The updated Volkswagen Arteon looks similar to its predecessor, but small changes make it feel more modern

The updated 2021 Volkswagen Arteon has been unveiled, sporting some revised design details both on the exterior and interior. 

On the outside, the general shape and typical low, wide stance for the Arteon remains. The same clear character line runs uninterrupted around the front and sides of the car, changing to a undercut at the rear to emphasise the arching lip above. The sculpted hood with clear contour lines is the same as on the previous generation, as is the low-sitting grille.

But the grille now features just three horizontal chrome bars, as opposed to four on the previous generation. There are also two additional air intakes on the SE trim variant, while the R-Line models include one large air intake below the grille. 

A change to the lights is subtle but significant, with an illuminated bar now running the entire width of the grille, stopping only for the VW badge. The bar acts as an extension of the daytime running lights and modernises the front end. It is available on the SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line variants. The R-Line variants also feature a unique front bumper with a black glossy finish, as well as a small black glossy rear spoiler. 

The interior has undergone significant changes, with an entirely new dash panel consisting of more metallic surfaces and subtle air vents. A textured aluminium strip and the chrome underneath both wrap around to the doors, as does the single line of stitching on the upper section of the dash. This provides a cockpit-like feel for the front occupants. R-Line models include translucent sections to the dash with embedded ambient lighting. 

Instead of the typical three climate control dials, an all-new touch-sensitive system sits under the central screen which includes a “touch slider” to provide intuitive temperature control. It looks slick, but touch buttons for climate controls can lead to a frustrating user experience if the haptic feedback is not consistent. The screen itself looks the same as on the old Arteon, and is encased in the same glossy black metal casing. 

R-Line models come with Nappa leather seats and contrast stitching on the steering wheel as well as the gear stick. A stitched leather finish also covers half of the doors, adding to the sense of continuity throughout the interior.