The Volkswagen Arteon is – in our opinion – a ridiculously good-looking car. The sleek silhouette, sharp lighting elements, it all adds up to a sleek fastback that’s hard not to like. When the model first made its debut here in Malaysia, though, it was somewhat handicapped with a pretty lacklustre powertrain, leading many to dub it “all show, and no go”.
Well, not any more – Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) has now right that wrong just one year later with the 2021 VW Arteon facelift model, pairing the iconic good looks with a powertrain that has a lot more bite.
A lot more, as in 90 hp more. The new Volkswagen Arteon in Malaysia now features a new 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, churning out 280 hp and 350 Nm of torque, compared to the “measly” 190 hp/320 Nm 2.0-litre four-banger of yore. Paired that to a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission, and you get a 0-100 km/h sprint time of just 5.6 seconds.
But it’s not just a boost in power, too – the facelift model also now gets the 4Motion all-wheel drive system to help translate all the power from the engine into the tarmac. The AWD driveline also comes with the XDS electronic differential lock to help improve traction during hard cornering.
For good measure, VPCM also thrown in the adaptive dampers on the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon, which provides up to 15 degrees of adjustability in the Dynamic Chassis Control system ranging from comfort to sporty, letting you tune the car’s response to just how you like to drive.
As for looks, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon is relatively tame for a “facelift” – especially considering what Mercedes-Benz does with their mid-cycle updates. Updates to the exterior of the new VW Arteon facelift pretty much only includes the new light bar across the front grille, and a reworked 3D light signature on the tail lights – but why fix something that’s not broken, right?
As before, the Malaysian model comes equipped with the R-Line exterior package, consisting of the more aggresively-styled front and rear bumpers, a bootlip spoiler at the back, plus the 19-inch “Montevideo” alloys on all four corners. Oh, and it’s also the first model in Malaysia to sport the new Volkswagen and ‘R’ logos.
Inside, the 2021 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line gets a new R-Line flat-bottomed steering wheel with the fancy haptic touch control buttons, and the dashboard trims have been reworked for a sportier look, instead of the old one that was just lifted directly from the Passat.
There’s also a new pair of ErgoComfort seats up frontwith a sportier design, now featuring an integrated headrest, It’s wrapped in a”carbon-style” Nappa leather upholstery, and as is customary, features the new ‘R’ logo on the seat backs.
Other new additions in the cabin include the 30-colour ambient lighting system, alongside a new 12-speaker 700W Harman Kardon sound system (replacing the Dynaudio set), but the rest of the interior appointments are otherwise unchanged from the pre-facelift model.
The new 2021 Volkswagen Arteon R-Line 4Motion is priced at RM247,671 on the road, without insurance, but inclusive of the sales tax exemptions that are valid until the end of the year. Also included in the price is a five-year unlimited mileage warranty, three-year scheduled service programme, and five-year roadside assistance package.
For the full rundown of the specifications and equipments of the new Volkswagen Arteon, be sure to check out our Facts & Figures coverage of the model launch here in Malaysia. Otherwise, feast your eyes on the blue beauty below.