Look-a-like: VW Arteon and…

I have to admit I have a soft spot for the outgoing VW CC (née Passat CC) – it was a handsome car, especially once the facelift sharpened up its front design and rid of the weird oval graphics in the rear lights, and it seemed like a reasonable step up from the more humdrum Passat (in fact, the nickname the press gave it before it was launched, “Passat Plus”, captured its market placement pretty perfectly). What’s more, it sold pretty well, reaching around 30,000 units in its best years both in Europe and in the US. But now VW has grander ambitions for its indirect replacement, the Arteon, and wants the model to go after Audi A5 Sportback and BMW 4-series Gran Coupe. To enable this the carmaker has allowed the Arteon to grow in size, and given it sharper styling which it hopes will imbue the model with a sense of classy sportiness. So far so good, it’s just a pit that in the process the Arteon ended up looking quite a bit like another decidedly non-premium model…

The Chevrolet Malibu. Of course, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as I quite like the latest Malibu, and think it is a huge improvement over the previous dour model. However, there is no avoiding just how similar the window line of the Arteon and the Malibu, right down to the small kink in the upper line of the small window behind the rear doors, and the subtle thickening of the chromed strip right behind it. Again I’ll say that both cars are rather attractive, especially from the back (I have separate issues with how both cars look from the front), but I think between the glasshouse and the similar character line going forward from the rear lights I think the overall shape of the Arteon is probably a bit too close to the Malibu given VW’s ambitions for the model.

Oh, and on a side-note, I find it  interesting how the Arteon has a hatch at the back, while despite its fastback looks the Malibu is still a strictly 4-door sedan. Just underlines how the extra cost of engineering a rear hatch is worthwhile for the Arteon, which is meant primarily for Europe, but not at all for the Malibu, which is sold almost exclusively in the hatch-averse US market. 

  1. they should have given it a new dashboard at least…

    they spend money on a new line and keep the dashboard of passat, very cheap, spend some cash and put in a cool dashboard!

  2. Who is waiting for this car? In europa sedans are on the way down in sales figures and the station wagon is announced, but not out yet. Meanwhile the market is waiting for SUV’s, but beyond Tiguan/Touareg VW has no offer.

  3. I share Kris’ soft spot for the CC. One of few VWs with a bit of a different look. The Arteon is far from ugly, but disappoints anyway, because of the resemblance with the Audi A5/A7 (which still makes it a poor man’s car) and the shared interior with the regular Passat. Upmarket? No. Just paying more money for the same.

  4. I am not a badge snob, and based on ‘fair value’, I would choose this sharpend Talisman-like Arteon over any comparable Audi. Whether it still would be my preference when the new A6 is introduced, no idea.
    Based on spypics & renderings, the next A6 – and no doubt its derivatives – will look more expressive than the current “Brattwust on Wheels” appearance.

    There is one thing I like less: that silly strip prolonging the hood. What’s the point? Look even “meaner”? That “move over, I am brutal 60 years old bald Bavarian with well honed bellyfat” attitude is … quite immature.

    Image the designer briefing in Wolfsburg. Designer: “Also Herr Vorstandsmitglied, what do you think?”. Dr Truffelbär: “Ach so, looks nice. I see a Talisman stance, which is good. But ….. we should look meaner. More aggressive. More in your face”. Designer: “Aber, isn’t that a bit too much? Aren’t we overdoing it?”. Dr Schweinhund: “NEIN! Just do it!”
    Designer: “But that’s the Nike slogan hahaha!”. Herr director Brutalmann: “Raus! You are fired”

    Such nice folks, these Germans 😉

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