Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake 2021 review
Our Rating

4/5

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake 2021 review

Volkswagen has introduced a sleeker and more practical version of its Arteon, but is it a case of style over substance?

Introduction

Volkswagen is a brand with more niches filled than most. From sporty city cars through to convertible crossovers, there’s something for just about everyone in the firm’s broad range. 

The Arteon is a great example of this, too. Introduced in 2017, it offered something more glamorous than the firm’s mainstream Passat, and remains the most ‘executive’ car in its range. But just the single body style wasn’t enough for Volkswagen – oh no. So now there is a new Shooting Brake version, offering an even sleeker look and more practicality to go with it.

It’s quite a surprise to see the production version, though, as when the firm originally showed sketches of it, there was little expectation for it to actually materialise. So now it’s here, is it any good?

Performance

Volkswagen offers a wide range of powertrain options on the Arteon Shooting Brake, including petrol, diesel and a plug-in hybrid.

Let’s focus on the latter first, which combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and battery – producing 215bhp in all, while also being able to travel for up to 39 miles on electricity as well. 

The petrol range kicks off with a 148bhp 1.5-litre unit, followed by a 197bhp 2.0-litre petrol that we’re testing here. Paired with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and with power being delivered to the front wheels, it can crack 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds and reach 145mph flat out. Efficiency isn’t its best strength, though, as it returns just 35.6mpg, with high CO2 emissions of 179g/km.

A 2.0-litre turbodiesel is also available with outputs of 148bhp or 197bhp – the latter getting a four-wheel-drive option, too.

Ride and handling

The Arteon Shooting Brake is a model that makes the most sense at higher speeds, with hushed wind and road noise making it ideal on longer trips or motorway commutes. The big wheels on our test car meant the ride could be a bit crashy, though, so for maximum comfort it’s worth sticking with the standard Elegance trim that rides on smaller 18-inch alloys. 

Though this 2.0-litre petrol engine isn’t the most efficient, it’s a good match for the Arteon due to its silky-smooth performance and refinement. If you do predominantly small trips it could be worth considering the eHybrid model, with its electric-only ability making it a particularly enticing option for those that can charge regularly. 

Interior and equipment

As Volkswagen’s most expensive estate and saloon, the Arteon is reassuringly upmarket inside – having an especially high-end feel, while digital dials and a large touchscreen fitted as standard mean there’s plenty of technology on offer too. 

Despite being a sleeker estate car than most, it remains a practical choice. The boot measures 590 litres with the rear seats in place, increasing to 1,632 litres once they’re folded. On paper, it’s not that much roomier than the regular saloon, though the boot’s shape is far more useful. But for maximum practicality, the more conventional Volkswagen Passat Estate remains a better option. 

When it comes to trim levels, there’s a limited choice of two – Elegance and R-Line. 

Elegance takes a more luxurious approach, with standard equipment including 18-inch alloy wheels, LED self-levelling headlights, an electric driver’s seat and three-zone climate control to name just a few features. 

The top-spec R-Line predominantly adds more in the way of sporty looks, including 19-inch alloy wheels, a sportier styling kit and sports leather and Alcantara seats. A panoramic sunroof and 30-colour ambient interior lighting are also included. 

Cost

It shouldn’t come as any huge surprise that this style and quality doesn’t come cheap, and that’s certainly the case for the Arteon Shooting Brake. Prices are on par with those from BMW and Audi, with the range beginning from £36,570 and rising to more than £43,000 for the R-Line with a top-spec engine. It’s important to note the Shooting Brake is roughly £2,000 more expensive than the regular saloon, too.

Verdict

If you want a big and practical estate car, but don’t want to sacrifice on style to do so, the Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake is certainly worth considering. To our eyes at least it’s one of the best-looking cars on the market today, which will be a key draw for many. 

Though not as roomy as a more conventional estate car, and the driving experience isn’t perfect, this Arteon remains hugely desirable and a great alternative to typical family estates like the Volkswagen Passat and Mercedes C-Class

Enquire on a new Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

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