The diesel develops 237bhp, does 0-62 in 6.5 seconds, and has lots of pulling power. Four-wheel-drive is standard, and it helps to give the car the character that its feedback-derived steering doesn’t.
The petrol engine offers a bit more power – 267bhp – and is without a doubt intended to be a performance car. It’s fast, comes with massive 20” alloys, four-wheel-drive, and a lively 7-speed dual clutch DSG transmission. The question is, despite matching the Mercedes for performance, could you see yourself opting for a VW instead?
That’s really the big question here, and one thing the Volkswagen Arteon doesn’t have is an image that matches the Merc. It can boast decent running costs, though, with its diesel engine returning 47.8mpg, while emitting 152g/km of CO2.
Being a performance car, the petrol model is unsurprisingly more expensive to run. It returns 38.7mpg at best, and emits 164g/km of CO2.
Inside, the VW competes with the two German cars for comfort and tech. Despite boasting gigantic 20” alloys, ride quality is mostly good, with only the most scarred roads causing discomfort. Moreover, you can also flick through the driving modes for more comfort.
The design of the cabin is rather conservative and doesn’t really excite. But there is a lot to appreciate about its sense of simplicity and logical layout. There are a few gadgets included that we think buyers will appreciate too, including the 9.2” infotainment system.
Modern tech, meanwhile, includes a lane-keeping assistance system and linked computers, cameras and sensors that automatically slows the car down for speed-limit adjustments.
It scores 5/5 for practicality. It’s bigger than the VW CC that it follows on from, and its long wheelbase ensures plenty of interior space. It’s easy to get comfortable, with everyone afforded plenty of shoulder, leg and knee room. Rear headroom is also far from being a problem, thanks to how the roof curves.
In a nice, luxurious touch, we love how the two outer rear seats are contoured.
The 563-litre boot rounds things off. It’s much bigger than the Mercedes – and not all that much smaller than the VW Passat.
Volkswagen – £33,500 – £40,000