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Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake (2020 - )

Volkswagen introduced us to its all-new Arteon model back in 2017, but the line-up has been enhanced with a Shooting Brake body style joining the hatchback

Starting price:
£56,760 (£64,225 with options)

Why we love it:
  • Dynamic styling and packed with kit
  • Spacious interior with bundles of storage room
  • Comfortable motorway cruiser
Where it could be better:
  • Touchscreen can be fiddly to operate on the fly
  • Occasional lag in gearbox response
  • Pricey compared to rivals
Secure your test drive today
Request a Volkswagen Arteon test drive


Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

Volkswagen introduced us to its all-new Arteon model back in 2017, but the line-up has been enhanced with a Shooting Brake body style joining the hatchback design, along with extra powertrain choice with a plug-in hybrid and high-performance 320PS R model being added to the range.

And it’s that powerhouse of a car that we are concentrating on. It shares the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that was recently introduced to the Golf R and it boasts performance stats that defy estate-car-like logic.

The vehicle features 4MOTION with R-Performance Torque Vectoring which is a newly developed all-wheel drive system with selective wheel torque control on the rear axle. This is one of the many clever features that make the Arteon Shooting Brake such an interesting car to drive.

Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

The Arteon Shooting Brake is a very hard car to ignore, not just because of its length, but also due to its beautifully-styled and streamlined body. It maintains the assertive, elegant appearance that marked the Arteon out when it first graced our roads, but offers extra space and storage room.

The Arteon R Shooting Brake can be distinguished from siblings by its 21-inch Adelaide alloy wheels, R-specific body kit with uniquely shaped front and rear bumpers, matt chrome doors, trademark R quad tailpipes and blue brake callipers with the R logo on the front units.

The VW badge takes pride of position in the centre of the grille and other eye-catching features include frameless side windows, sweeping light clusters with IQ Lights introducing LED matrix headlights (£1,375 option), tinted windows and R badging.

Moving inside, the interior is very sports focused with high-end Nappa leather sports seats featuring Carbon Optic side bolsters. These are powered, can be heated and include integrated headrests with the R logo. There is even a massage function which is nice on longer journeys.

A redesigned dash, centre console and door panels are part of the complete interior revision for the latest model and there is a wealth of technology to be explored.

The main focal point and nerve centre is the eight-inch colour touchscreen offering access to the sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio, a Harmon Kardon sound system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity, plus much more besides. 

There is a head-up display, 3Zone air conditioning, a voice assistant along with a 10.25-inch high-resolution driver display screen with customisable menus. 

All features are easy to access on the move, although on more than one occasion I pressed the wrong icon on the touchscreen. That may be down to the over-sensitivity of the screen itself, my clumsiness or our pothole-ridden roads.

Occupants can keep devices connected and charged thanks to the USB-C ports scattered throughout the car.

On The Road

Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

Handling & Performance

With its four-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine delivering 320PS of power and 420Nm of torque, the Arteon R Shooting Brake can reach 62mph from a standing start in just 4.9 seconds and tops out at a limited 155mph.

The acceleration through the seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox is beautifully smooth with bundles of power on tap. This helps makes light work of overtaking slower-moving vehicles with quick bursts of pace.

There are steering wheel mounted paddles for added fun along with drive modes called Comfort, Sport, Race and Individual that change the handling and reactions of the car. In addition, a steering wheel button with a blue R can be pressed to take you directly to Race mode.

Power levels were excellent, although I noticed twice during a week-long loan there was a slight lull in power between gear shifts. This was under particularly heavy acceleration and was my only gripe concerning driving characteristics.

The road-holding is exceptional with the all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, not only managing the power between the front and rear axles, but also between the rear wheels. As a result, the system delivers power to the wheel that needs it most culminating in excellent balance both in and out of sharp bends.

The steering is nicely weighted with plenty of driver feedback and the park assists is a really practical function on a car that’s not far off five metres in length.

Another plus point is how good this vehicle sounds when the ignition button is pressed. It’s always a clue when a neighbour pops out to see what I’m driving based purely on the noise levels.

Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

Space & Practicality

The VW Shooting Brake boasts dynamic streamlining and stretches 4,866mm in length, 1,871mm across (excluding mirrors) and is 1,434mm tall. The interior is spacious with ample room in the back for three passengers and they are treated to plenty of legroom.

Open the boot, via a powered tailgate and there is a vast area for storing golf clubs, suitcases or both. It’s huge and can swallow 590 litres of kit and that’s before the 60:40 split-folding rear seats are dropped when the capacity increases to 1,632 litres which is slightly larger than the hatchback model.

Elsewhere there are a number of convenient storage areas throughout the cabin such as a locking glovebox, front cup holders and a charging pad with a sliding cover, a central cubby, door bins with storage space for a bottle, a hidden compartment beside the driver’s door, seat back pockets and rear cup holders.

With powered seats and a manually-adjustable steering wheel, it’s quick and easy finding the perfect driving position and, despite being fairly low to the ground, the driver visibility impresses.

The rear doors open nice and wide offering easy access to child seats and there are Isofix fixtures to the outer rear seats.

My only slight complaint on the practicality front is the positioning of the charging pad in relation to the gear lever. When the car is in P for park, it’s hell-ish trying to get the smartphone out.


Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

Running Costs

The VW Arteon R Shooting Brake is not exactly for the budget-conscious with a starting price of £56,760. Factor in the optional extras fitted to our test car, including an Assistance Pack with area view and park assist, smarter alloys, an upgraded navigation system, IQ Light with LED matrix headlights, a head-up display and a swivelling towbar and the price-tag climbed to £64,225.

When it comes to the day-to-day running costs, the dynamic styling of the Arteon R Shooting Brake is an indication that the fuel economy will not exactly blow you away. The official WLTP-tested combined figure is 31.7mpg with carbon emissions of 201g/km.

That relatively high CO2 figure would result in a first-year Vehicle Excise Duty bill of £1,565. This would drop to the standard fee of £180 after 12 months. However, as the vehicle costs in excess of £40k it is subject to a government premium car levy that adds an extra £390 to the bill from years two to six.

The Benefit in Kind rating for business drivers is not too attractive either at 37 per cent and the car, as tested, sits in insurance group 35.

So, the costs are fairly pricey, but it’s worth reminding ourselves that this is an R-badged VW so errs on the side of performance rather than penny-pinching.



Volkswagen Arteon R Shooting Brake

Although we have managed to nit-pick and find a couple of flaws, in all honesty the Arteon R Shooting Brake is a fabulous family car. It covers all the practicality bases well for any active family, but has more of a hooligan nature beneath its bonnet itching to be unleashed on the quieter, twisting country lanes. 

And when you factor in the extensive list of safety features and driver assistance aids, including Level 2 assisted driving at speeds of up to 130mph, this is a car that’s big on style, performance and appeal.

Secure your test drive today
Request a Volkswagen Arteon test drive
By Maxine Ashford
Apr 20, 2023

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