Volkswagen’s style flagship gets some new clothes for the new model year — so to speak. The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon isn’t drastically different to the last one as it just went on sale here, but there are some subtle tweaks, as well as a notable price hike.
Yes, it is more expensive than before, and whether I was wrong on my earlier point that the starting price wouldn’t move much depends on how you define what you get. The updated base SE starts at $38,190 (including destination), which is a $1,175 jump over 2020’s base MSRP. For those who think that smacks a bit steep, you do get some more extra goods for your money. Bear in mind, Volkswagen’s aim here is to position this car as the more stylish, perhaps less cost-focused version of the Passat.
Digital Cockpit now comes as standard equipment on the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon, for a start. No more analog gauges, even on the base trim. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display also adds a more upscale touch, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Other small changes like a new steering wheel, updated dashboard and just general gussying up further explain this Arteon’s higher price tag.
On the other hand, the higher Arteon trims, namely the SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line, actually get less expensive for the 2021 model year. The SEL R-Line starts at $42,790 (a $250 drop), while the SEL Premium R-Line goes for $48,190 ($700 less than 2020). All-wheel drive on the SEL is a $1,800 premium, while it comes standard on the SEL Premium.
No matter which 2021 Volkswagen Arteon you buy, you’ll still get the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with 268 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.
While there is technically a wagon version of the new Arteon, we won’t see that over on our shores. Check out more on the updated Arteon below:
Correction 10/20/20: An earlier version of the article said no more “digital” gauges. In fact, the new Arteon exclusively has a digital gauge cluster, so it meant to say no more analog gauges. Sorry for the confusion!