-level Elegance trim on European roads, this was also an opportunity to test the stock suspension, without the Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers on R-line models, in the UK.