Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) teased the Arteon during the Volkswagen Fest 2019 and got us all promptly excited about the slick sedan before we relegated its memories to the back of our minds as a launch never materialised.

Now, a fortnight shy of a year since its tease, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) finally launched the Arteon and in R-Line trim to boot, at a mouth-watering price of RM221,065 (OTR w/o insurance) as the Arteon R-Line will be locally-assembled at Volkswagen’s plant in Pekan, Pahang. Bear in mind that the Arteon unveiled here is the pre-facelift guise and not the global facelift unveiled in June 2020.

Positioned as the marque’s non-performance flagship here, the Arteon will be powered by the same 2.0-litre TSI inline-four mill found in the Passat and churn out identical numbers as well at 188hp and 320Nm of torque. They reach the front wheels via the familiar seven-speed DSG with paddle-shifters. You’ll also find the magical Electronic Different Lock (XDS) from the Golf GTI that does wonders for the car’s cornering and traction.

Volkswagen’s Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) offers the driver five different driving modes in the form of Eco, Comfort, Normal, Sport and Individual; the last of which brings 15 selectable increments to customise the mode to your liking.

The Arteon replaces the Passat CC and carries over the frameless doors. Being a R-Line trim, the Malaysian Arteon also gets the obligatory R-Line badging on the aggressive front grille, a subtle black lip spoiler on the boot lid, LED head and taillights with dynamic indicators, chrome trimmings, 19-inch Montevideo wheels and All-Weather Light system that essentially better applies the primary beam for adequate lighting even in poor weather conditions. Boot space is a generous 563-litres anc can be accessed with an Easy Open keyless function.

Step into the cabin and be greeted by 14-way power-adjustable ErgoComfort seats for the front occupants with the driver receiving a little extra in the form of a massage function.

Connectivity and audio quality is always key for passengers and the Arteon delivers on all counts here. There’s a Dynaudio sound system with 11 speakers, a 16-channel digital amplifier, a subwoofer and 700W of sound to soothe the savage beast.

All this is accessible via the 9.2-inch Discover Pro touchscreen infotainment system that wirelessly supports Apple CarPlay but is also compatible for Android Auto and MirrorLink with wired connections through a USB Type-C cable. Voice control, gesture control and a customisable split screen are all features that aim to deliver a more premium motoring experience. Maneuvering is made easier with a 360-degree bird-eye view monitor.

The driver gets Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit that brings six customisable views and over 30 combos of options to be displayed as well as 2D and 3D map views for navigation.

An interesting inclusion is the alanogue dash clock that the facelifted Passat lost. Completing the interior are Silver Rise aluminium inserts and Titanium Black headliner.

Safety comprises the usual suspects of ABS, stability control, BA, hill-hold as well as Post Collision Braking System that prevents a second collision and Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS) that takes preventive measures such as cutting the fuel supply, unlocking the door and turning on the hazard lights post-collision. There’s also Proactive Passenger Protection System and Active Bonnet for pedestrian protection.

You can have your Arteon R-Line in any of the five colours but we’ll strongly recommend the Turmeric Yellow hero colour here. The other shades are Manganese Grey, Pyrite Silver; Deep Black or Oryx White Pearl. The car comes with a three-year free-maintenance package and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty together with five-year roadside assistance.