When Volkswagen updated the Arteon hatchback in 2020, it also launched the all-new Arteon Shooting Brake as an estate version of the hatch, with a slightly sexier profile & a smidgen of extra space. From a purely aesthetic point of view, it’s a cracker, with a long, low, elongated roof & swooping side profile. It’s up against some stiff opposition though, from the likes of the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring & Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake, so how does it compare ?
Trims & engines
The Shooting Brake is offered in two trims; Elegance & R-Line, with prices starting from £35,395. And comes with a choice of three petrol engines; a 1.4 TSI 6-Speed DSG with 218PS Plug-in-hybrid, with only 27g/km of CO2’s being the one for fleet customers. A 1.5 TSI petrol manual 150 PS & a 2.0 TSI 7-Speed DSG petrol 190 PS. With another three diesel units offered as well; a 2.0 TDI manual & 7-speed DSG with 150PS & a 2.0 7-speed DSG with 200 PS.
The Arteon’s plug-in hybrid powertrain comprises of a turbocharged 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, an electric motor & a 13.7kWh battery pack. The system has a maximum output of 215bhp & it can officially travel up to 34 miles in electric-only mode.
There will also be a Volkswagen’s R performance Arteon, which will be powered by a detuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the Golf R. For the Arteon R, the engine produces 316bhp & 420Nm of torque & comes with a 4WD system.
The updated Arteon sees some internal changes, with a new multifunction steering wheel, touch-sensitive climate controls, a new upper dashboard panel & a 10.25″ digital instrument cluster & an overall more upmarket feel, including the addition of mood lighting in a choice of colours. Volkswagen has also introduced a new feature which allows the driver to use their smartphone to unlock & start the vehicle.
Specifications & equipment
R-Line models come very well equipped with Volkswagens Discover Media Navigation infotainment system with 8″ colour touch-screen & touch sensitive functionality, keyless entry, remote tailgate unlocking, panoramic electric sunroof with integrated roller blind & double glass panel. R-Line models also get a three year subscription to We Connect Plus, an R-Line’ styling pack & ‘App-Connect’, which combines the functionality of Apple ‘CarPlay’, Google ‘Android Auto’ & ‘MirrorLink’ allowing ‘mirroring’ of smartphone display on the infotainment touch-screen.
Safety & tech
Drivers benefit from Adaptive Cruise Control with Predictive Cruise Control & speed limiter, Traffic Jam Assist, front & rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera which is displayed via the vehicle’s infotainment screen. The touchscreen’s graphics are excellent & the clarity second to none. There’s an all-new steering wheel with touch sensitive buttons featuring haptic feedback & like the Touareg, the quality of finish on the dashboard, doors & instrumentation is better than before.
New technology includes updated voice controls & new menus. The heating controls have also been upgraded with the inclusion of a more modern touch-sensitive design replacing manual dials. VW have also sensibly placed these separate from the other touchscreen functions, making it easier to adjust whilst on the move.
Practicality & storage
As far as cabin storage goes, there’s a large glove box, four good sized door pockets, two centre cup holders with a sliding cover & a small area under the centre armrest. Rear passengers get their own 12v socket, fold down armrest with two cup holders & c-USB connection. An added bonus is rear heated seats with separate climate control.
The boot offers a useful 563 litres of space, which increase to 1,632 litres with the seats folded. It’s a long, lowish, load area with a flat floor, but easily took on board my latest gravel bike with room to spare.
Front & rear passengers get good leg room, although the sloping roof & panoramic sun roof do eat into head room a little. The seats are very comfortable & drivers can multi-adjust their seat with electric buttons.
We were testing the Arteon Shooting Brake R-Line 2.0-litre TSI 190 PS 7-speed DSG which retails at £36,860 including vat. This model comes with a top speed of 145mph, will hit 62mph in 7.2 seconds whilst offering a combined fuel economy of 35.6mpg & CO2 emissions of 179g/km.
The model we were driving, is mated to the 7- speed DSG gearbox, which comes with five driving functions; Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport & Individual. The Mode button sits below the Auto Hold & electronic hand brake next to the driver & it’s very easy to select which one you want to use.
As primarily a company car publication, we are looking at saving our readers money & in most cases, drove the Arteon in Eco mode, averaging a decent 36.2 mpg when traveling 260 miles in our seven day test. This included plenty of motorway driving where we selected Adaptive Cruise Control for a more relaxing journey
The low seating in the Arteon doesn’t affect the ride quality which is very good & in a straight line, it’s a pleasure to be in.
Turn off the major routes & onto some winding B roads & it’s not quite as good. It is in effect, a car designed to get you from A to B in as much peace, quiet & comfort as is possible & at this, it performs admirably.
When we did venture away from money-saving Eco mode, it was into Sport mode, a sure fire way to hit the motorway running & it is most definitely a lot more fun. At least the option to go quicker is there if you need it.
Company car driver
On paper, the Arteon Shooting Brake makes a compelling company car. Spacious, comfortable, well equipped & a breeze to drive over long distances. However, with a Year 1 BIK of 37% on our test car, company car drivers should be considering the new 1.4 plug-in-hybrid version, arriving as we write. This comes with just a 10% BIK tax burden & that means a lot of your earnings will stay in your pocket rather than be re-directed to the Treasury.
For retail customers, the diesels are well worth considering, as the automatic 2.0 litre TDI 150 PS comes with a combined fuel economy of 57.8 mpg, whilst the best performing petrol, the 1.5 TSI manual, only offers 44.3 mpg on the combined cycle.
We think that the Arteon Shooting Brake is gorgeous to look at like it’s hatchback sibling, offers a great alternative to the premium German marques. The quality & specs are enticing a s well. It is though a little safe to drive & doesn’t offer as engaging an experience as the BMW 3 Series Touring, nor the quality interiors of the Audi A4 Avant or Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.
From a fleet perspective, the model to choose is the 1.4 TSI plug-in, which although expensive at over £41,000, offers end users a substantial tax saving. Fleet managers & company directors will looking at the leasing costs with interest.