Pros: Audi looks; VW price Comfortable ride Huge back seat Cons: Options add up fast Switchgear from Jetta Performance underwhelms Oh, the sorrow of unrequited love. Volkswagen wants America to adore its flagships, and Americans couldnt care less. Witness the fantastic Phaeton luxo-barge shared with Bentley , which Americans avoided in droves, and as a result its now one of the great used-car bargains. Read about Car, SUV, and Truck of the Year contenders HERE . Now VW wants us to embrace the Arteon fastback sedan. Arteon in French means budget Audi. No, it doesnt. I kid. But it should. And thats not necessarily a bad thing. Its svelte, sleek style mimics the Audi A7 s design with similar panache. Subtract the four-circles logo and about 30 grand, and you have an Arteon. Whats wrong with that? Not much, as it turns out. If you have a family of long-legged teens who cant abide being seen in a Mom-mobile SUV, the Volkswagen Arteon may be the solution for your carpooling dilemma. With a back seat that might be roomier than the front (with its own climate control), a 6-foot passenger can easily fit behind a 6-foot driver. Plus the hatch area, while shallow top to bottom, is immense in its square footage. --> Worried that the sloping rake of the roofline will crimp headroom? VW designers have creatively packaged the back seat so theres still room for Billy Porter, a couple of his Pose posse, his Emmy, and that fierce asymmetrical hat. And Porter would make quite the entrance, as well. The Arteon carries wonderfully elegant yet tautly tailored sheetmetalAudi-lite with a soupon of Latin flair, international bureau chief Angus MacKenzie said. But the Arteons interior fitments and switchgear do leave something to be desired. Those who have elevated to the Arteon from a Passat (or, heck, a Jetta) will recognize the look and feel of the knobs, buttons, and switches. Very familiar, in a discouraging way. So although associate online editor Stefan Ogbac found the Arteons instrument panel and center stack (with integrated infotainment screen) to be minimalist and not overwhelming, Detroit editor Alisa Priddle described the view from the drivers seat as a horrible horizon of cheapness. See the updated 2020 Volkswagen Passat right here . As for ride comfort for your crew, the Arteon won praise from Car of the Year judges as one of the most comfortable, quiet, and stable when going over the myriad lumps, bumps, and jolts of the Hyundai Proving Grounds special surfaces roads. It simply absorbs road crud with aplomb. But ride and performance are two very different beasts, and the Arteon falls short in the latter category. Lets start with the 268-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four engine. Or, lets dont. Maybe its just the incredible interior insulation from the chaos of the outside world, but the Arteons 060 acceleration run was the longest 7.4 seconds of everyones day. More than a couple judges described the Arteon as underpowered in passing maneuversdespite testing numbers to the contrarysaying it was quick only because the eight-speed automatic came to the rescue with decisive, quick, and responsive shifts. This car could do with a lot more power than it has, technical director Frank Markus said. Then theres getting it to corner, where the Arteon was riddled with understeer, body roll, and tire squeal (as to be expected from a big sedan with a 57/43 weight bias). This is no sport sedan, Markus said. It feels like its begging the driver to Lighten up, already. Road test editor Chris Walton left the drivers seat unimpressed: Handsome styling and forgettable driving experienceeven in 4Motion and R-Line trims. Nuff said. But the Arteon deserves more than such summary dismissal. With a starting price near $37,000, it delivers a stylish presence, great roominess, and an excellent ride. Maybe, just maybe, Americans could fall for it. 2019 Volkswagen Arteon 4Motion R-Line Base Price/As Tested $38,640/$48,175 Power (SAE net) 268 hp @ 5,500 rpm Torque (SAE net) 258 lb-ft @ 1,950 rpm Accel, 0-60 mph 7.4 sec Quarter Mile 15.6 sec @ 91.9 mph Braking, 60-0 mph 121 ft Lateral Acceleration 0.84 g (avg) MT Figure Eight 26.9 sec @ 0.65 g (avg) EPA City/Hwy/Comb 20/27/23 mpg The post Volkswagen Arteon Pros and Cons Review: More Style Than Substance appeared first on MotorTrend .