For the first time, the Volkswagen Arteon is now available with an electrified drivetrain in the form of a plug-in hybrid.
The system comprises a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine supported by an electric motor, together providing a peak power output of 218 PS and torque of 400 Nm.
The new plug-in hybrid drivetrain is supported by a 13 kWh battery which can provide an electric-only range of up to 39 miles, while the 115 PS electric motor can power the Arteon along at speeds up to 80 mph, where permitted.
With the high-torque characteristics of the electric motor, the Arteon can sprint from a standstill to 62 mph in just 7.8 seconds and, where allowed, onto a top speed of 138 mph.
We tested the Arteon eHybrid in Shooting Brake “R-Line” guise. The VW comes loaded with kit, including: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), 3Zone climate control and a Digital Cockpit. LED headlights and Wireless App Connect, with We Connect Plus are also included.
The R-Line grade maintains its striking styling, with distinctive, 19-inch ‘Montevideo’ alloys fitted as standard. New dual trapezoidal exhaust tips on each side of the bumper are moulded into the redesigned R-Line body kit, for an assertive, sporting appearance. The Shooting Brake also gains a large, standard-fit panoramic sunroof. What’s more, the car benefits from rear tinted-glass and interior ambient-lighting with 30 colour options.
The battery in the new eHybrid can be charged in five hours using a domestic three-pin plug. This time reduces to three hours 33mins when using 3.6kW AC charger. Energy can also be recovered while driving, this function being programmable via the infotainment system. In this way battery power can be conserved if, for example, the last part of a journey is in a low-emission zone.
So, the eHybrid Shooting Brake has green credentials and impressive performance, but it also serves up a healthy slice of practicality. You get more than enough space for five-up, with better headroom in the rear than you get in the hatchback model. The boot is a very handy 565-litres in volume, too, expanding to a cavernous 1,632 litres when you fold the rear seats down.
The eHybrid makes huge sense if you’re mainly driving short distances and you can charge up frequently, but it’s very efficient on longer journeys, too. Sure, a BMW 5 Series Touring is more satisfying to drive, and an Audi A6 Avant or a Volvo V90 are plusher inside, but the VW Arteon Shooting Brake is better looking and cheaper to buy than any of these rivals.
Basically, if you’re after a family wagon, dads, this is one of the sexiest on the current market. It’ll turn heads, it’ll transport your kids about without hassle – and it won’t cost you a fortune to run.