When a brand new car comes along, it’s always exciting to see what new technology will pop up. In a recent test of the 2019 Volkswagen Arteon, three standout features impressed me the most – although the truth is the Arteon is surprisingly similar to the discontinued VW CC. They are both lower profile sedans with a roomy interior. Here are my top findings...
1. The trunk opens automatically
One automotive trend that makes perfect sense has to do with automated trunks. In the Arteon, you can walk behind the vehicle with your hands full carrying groceries or soccer gear, flip your leg behind the vehicle, and the trunk will pop open. Of course, you need to have the keyfob in your pocket, which can be annoying if someone else is driving and has the key
2. The hood acts as a cushion for pedestrians
The hood technology in the Arteon is surprisingly similar to what you will find in the Buick Regal GS. (I wrote about this recently and explained how the tech works.) The idea is that, in an accident, if someone is in front of the car, the hood will deploy using pyrotechnics in the hinges to soften the fall. It happens in a split second but could save a live.
3. The rear view camera pops out of the logo
This one is a bit of a technical wonder. As most cars use back-up cameras these days, they are becoming standard and even a bit boring. On the Arteon, the camera pokes out of the VW logo, which you also grab onto to open the trunk and pull. I’ve come to the point where I use the back-up camera on cars as much as the rear view mirror and wide mirrors.
4. You’ll get a warning if you leave the sunroof open
The Arteon continues the trend VW started in other models using the app to warn you about a potential disaster. If there’s rain in the forecast and you leave the sunroof open, the Car-Net app will notify you about the problem. We’ll have to wait for a future model that allows you to also close the sunroof using the app (that will require a seperate power source most likely).
5. The car can park itself
The Arteon has a feature called Park Assist that can search for a parking spot and then automatically turn the steering wheel for you to assist with parking. It’s handy for people who are not great at parallel parking, although I’ve always found it is faster to park myself. I do like that the Arteon sensors can tell if the parking spot is big enough for the car.
6. The ambient lighting is actually ambient
I noticed with the Arteon that you can change the interior color, and the hues they picked are surprisingly soft and subtle. Interior lighting is customizable in many other models, particularly from Ford, but sometimes the colors are a bit harsh or annoying.
On The Road is TechRadar's regular look at the futuristic tech in today's hottest cars. John Brandon, a journalist who's been writing about cars for 12 years, puts a new car and its cutting-edge tech through the paces every week. One goal: To find out which new technologies will lead us to fully self-driving cars.
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John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.