The much heralded 2019 VW Arteon is making its way across the pond from Europe with only one engine but its destroyer is spelled A C C O R D.
A few VW faithful cried when Volkswagen killed off its CC but with the VW Arteon on its way, specifically in the third quarter of 2018, it’s suddenly become the darling child of the automotive press as a real Buick Regal killer or a car worth waiting for. Five years ago I would’ve agreed with you, except the Arteon’s competition has “leveled up” in almost every aspect: engines, exterior design, and value. One competitor in particular, the 2019 Honda Accord, already takes a giant hauffen scheisse all over the Arteon’s killer spec sheet.
Most notably is the Arteon’s performance. Right off the bat, VW already kneecapped the Arteon with just one engine choice, 268 HP and 258 lb-ft from its 2.0L Turbo injected DI engine paired only to an eight-speed slushbox. Volkswagen has the balls to call this performance on par with a “Gran Turismo.”
Compare that to the new Accord with your choice of a 1.5T 192 HP and 192 lb-ft or a 2.0T with 252 HP and 278 lb-ft. Oh, ya. You can pair either engine with a six-speed manual transmission.
Then there’s the styling. Here’s the VW Arteon.
and here’s the Honda Accord.
Both big selling points for either is its fastback rear design. Honestly, the Honda Accord pulls it off much better whereas the Arteon looks like it’s already a step behind in how they approached what “Fastback” means.
Inside, I might have to hand it to the VW Arteon with its slightly more upscale feel. There’s an analog clock in the dash, which is just pure class, in my opinion, the infotainment center isn’t jutting out of the dash like the Accord and clearly, VW has selected from their more expensive parts bin.
The Accord, however, isn’t anything to sleep on. While very Honda and with a timeless utilitarian feel with all the touchpoints nicely appointed, it gets the job done without sticking out too much. I’m also a fan of the NSX’s pushbutton shifter which finds its way into most of Honda’s lineup, including this Accord.
Handling, VW touts its dynamic chassis control. Reviews say that it’s just a gimmick.
VW’s Areteon will also offer AWD. Prepare for your Arteon to huff and puff trying to route power from its already taxed 2.0T through four wheels. AWD isn’t necessary, Arteon buyers aren’t going to be driving their extra long Passats through adverse conditions, and ultimately its a piece of fancy marketing so you can sport an AWD badge out back.
If cup holders are an indication of superiority, the Accord wins hands down. With its placement just beside the shifter, your beverage is readily at hand. It’s square/circular design ensures it’ll fit the largest beverage you can fit with the retractable nubs inside ensuring a tight grip. Arteon’s cupholders you have to reach back to grab your cup. Not good.
Finally, there’s the price. The CC MSRP’d around $34,000 and I expect the Arteon to start around that price, too. The Accord is much more affordable with its hottest engine, the 2.0T in the Accord Sport, available at just a hair above $30,000.
Kudos to VW for trying to revive its dying brand here in North America. I suppose they haven’t got the memo that the midsize sedan market is floundering and there’s superior competition like the Accord ready to destroy it in reviews.