Anticipation for the dealership-arrival of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon is at a fever pitch for hardcore VW enthusiasts and, more casual observers of the brand alike.  After some delay, Arteon is scheduled to be @ Ontario VW this summer!

“Arteon is scheduled to be @ Ontario VW this summer!”

The model is not only brand new to Volkswagen’s line-up but also the brand’s new flagship sedan.  The premium and luxury offerings of the Arteon will delight the traditional VW buyer and are designed to lure new advocates for the German automaker.

Clinton “The Professor” Quan and I both got a behind the scenes introduction to the Arteon when Volkswagen held it’s new product training session for our friends at Ontario Volkswagen.

We had a blast experiencing the same training Ontario VW sales professionals receive and you’ll hear all about it in this iDriveSoCal Podcast.  Click play below and enjoy the rare pics of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon!

Dark blue 2019 VW Arteon pictured from front driver-side corner view. Parked in Ontario Volkswagen dealership

***Transcript***

Podcast Recorded September 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA
Text updated March 6, 2019

 

Volkswagen Arteon – Summer 2019!

Clinton Quan: It was great being able to really experience the car, being able to drive it, ride in it as a passenger, as well, and really go in-depth.  The drive – very, very smooth ride. Gorgeous exterior styling, I love this fastback design.

The interior; that new digital dash. Really clean and crisp display. I was really, really impressed with that.

Tom Smith: Welcome to iDriveSoCal, the podcast all about mobility from the automotive capital of the United States, Southern California. Tom Smith here with the good professor, Mr. Clinton Quan. Say hello, Clinton.

Clinton Quan: Hi, Tom.

Tom Smith: Hey, hey, hey. Today’s podcast… We actually had a lot of fun. Did we just do this yesterday, right?

Front-and-passenger-side view of the 2019 VW Arteon at Ontario Volkswagen

Blue-beauty VW Arteon @ Ontario Volkswagen

Clinton Quan: It was just yesterday.

Tom Smith: Okay, so just yesterday we went out to our partners in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California, that would be, of course, Ontario Volkswagen. We were out there for what a lot of Volkswagen, hardcore V-Dubbers, so to speak, would love to have experienced. That was the rollout of the Arteon.

It wasn’t a ride-and-drive for the public, it was like their sales consultants, their sales peoples’ training essentially from the factory. They brought an Arteon out, which, again, the Arteon’s replacing the CC.

The professor and I got to experience the training, go through the car from literally front-to-back, and drive it, and … They don’t even know exactly when it is going to be on the showroom for sale. They don’t have pricing yet. We know the trim levels, we’re gonna share those with you, but the Arteon is the new Volkswagen flagship, and it’s a sharp car.

For more Arteon info:
Randy Halcomb @ Ontario Volkswagen
RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com
Mobile: 909-772-1728

It’s a really cool car and experiencing … Thank you, Ontario Volkswagen, thank you, Earl Reed, the general manager out there. Randy Halcomb, our buddy, and main point person. RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com if you, the podcast listener, needs anything, Randy is our go-to. We’ll post his phone number in the… on the iDriveSoCal page for this post. We’ll include Randy’s phone number, too.

The Arteon training was really cool, we got to drive it, and the factory representative only knew this, fall is when it was gonna be available, right? In showrooms.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: It’s one of those things, it’s a moving target, as often happens with rollouts of new vehicles. Yes, it’s coming, it’s a certainty. The exact date is still an uncertainty, which is quite common, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes, it is.

Tom Smith: This was my first experience of such. Yours?

Clinton Quan: A dealer training like this, yes. This was definitely my first experience.

VW Arteon 101

Tom Smith: We’re gonna do this as our Arteon review, but we both experienced the training, we both drove the vehicle, but we’re gonna do this podcast… Well, we’re just gonna do it. We’re gonna start it as if it’s our regular vehicle review of the professor’s analysis, and then I’ll chime in.

I think for sure we’re gonna both have our own top three’s though, at the end.

Clinton Quan: Yes. We’ll probably have our own top three’s.

Tom Smith: Okay. Professor, take us around … Well, actually, first take us through the day. What did you think of it?

Clinton Quan: Well, this was, as I mentioned earlier, this is the first time I’ve done something like this, so I really enjoyed it, and I got to really experience the vehicle in-depth. Using the app, as well, I think that was helpful, as well, for the training to get more detailed information on the vehicle.

It was interesting, also, doing the quiz.

Tom Smith: Yeah, yeah. They gave us … That’s just for the sales, that’s just for the internal Volkswagen folks, right? That app wasn’t going to be made available to the…

“It was great being able to really experience the car, being able to drive it, ride in it as a passenger, as well…”

Clinton Quan: I believe that’s only internally for sales.

Tom Smith: Basically, as part of the training, we took a quiz in the beginning, and a quiz at the end. Did you take the quiz in the beginning? You came in a couple minutes late.

Clinton Quan: Yes, I did.

Tom Smith: You did take the quiz in the beginning?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: What did you get? What’s your score?

Clinton Quan: I’m trying to remember. I think I got three out of five.

Tom Smith: Really?

Front-and-driver-side-corner-view of the 2019 VW Arteon parked in the showroom of Ontario Volkswagen

Note the ‘clam-shell’ hood.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Wow! Okay.

Clinton Quan: I knew some info already about the vehicle.

Tom Smith: Okay, I didn’t, and I was influenced by someone who shouted out a number that they said was really … they were really certain of for one of the answers.

Clinton Quan: Was that the number of trims?

Tom Smith: It was.

Clinton Quan: What was your guess?

Tom Smith: My guess was three, but I think it was, Zac was like, “It’s five, it’s five, I guarantee it’s five.” I’m, like, All right, I’ll go with five.

“it has a lot more cargo space than a traditional sedan, almost double the amount of cargo space.”

Clinton Quan: You did have the right answer?

Tom Smith: I went with five, but if I had picked … My quiz I got one out of five, but had I picked three trim levels instead of five trim levels, yes, I would’ve gotten two out of five.

Clinton Quan: You would’ve doubled your score.

Tom Smith: Right. But I got five out of five after the training, right? I knocked it out of the park then, but it was neat. What else did you think? Take me through it.

Clinton Quan: Well, yeah. It was great being able to really experience the car, being able to drive it, ride in it as a passenger, as well, and really go in-depth, looking underneath the hood, as well, and checking out the cargo space. Because this is a fastback design, so it has a lot more cargo space than a traditional sedan, almost double the amount of cargo space. About 28 cubic feet of cargo space.

Tom Smith: That’s with the back seats up. You can put those back seats down, and, I don’t know, you’re probably gonna double the cargo space, or maybe add another 14.

Clinton Quan: Maybe 40 percent more.

Tom Smith: 40 percent. Okay.

“…definitely an executive’s vehicle, among other people, but that’s the level that it plays to.”

Clinton Quan: Yeah, at least.

Tom Smith: It’s huge cargo space.

Clinton Quan: Oh, yes. There’s plenty of cargo space.

Tom Smith: One of the things that the factory rep pointed out also, was that there’s a place … They’ve just inside the trunk area … Is it called a trunk area when it’s like that, or is it a fastback area? It’s still a trunk area, right?

Clinton Quan: You could still call it a trunk.

Tom Smith: All right, I’m gonna call it the trunk area. Just inside there, closest to the inside wall, like the license plate, the inside where the license plate would be, they’ve made it so that … and I’m not a golfer myself.

I have golf clubs, but whatever, they’ve made it so it’s extra wide in that first area for golf clubs to sit there comfortably. Which makes sense because it’s a flagship vehicle for the brand, and it’s a premium vehicle for the brand, and it’s definitely an executive’s vehicle, among other people, but that’s the level that it plays to.

Exterior Arteon Styling 

It’s a very attractive car. I mean, I think … Well, you came in a minute late, but I … As soon as I saw it I was, like, It reminds me of the A7.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. This vehicle. It’s smaller than an Audi A7, but it’s bigger than an Audi A5 Sportback, and it’s in that same style, same type of design. You could call it a fastback, you could call it a Sportback, and the entire back lifts up, so that’s why you’re getting that additional space.

Basically, it’s geared for someone who’s looking for a vehicle with a little bit more style than a traditional sedan.

Tom Smith: It is very stylish.

Front facing view of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon dark blue

Sleek, stylish & bold front-end.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Bernadette mentioned that type of style is a grand coupe. Would you call that a grand coupe?

Clinton Quan: Well, that’s what BMW calls it for their Four Series. They call it a Grand Coupe A, yeah. Yeah. There’s a lot …

Tom Smith: I almost said Coupe-‘A’, but I just …

Clinton Quan: There’s a lot of different names. You could call it a Grand Coupe A, you could call it a Sportback, you could call it a Fastback.

Tom Smith: Okay. All meaning the same.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

“It’s smaller than an Audi A7, but it’s bigger than an Audi A5 Sportback, and it’s in that same style, same type of design.”

Tom Smith: Now you mentioned that first thing that I really thought outside of the styling of the vehicle, both outside and inside, but then some of the other highlights on the outside that I took away was the…

Clinton Quan: The hood line?

Tom Smith: I’m gonna get to the front.

Clinton Quan: Okay.

Tom Smith: First still on the back. The functionality of the air kick to function the Sportback.

Clinton Quan: Yes. That’s a great feature.

Tom Smith: Actually it works well.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it does.

Tom Smith: It works well because a lot of those … I have a mid-size sedan that’s not one of those manufacturers, it’s something else, and the touch-less hatch open and close function is … whatever. It’s got gremlins, yeah. You know? It worked well at the dealership. I think that was the last time it worked well. That was cool.

Then going around to the front, yes, the hood line. How do you even describe that?

“The hood line blends into the character line of the vehicle… I’ve also heard it described as a clamshell design.”

Clinton Quan: Well, this is how I would describe it. The hood line blends into the character line of the vehicle.

Tom Smith: Okay, but then on a more specific level the hood almost, to me, if we’re in the UK it’s a bonnet, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: The hood almost is a legit bonnet where it’s almost like a toupee, because the size of the hood literally become part of each quarter panel.

Clinton Quan: That is correct, yes. I think I’ve also heard it described as a clamshell design.

“LED lighting, standard on all three trim levels… SE… SEL… and SEL-Premium.”

Tom Smith: Okay, I like that. That works. That works. Yeah. The LED lighting, standard on all three trim levels, which we might as well throw out those trim levels now. SE, the base, SEL, mid-level trim, and then the top of the line trim is the SEL-Premium, and R-line available across all three trims if I’m remembering right?

Clinton Quan: The R-line package is available on all three trims. That is correct.

Tom Smith: The thing that impressed both of us that day, yesterday. It feels like so long ago. Having an eleven month at home, I tell you, it’s like, oh that was just three hours ago, I thought that was last week. The fact that it has a leatherette on the SE, but then the upgraded Napa pinhole leather.

Napa Leather – Arteon Interior

Clinton Quan: Yeah, the Napa leather is standard on the mid-level SCL trim and top of the line SCL premium trim.

Tom Smith: And that is a nice, supple leather.

Clinton Quan: Yes. I love Napa leather. I have that in my car as well.

Tom Smith: Yeah.

Clinton Quan: I don’t know if I could ever go back.

Tom Smith: Yeah, that’s a nice thing to have.

Clinton Quan: It’s great that Volkswagen offers that as standard on their mid-level trim. I think most manufacturers would probably only have that on their top of the line trim.

Tom Smith: It seems they’re purposely trying to dance up the new flagship.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Which makes sense, and they’re doing a good job of it.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. In terms of exterior design, and interior design, they’ve really stepped it up from the CC.

Tom Smith: Again…

Clinton Quan: I guess they’re not really calling it replacements, more a completely brand new vehicle.

For more Arteon info:
Randy Halcomb @ Ontario Volkswagen
RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com
Mobile: 909-772-1728

Tom Smith: And again, thank you to our friends out at Ontario Volkswagen, Earl Reed, Randy Halcomb, Shant Bashian, the whole crew out there. It was always a great team to go out to Ontario Volkswagen and drive whatever it is we’re driving or cover whatever stories it is we’re covering. This is really neat. This Arteon is not even going to be available until ‘quote-unquote’ fall.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: We’re here, kind of, right?

Clinton Quan: Which could be this weekend, but it’s probably more like October, November.

Tom Smith: But hey, that’s the exciting thing, right? That makes it really cool for us too. I think for the Volkswagen fans, they will not be disappointed. I think this car is going bring some people to the brand.

“…this car is going bring some people to the brand.”

Clinton Quan: Absolutely, I think there’s a lot of people, as you know, with the Audi A5, the sportback, sales have just increased dramatically. This is the first time they’ve offered the S5 sportback in the US, and I think also with the Arteon, it’s really going to increase sales. For people who are looking for an A5 sportback, or an A7 who might not be able to afford that. They can get that pretty much the same style of car for a lot less. You are also getting something that’s very, very similar to the Audi vehicles.

Tom Smith: Yeah, if you’re like me, you’re a value buyer and the badge is not the big of a deal. Let’s be real, I mean, the Volkswagen badge is nothing to sneeze at, at all. It’s just not an Audi, but it’s a darn nice car. They did it right.

One of the other things on the side of the vehicle that they were showing us is, what do call that, where the glass on the windows, the window doesn’t have a frame around the glass?

Clinton Quan: Oh yeah, it’s frameless.

Quiet Cabin – Great Sound System

Tom Smith: In many cases, that causes for a loud cabin, or a window that shakes over time. The padding softens up, or hardens up rather, and the window starts to shake. But actually what happens, and I think there’s a name for it, you might know it, I don’t. When you shut the car door, the window automatically goes up a little bit and tucks itself in, closes a little bit more, sealing better and creating a very quiet cabin.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, that’s a great feature as well.

Tom Smith: Speaking of quietness and noise it has the Dynaudio?

Clinton Quan: Oh yes, it has the audio, the same type of audio…

Tom Smith: That’s in the Bugatti.

Clinton Quan: That’s in the Bugatti.

Tom Smith: Which Bugatti’s in the family.

Clinton Quan: It’s part of the Volkswagen family.

“…same sound system that’s in the Bugatti.”

Tom Smith: The factory rep, she’s like, yup, same sound system that’s in the Bugatti.

Clinton Quan: Danish sound system if I remember correctly.

Tom Smith: I think you’re right.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Dynaudio. D Y N A U D I O. I think.

Clinton Quan: I think so.

Tom Smith: Audiophiles out there will be, and we’re podcasting so we should know this probably. We should be audiophiles ourselves, or I should be at least. The …. quite a sound system. We went on separate test drives, but it is quite a sound system.

They turned it on quite low, and I have pretty sensitive ears. I actually ruptured an eardrum many years ago, my hearing has never been quite right, it’s weird in certain areas.

“…there are all the settings for classical and jazz and rock… even one for podcasts.”

Wow, I was in the back seat, they turned it on, and it was still pretty low. It was so crisp and so clear, and the bass and all the ranges, the highs and the lows, everything was like wow.

This is impressive. The factory rep also made a point of saying hey there are all the settings for classical and jazz and rock or whatever, even one for podcasts. She was playing to the crowd a little bit.

Arteon Attention to Safety Details

Tom Smith: In the front, because this is a German vehicle, a safety feature, this is pretty interesting. They said this is a very unlikely event, a very unlikely event, but behind basically the middle part of the front grill, there is an impact tube for if there is ever an impact with a pedestrian.

That impact tube pops the bonnet, pops the hood up a little bit so that, should someone, pedestrian fall on top of the hood, it cushions the blow. They’re not falling on what’s right underneath the hood, which is the motor. That shows really that it’s a European vehicle because there’s a lot more car and pedestrian or car and bicycle traffic sharing traffic-ways then there is here in the United States.

Hood open showing the engine of the 2019 VW Arteon in the showroom of Ontario Volkswagen

2019 VW Arteon Designed for safety.

A great safety features nonetheless especially as our cities incorporate more and more into the future of their own mobility. Whether that be more bike lanes or encouraging people to walk more.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, making it more pedestrian friendly.

Tom Smith: Or the crazy scooters that are all over the place, and who knows what’s going to happen to them. I thought that was pretty interesting too.

Just a gorgeous car on the outside. The moonroof, nice panoramic big moonroof, which is impressive as well. Am I missing anything on the outside? This was supposed to be kind of your review that I was going to chime in on, but I kind of feel like it might even be 60/40 at this point. It might be my review more.

Clinton Quan: No, that’s perfectly fine Tom.

Tom Smith: Okay. Thank you. I appreciate that professor.

Clinton Quan: I think you’ve covered it all on the exterior, yes.

Arteon Technology & Convenience

Tom Smith: Okay, so on the inside I think I’ve already sung that praises too, but the sound, awesome, supple, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Napa leather. Oh, the digital dashboard.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: Can’t-miss that one. Got to love the digital dashboard, which is totally customizable.

Clinton Quan: And that would be, I believe, it’s the SEL and the SEL-Premium.

Tom Smith: Heated ventilated front seats.

Clinton Quan: Yes, heated and ventilated seats in the front, and then…

Tom Smith: Heated rear seats.

Clinton Quan: Heated rear seats.

Tom Smith: Driver massaging seat!

“…love the digital dashboard, which is totally customizable.”

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Little lower spine rolling massage while I was doing my test drive was actually quite pleasant.

Clinton Quan: That’s not a feature you see in a lot of cars.

Tom Smith: No.

Clinton Quan: Especially not at that price point.

Tom Smith: Yeah, well we don’t know what the price point is yet. Again we know that.. but generally speaking.

Clinton Quan: We have an estimate.

Tom Smith: Yeah, it’s like the last car I was in. My buddy’s 550S AMG that had it. Now that had it on driver and passenger, but I mean, that’s a $100,000 car.

Clinton Quan: Yeah. I’ve also driven a continental black label edition, but again that car is about $75,000.

“Heated and ventilated front seats… heated rear seats… [and the] driver’s massaging seat!”

Tom Smith: The new one?

Clinton Quan: Yes, the brand new one, correct.

Tom Smith: Not a huge fan of that styling. But I am a huge fan of the styling of the Volkswagen Arteon, and one other thing about the Arteon. The name Arteon. Were you there for that part of it?

Clinton Quan: I’m trying to remember, Art and then there’s the second part. I’m trying to remember.

Tom Smith: You know what, now I just forgot it too.

Art is the first part, and then style and luxury, I think is what eon means.

Passenger-side profile of the 2019 VW Arteon at Ontario Volkswagen

Volkswagen Arteon @ Ontario VW

Clinton Quan: I think so.

Tom Smith: I think.

Clinton Quan: In German. Is it in German, right? It must be.

Tom Smith: I almost want to say it’s in …

Clinton Quan: Oh, in another language?

Tom Smith: Maybe like an Asian thing or something.

Clinton Quan: Oh, it could be. Yeah.

Tom Smith: Boy, okay, so this part of the podcast could get cut.

Arteon – The Drive

The drive right? All the safety features, right? All the tech safety features. They call it the DCC or the BCC?

Clinton Quan: The DCC.

Tom Smith: The DCC which stands for

Clinton Quan: Dynamic, what was that?

Tom Smith: Chassis control. Dynamic chassis control.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, your right. Dynamic chassis control.

Tom Smith: Yes. That is going to help with the overall performance of the vehicle, the control of the vehicle, but also the roll, vehicle roll as you’re cornering.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

“Dynamic chassis control… help[s] with the overall performance of the vehicle…”

Tom Smith: That was a pretty cool feature as well. That’s something Volkswagen becoming more and more known for, right?

Clinton Quan: Yes. The drive. Very, very smooth ride I thought.

Tom Smith: Lots of pick up. Lots of torque. A surprising amount of torque.

Clinton Quan: Well, it’s a two-liter, four-cylinder turbo. 268 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque and was a very, very smooth.

Tom Smith: With four adults in it on my test drive, and you can have five in there.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: The fifth, the passengers in the back on the left and right. It’s not an indented bucket kind of situation, but it’s still comfortable. You can still have somebody in the middle if you want, or you can have the armrest down in the middle. Either way, you’re comfortable. The one we drove was all-wheel drive.

“268 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque… very, very smooth.”

Clinton Quan: Yeah, four motion. That’s what Volkswagen calls it.

Tom Smith: Great smooth ride, lots of pickup for something, I’m test driving with four adults in. I love the car. I can’t wait to see what the price points are.

Clinton Quan: Yeah.

Tom Smith: We’ll find out in the fall.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, we’ll find out soon. I’m sure Volkswagen is going to make an announcement very soon if it’s coming out in the fall.

Tom Smith: Yup, yup. All right, Professor, we’ve got to do the top three.

Arteon Top-3

Clinton Quan: Top three. I’ve got to go with the gorgeous exterior styling, I love this fastback design. It’s beautiful all around. Very, very clean lines. Love the front of the car as well, the grill. I think it’s very distinctive.

Second I would have to go with the interior, that new digital dash. Really clean and crisp display. I was really, really impressed with that.

Third I would have to go with the ride. Really, really smooth. That two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers plenty of power and torque.

Professor’s Top-3
1. Exterior Styling – gorgeous.
2. Interior – digital dash tech.
3. Ride – smooth & powerful.

Tom Smith: Okay. I agree with everything, but my number one is going to be storage space.

Clinton Quan: Yeah, I noticed that right away. It’s quite impressive.

Tom Smith: Back in the day when we… I remember taking the buddy’s 1971 Impala two-door, which I think was about 28 feet long and one or two of us would drive into the drive-in theater, right?

About eight people would be in the trunk because you only pay for the amount of people that are sitting in the car, right? But this one made me think, huh, for a drive-in, I bet you could get a few people back there.

Clinton Quan: You probably could.

Tom Smith: I don’t mean to diminish how much I like all of these other elements of the car but that was just impressive. Wow, this things got plenty of space.

Clinton Quan: I noticed that right away when she opened the back.

Tom Smith: Plenty of space.

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: Like trip to Home Depot kind of space.

Number two for me is going to be the interior, the styling and luxury, and ergonomics. I’ll through the tech in there too, which is kind of cheating.

My third is also going to be the exterior styling. That is just a gorgeous, gorgeous ride. Again, that is the 2019 right?

Tom’s Top-3
1. Storage Space – multipurpose.
2. Interior – styling, luxury & tech.
3. Exterior – gorgeous vehicle.

Clinton Quan: Yes, it would be a 2019.

Tom Smith: So the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon from our friends at Ontario Volkswagen. Thanks again guys for having us out for this. Obviously, it was a special treat for Clinton and I. This was one of our longest podcast vehicle reviews we’ve ever recorded. We’re ticking at 24 minutes right now.

Rear view of the 2019 VW Arteon parked in Ontario Volkswagen's showroom.

VW Arteon @ Ontario VW w/ custom iDSC plate! 🙂

By the time we edit this, I don’t know what it’s going to wind up being, but it’s one of our longest for sure. Thank you again Ontario Volkswagen, Earl Reed, Randy Halcomb, Shant Bashian. Awesome, love you guys, thanks for having us out.

The Volkswagen Arteon, I tell you, it’s going to attract a lot of people outside of the Volkswagen brand. It is, I’m guessing, going to be a tremendous value. Again you’ve got the SC, SCL, you’ve got the SCL premium. Professor you good?

For more Arteon info:
Randy Halcomb @ Ontario Volkswagen
RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com
Mobile: 909-772-1728

Clinton Quan: Yes.

Tom Smith: I’m good too. Go down to our friends at Ontario Volkswagen, and thanks again to you guys out at Ontario Volkswagen, thanks to you, my good friend the professor. For iDriveSoCal, I’m Tom Smith, thank you for listening.