Luxury LIfestyle

These 13 luxury RVs are really mobile mansions

The luxury RVs on this start just over $200,000 and top out at over $2 million.

Photo courtesy of Thor Motor Coach

America has a love affair with the RV and its inherent feeling of freedom — a few hours spent on any scenic byway will confirm this grand desire to hit the open road, but with all the comforts of home. And simply because summer has ended doesn't mean it's too late to enjoy the great outdoors with these mobile mansions that cost more than many houses. Take a look at some of the most comfortable and luxurious RVs on the road, perfect for enjoying the great outdoors — from the great indoors.

Airstream Atlas

Photo courtesy of Airstream

MSRP: $235,714

Airstream is well known for building high-quality luxurious RVs and trailers, and the new Atlas is no exception. This Class B+ RV gets built on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter chassis that gives it a smaller footprint than the big Class A motorhomes, making it easier to drive and maneuver. With its clean diesel powertrain the Atlas won't struggle for power, but can still achieve an estimated 18 mpg. For those who want to bring some toys along, the Atlas can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Like other Airstream models, the Atlas makes excellent use of interior space. Ideal for the empty nester, the Atlas can seat four but sleeps only two. The comfortable sofa features two power recliners and is positioned for a perfect view of the 40-inch LED smart TV that rises out of its cabinet via remote control. Driver and passenger seats swivel to provide two additional seats in the "living room." When it's time for sleep, rather than unfolding the couch into what is often an uncomfortable bed, the couch gets folded flat and a power slideout expands the space, lowering a Murphy bed over the sofa for a convenient, comfortable sleep.

The Atlas also features a full kitchen with a 2-burner gas stove, a convection microwave, a slideout pantry and refrigerator / freezer. One of the most attractive features of the Atlas is the bathroom, which spans the entire rear of the RV. With room to move around, the bath area has a mirrored vanity and sink, a proper shower with teak inlays, and a conveniently-located closet for easy dressing after a shower. The entire section has a single door for maximum privacy.

American Coach Dream

Photo courtesy of American Coach

MSRP: $576,288

Building luxury RVs for more than 25 years, American Coach prides itself on utilizing the latest technology and premium components built on their exclusive Freightliner custom chassis. The top-line Dream is available in 42- or 45-foot lengths and powered by a Cummins turbodiesel engine that produces as much as 605 horsepower and a staggering 1,950 lb-ft of torque. With this much power on tap, the Dream can pull just about any manner of vehicle or trailer thanks to its 20,000-pound towing capacity.

This not-so-small RV has three separate slideouts to create an even bigger interior. Entering the Dream, guests find a spacious living area with two couches — both of which can be transformed into beds. Behind one of the couches a hidden 50-inch 4K LED TV rises from its storage cabinet. There's also a full kitchen with a 23-cubic-foot residential refrigerator / freezer with icemaker, a 2-burner induction cooktop, a convection microwave, a double sink and a dishwasher. There's even a half bath across from the stackable washer / dryer.

Although this Dream has foldout couches for additional overnight guests, the primary sleep space is a bedroom housing a king-size bed, plenty of storage and a 43-inch LED TV. Beyond the bedroom is an additional bathroom replete with a full shower, a vanity and more closet space. For those who do like to spend some time outside but aren't all that entertained by nature (or campers in the adjacent site), there's an exterior entertainment center with a 48-inch Sony LED TV with JBL soundbar.

Coachmen Sportscoach RD

Photo courtesy of Coachmen

MSRP: $200,000 (est.)

Coachmen bills the Sportscoach RD (rear diesel) as one of the most affordable rear-diesel Class A motorhomes on the market. The Cummins 360-horsepower diesel powertrain generates 800 lb-ft of torque, which provides plenty of oomph as well as the ability to tow up to 10,000 pounds. The 100-gallon fuel capacity will keep the Sportscoach on the road for a significant number of miles (or time) between fill-ups.

With a lower starting price than some other high-end recreational vehicles mentioned here, the 41-foot Sportscoach RD offers a beautiful living area. It features tile floors; hardwood cabinets; brushed nickel hardware; a large LED TV; a touchscreen audio system with Bluetooth; Wi-Fi; an available stackable washer / dryer; and a fireplace. Available theater seating and a chaise lounge add to the overall experience.

The kitchen in the Sportscoach RD features hardwood cabinets, large sink and a residential-style refrigerator with in-door ice and water dispenser. The master bedroom of the Sportscoach RD has a king-size bed, a 32-inch LED TV as well as plenty of storage. At the rear of the bedroom is a bathroom with shower. Another variant of the RD features available bunk beds with individual 13-inch LED TVs, as well as an additional full bathroom with a shower.

Entegra Cornerstone

Photo courtesy of Entegra

MSRP: $739,865

One of the more luxurious motorhomes on the market, the Entegra Cornerstone blends bold exterior styling with high-end materials throughout the cabin. Underneath that attractive skin is a seriously powerful vehicle. The Cummins X15 turbocharged diesel engine produces 605 horsepower and a plentiful 1,950 lb-ft of torque at a mere 1200 rpm for some serious grunt. The Cornerstone has an air-levelling suspension, a 150-gallon fuel tank and a 20,000-pound capacity hitch to bring along some big toys.

Inside, the Cornerstone has features and styling to rival any luxury home, including hand-laid porcelain tile flooring, Italian leather-trimmed furniture, LED recessed lighting, an electric fireplace, a 50-inch 4K smart TV with an HD Blu-ray player, as well as a Bose SoundTouch 300 system with wireless speakers. The kitchen has an induction cooktop as well as a dishwasher, microwave/convection oven and stainless steel residential refrigerator/freezer.

This Entegra's bedroom comes with a cedar-lined closet, a ceiling fan, a 32-inch TV with Blu-ray player and Bose Solo 5 sound bar. Beyond the bedroom, a bathroom has quartz countertops, integrated glass sinks, a porcelain-tiled shower with a glass door, a pivoting shower head and an available teakwood shower seat.

Fleetwood Discovery LXE

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood

MSRP: $373,393

A bit less costly than some of the other rolling condos on this list, the Discovery LXE resides at the top of the Fleetwood line. This Class A diesel motorhome is available in 40- or 44-foot lengths and boasts a towing capacity up to 15,000 pounds with its powerful Cummins diesel engine. Like a high-end automobile, the Discovery features pushbutton start, a digital dashboard, a 10.2-inch display screen, a backup camera, leather power seats and available collision mitigation. The Discovery LXE happens to have everybody's favorite feature — an air horn.

With three slideout sections, the Discovery LXE interior is quite spacious — even in the mere 40-foot version. The LXE features polished porcelain tile flooring with in-floor heating for chilly mornings or evenings. A large L-shaped sofa provides a comfortable lounge space, as do swiveling front seats and a freestanding dinette.

The LXE bedroom features a Serenity-Series king bed, a 32-inch LED TV and a full-length wardrobe. Depending on the model, additional sleeping space can be created via two bunk beds. The primary bathroom has available dual sinks as well as a tiled shower with glass doors. Without the bunk beds, there is enough space for an additional half bath.

Forest River Berkshire XLT 45CA

Photo courtesy of Forest River

MSRP: $300,000 (est.)

Forest River builds all kinds of RVs and camper trailers, but the Berkshire line sits at the peak of the brand's offerings. The 45-foot Class A motorhome is available in a number of configurations, all motivated by a 450-horsepower Cummins diesel engine that provides up to 15,000 pounds of towing capacity. For added maneuverability, the Berkshire features a tag axle with Ultrasteer — this third axle is designed for support and is not powered, but it can help with steering by decreasing the curb-to-curb turning radius.

While many of these Class A motorhomes are really designed for two, the new 45CA would work well for the whole family. Available with two sofas — one of which is a hide-a-bed — or with optional theater seating, the Berkshire also offers two bunk beds as well as a bed above the cockpit. And let's not forget the king bed in the master bedroom. Two bathrooms with showers should keep lines in the morning to a minimum.

The XLT 45CA has plenty to keep everyone entertained as well. Bunk beds each have their own LED TV, with a 32-inch TV in the bedroom and 49-inch in the living room. There's even a 43-inch LED TV mounted outside with Bluetooth radio and speakers. An available satellite setup ensures there's plenty to watch — for those who don't want to get too distracted by the great outdoors.

Holiday Rambler Endeavor

Photo courtesy of Holiday Rambler

MSRP: $336,837

It may not be the most expensive model on this list, but Holiday Rambler's Endeavor offers a lot for the money. The thoroughly modern cockpit features touchscreen displays with easy access to all controls. Seats are trimmed in Villa Ultraleather and can be swiveled and reclined. Build on its Power Bridge Chassis — created with Freightliner — the Endeavor is built for a smooth ride through solid construction. Underneath is bus-style pass-through storage with lighted compartments so you can take it all with you.

Multiple floorplans are available in this 38-foot motorhome, which can include a large L-shaped sofa, a standalone recliner, a built-in dinette, an electric fireplace, a pantry, a residential-style refrigerator, stainless steel appliances and a dishwasher. The dinette and sofas can convert to beds as needed — bunk beds are available, as is a loft bed above the cockpit. A large 49-inch LED TV will keep the family entertained.

The Endeavor's master suite includes a king-size memory foam mattress as well as a wardrobe and available walk-in closet. At the rear of the coach is the master bath with elegant fixtures, dual sinks and a spacious shower. A stackable washer / dryer is also available.

Monaco Coach Signature

Photo courtesy of Monaco Coach

MSRP: $487,088

Monaco Coach has been building luxury RVs for more than 50 years, and the Signature is the flagship of the Monaco line. With 40- or 44-foot variants, the Signature carries 150 gallons of fuel for its powerful Cummins diesel powertrain. The larger units have a 15,000-pound towing capacity.

With multiple slideouts, the Signature offers a spacious living area that can be equipped with a larger sofa with an air mattress, a freestanding dinette, a 49-inch LED TV, an additional 32-inch LED TV at the front, an electric fireplace as well as an extra bathroom. The pantry can be fitted with a stackable washer / dryer. Theater seating with recliners is also available, as are bunk beds on the longer models.

The master bedroom is at the rear, complete with nightstands and an additional LED TV. The Signature's master bath features a tile shower, wardrobe and a single-sink vanity. There's also an optional walk-in closet.

Newell Coach P50

Photo courtesy of Newell Coach

MSRP: $2.1 million

When it comes to high-end motorhomes, the Newell Coach P50 resides at another level. With styling courtesy of Porsche Design, the P50 includes polished aluminum wheels, chrome trim, LED running lights and HID headlights. Front seats offer heating, cooling and massage, while the driver adds air ride for even more comfort. The cockpit features multiple digital displays.

The P50's living space is quite large with an 89-inch high ceiling. Electric heat resides under the galley and bathroom, and the coach also has a continuous-flow hot-water system. To keep cool, there are at least three roof-mounted AC units — four on larger models. The kitchen is well equipped with a GE Monogram refrigerator/freezer, a two-burner electric cooktop, a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. The front salon has a Dolby 5.1 home theater system in with a large LED TV; an additional TV can be found in the master bedroom.

All materials and features can be custom requested — Newell designs and constructs its coaches one at a time for the ultimate in personalization. Some options include premium quartz countertops, marble flooring in the bathroom, a desk, a recliner, an ottoman / coffee table and much more. For added flexibility, the master bedroom can be outfitted with a Murphy bed to provide an additional living area during the day. A TV gets mounted to the bottom of the bed, across from the comfy sofa. A separate TV hangs on the opposite wall for viewing while in bed.

Photo courtesy of Nexus RV

MSRP: $313,000

While there's no relation to the luxury car brand, the Nexus Bentley still brings plenty of high-end appeal to the Class A motorcoach market. Built with a high strength low alloy steel cage for better safety and drivability, the 40-foot Bentley features a 400-horsepower Cummins diesel engine with a 100-gallon fuel tank and a 10,000-pound towing capability.

The Bentley can be equipped with a tri-fold sofa or dual recliners, a deluxe dinette booth and a 50-inch power-lifted LED TV. The kitchen boasts solid hardwood cabinets, a tile backsplash, an LG 3-door refrigerator, a 2-burner smooth induction cooktop, a large convection oven, a water filtration system and a residential-style faucet with sprayer. Exterior features include an electric patio awning with LED lights, an outdoor shower and an entry-door awning.

The floor plan of the Bentley Diamond is impressive: beyond the kitchen sits a couch with a bunk bed above, which is across from a bathroom with a shower. The master bedroom features an innerspring king mattress and a 32-inch LED TV. A second full bath is off the master bedroom.

Thor Tuscany 45MX

Photo courtesy of Thor Motor Coach

MSRP: $502,350

Thor makes a wide range of motorhomes ranging from Sprinter-based models to full Class A diesel rigs. The top line of these offerings is the Tuscany 45MX. Built on a Freightliner XC-R chassis, this 45-foot RV is powered by a large 8.9-liter Cummins diesel engine producing 450 horsepower and 1,250 lb-ft of torque. The Tuscany features an air-ride suspension, Sachs shocks, basement pass-thru storage and a 15,000-pound trailer towing capability.

The LED lighting, solid wood veneers, decorative ceiling treatments and polished porcelain tile floors create a feeling of elegance within the Tuscany 45MX interior. Reclining theater seats with footrests are the perfect place to enjoy the 55-inch television. A 92-inch sofa bed is standard; however, an optional configuration puts a recliner and a desk in the same space. The dinette across from the kitchen has easy access to a stainless-steel refrigerator, a stainless steel farmhouse sink, pull-out storage and a dishwasher.

The master bedroom of the Tuscany 45MX has a pillowtop king-size bed that features a "Tilt-a-View" inclining mechanism for better viewing of the 32-inch LED TV. The bedroom also contains an electric fireplace with remote as well as a ceiling fan. The attached master bath has a tile shower with a glass door and a skylight, as well as a dual sink and wardrobe.

Tiffin Zephyr

Photo courtesy of Tiffin

MSRP: $675,000 (est.)

Tiffin has been building motorhomes for more than 40 years, and Zephyr is the most luxurious model the company has ever built. With Cummins diesel power, this 45-foot Class A motorhome can tow up to 20,000 pounds. There's also space for 165 cubic feet of cargo in the basement storage, a slideout 12.5kW generator and extended-life battery pack.

With seven-foot ceilings in the living area and multiple slideout sections, the Zephyr interior feels incredibly spacious. The porcelain tile floor is heated throughout the coach, and there is a hydronic heating system with continuous hot water. Ultraleather trim covers two sofa beds and a dinette doubles as a computer workstation. Entertainment comes from the home theater surround sound system and retractable television.

A memory-foam king mattress is the center of the Zephyr master bedroom, with a view of the electric fireplace and TV. A vanity with built-in drawers and a ceiling fan are also included. The master bath includes a shower with inlaid tile and a glass door, as well as a skylight and LED light. A separate laundry room with a stacked washer / dryer, chest of drawers and hanging rod is located at the back of the motorhome

Winnebago Horizon

Photo courtesy of Winnebago

MSRP: $434,968

The name synonymous with motorhomes, Winnebago has come a long way from its beginnings more than 50 years ago, and the culmination of that experience is the Horizon flagship. This 43-foot Class A motorhome features an independent front air suspension, automatic hydraulic leveling jacks, a 15,000-pound towing capacity and a 10,000-watt diesel generator. As is the case with most of the RVs in this class, power comes from a Cummins diesel engine.

The Horizon living area is well executed with an extendable sectional sofa and swivel front seats — all covered in Ultraleather and all facing each other as well as the fireplace and 50-inch HDTV. The dining table can be moved forward or aft, depending on use. Next to the dining table begins the kitchen with Corian countertops, bamboo sink covers, a cold water filtration system, a pantry and a stainless-steel French-door refrigerator with an icemaker and bottom freezer drawer.

A queen-sized Eurotop Freedom air mattress with bedspread and pillow shams can be found in the Horizon's master bedroom, along with a ceiling fan, nightstands and 40-inch HDTV. A sliding door closes off the bedroom from the rest of the living area as well as the bathroom at the rear of the RV, which features a full shower, vanity, storage and optional washer/dryer.

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Family vehicles

Two minivans that make family hauling fun

The latest minivans are actually quite desirable.

Toyota

There are people who wouldn't be seen dead in a minivan and then there are people who are lying. That's the long-held mentality around America's most useful but most maligned family-hauling vehicles, but the latest offerings from Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Chrysler are out to prove the old way of thinking wrong. Two of them, the newly redesigned Toyota Sienna and brand-new Kia Carnival are truly compelling vehicles that bring style and substance to the category. Here's a look at what makes them so cool.

2021 Toyota Sienna


2021 Toyota Sienna The new Sienna features sharper styling and comes exclusively with a hybrid powertrain.Toyota


Toyota overhauled the Sienna for 2021 with an all-hybrid powertrain across the board, sharp style, and a gorgeous interior. The Sienna's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine pairs with two electric motors for a total output of 243 horsepower. The van is offered with all-wheel drive, which adds a third electric motor that drives the rear wheels. Though it won't win any drag races, the Sienna makes up for its leisurely acceleration with great fuel economy that can reach 36 mpg city with front-wheel drive and 35 mpg city with all-wheel drive.


2021 Toyota Sienna Toyota's 2021 updates to the Sienna include a more upscale interior.Toyota


Along with its new, efficient powertrain, the Sienna got a refreshed interior that is both comfortable and easy on the eyes. The Toyota does lack some of the clever seating features that make such a difference for families in rivals such as the Chrysler Pacifica, but the van does carry sliding second-row seats that can move a little over two feet forward and backward to allow for more legroom when needed. The top two trims also offer optional reclining seats with fold-away ottomans and an available built-in vacuum cleaner.

2022 Kia Carnival


2022 Kia Carnival Doesn't look all that much like a minivan, does it?Kia


The all-new 2022 Kia Carnival should be viewed as a defining vehicle in the minivan segment. It doesn't exactly look like a minivan, with styling that more closely resembles a stretched SUV than a blobby family-hauler. The Carnival is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Acceleration is strong and the powertrain is refined, but unlike the Toyota there's no all-wheel drive option.


2022 Kia Carnival The Carnival's interior is truly luxurious and looks great.Kia


Where the Kia truly sets itself apart is its interior. The top SX Prestige trim offers soft, luxurious leather upholstery and reclining seats with footrests like the Toyota. The available panoramic sunroof opens far enough to allow air over the second-row seats and the Carnival's interior finishes are among the best in its class. An optional dual 12.3-inch display covers a large portion of the dash, and offers a responsive, intuitive infotainment experience. The SX and SX Prestige trims both come standard with a rear-seat entertainment system as well.


2022 Kia Carnival The Carnival is sleek and stylish - two things not commonly associated with minivans.Kia

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The Arteon is VW's take on modern art.

Victoria Scott

The way I like to review cars is to imagine myself as the target buyer. Rather than ripping a high-end sports car as an adrenaline-and-estrogen-addled 26 year old girl driving it like she stole it, I imagine that I'm a classy, restrained mid-50s woman with a career, grown kids, and a mortgage - the person that they're trying to sell the car to. Whether or not I think it's fun is almost moot - I want to tell people with the actual coin to purchase one if I could see them enjoying it.

So when Volkswagen offered me a 2021 Arteon R-Line, their current flagship model, I decided to play up the luxurious lifestyle to enter the right mindset. Make no mistake - this is not a Passat, an entry-level sedan I could actually afford. It's priced and designed for a wholly different clientele. The Arteon is styled like modern art - there are none of the girl-racer fender musculature and gaping vents of the GTI and GLI; despite the R-Line moniker, it's clearly designed to impress with restraint and taste rather than shock and awe. And rather than the volume-sales aspirations of most modern Mexico-built VWs, the Arteon's cleanly designed but feature-filled interior is a throwback to the days when VW was a less ostentatious BMW or Lexus. The Passat has long since fallen into the mass-produced, low-price trap, with generic styling to match, but the Arteon seems like it's been built by a different company entirely. This company remembers their roots in Teutonic comfort and form, and it's a welcome change of pace.


2021 Volkswagen Arteon The Arteon is the perfect companion for a day out in Los Angeles.Victoria Scott


With this as my ride for a weekend, I lived it up. I took a close friend of mine to dinner and the Omni Hotel, a welcome respite from the camping and couch-surfing I'd been doing in LA, because this car encourages the mantra of "treat yourself". On our initial drive, I indulged further, letting the Travel Assist mode on the Arteon handle the stop-and-go traffic of the 101 while I talked with my partner. The car handled it surprisingly well, even as the sun set, accelerating and winding through the traffic-choked Los Angeles highways seamlessly. Most premium manufacturers offer an adaptive cruise mode that's usually passable on freeways, but the Arteon's version surprised me with its adeptness even in situations where I'd have expected it to fail. In "Comfort" mode, the atrocious California highways were at least passable, even with the mammoth 20" wheels the R-Line is equipped with as standard. The Harman Kardon stereo pumped Left at London's newest album through the cabin with clarity as we approached our destination isolated from the commotion of LA rush hour.

We pulled up to the hotel for the evening and as trite an ad-agency trope it seems, the valet seemed stunned that we rolled up in a Volkswagen this nice. "Brand new?" he questioned. "Yes, just got it", I replied, enjoying my roleplay as a somehow wealthy yet restrained twenty-something perhaps slightly too much. But it truly is a little hard to believe that it's a Volkswagen - it's more luxurious than the outgoing CC it replaces, and it's vastly prettier than the Bentley-based halo car Phaeton of the mid-00s ever was. Still, his compliment set us up for a lovely evening of wining and dining, and at this point, my literary technique of envisioning myself as the target buyer for this gorgeous car was as much for my own enjoyment as it was for any imagined story.

And of course, enjoying yourself in Los Angeles is what you're supposed to do, and we did. All of that wining and dining that a night of indulgence at a fancy hotel offers meant that we slept through two alarms. We made the checkout just fine, but my friend had a train to catch that morning. Now, unfortunately, all pretense had to drop - she legitimately needed to get to Union Station about 15 minutes before we woke up. When the valet gave us our Volkswagen back, I stomped it. I changed it to Sport mode at a red light, hoping that it would give me more rapid throttle response or faster shifts, and it did. Gone was the relaxed cruise of the night before - this was white-knuckle city carving at its finest; my entire demeanor had changed, but so had the Arteon's.


2021 Volkswagen Arteon All-wheel drive and 268 horsepower add up to surprising performance.Victoria Scott


When we finally skidded into Union Station and my knuckles started to regain their color, I realized the Arteon had performed vastly better than I'd expected. Granted, the Arteon R-Line has 4-Motion - VW's all-wheel-drive system - and the 268 HP 2.0 liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder, both of which are proven technology from the Golf R and the GTI, respectively. Those cars are sporty - they're hot hatches that I wouldn't have to envision myself as anyone else to review well. I am the target market for VW's five-door four-banger hatches. So perhaps I was doing the Arteon a disservice to imagine myself as anyone else at all when I drove it.

And for the rest of the day I left it in Sport mode, slid the seat back, and let Paul Wall blast from the 700 watt, 12-speaker system with the windows down as I headed for the switchbacks of the iconic Angeles Crest Highway. No longer was I Miss Victoria, Wealthy Businesswoman - I was Tori, and I was here to shred. And it was time to figure out just how quickly it would make work of the twisting hairpins that wound through the mountains.

And I found out it's not too bad, honestly. It's not quite a Golf R, of course, and it feels a bit weightier than a GTI, but the underlying handling dynamics of Volkswagen - phenomenal steering feel right up to about 8/10ths, which is as far as I'll push it in the canyons anyway - are still present and prominent when pushing it hard through the twisties. It's not perfect, because VW's insistence on a heavily-delayed accelerator response somewhat kills the ability to nail it out of a corner, and the eight-speed's shifting even in Sport mode is never going to match the violence and rapidity of a true DSG, but at the price point with all the other features, there's a need to pick and choose what you're getting, and it was fun enough that I didn't feel like I was lugging a rental car through the mountains.


2021 Volkswagen Arteon Image matters, and the Arteon understands this.Victoria Scott


As I piloted the bright red sedan through the canyons, chasing another auto journalist in his loaner Lotus Evora GT, I had a flashback from another era. I worked at a software job in a previous life, and I used to daily-drive a horrid Mitsubishi Mirage and then my heavily-modified Supra. My coworkers constantly ribbed me for my youth and foolishness in car choices. This was my introduction to the professional world, and I soon learned that driving a 30-year-old car with a welded diff and a leaky main rear seal is not the path to career advancement. Image matters, and the Arteon understands this. This was a refined, classy car meant for the office five days a week, and just dabble in a little fun in those precious weekend moments. Ironically, there was no mindset shift required to understand the true purpose or target for this sedan - it was simply me a few years ago, working in those green cubicles, a lust for speed and a healthy paycheck landing in my account every few weeks, but with a desire to move up the corporate ladder. I just didn't want to sacrifice my love of cars and driving. The Arteon would fit the bill perfectly for that past self.

But, unfortunately, for fifty-grand, I have to nitpick. The Arteon suffers from some obvious modern day Volkswagen cost-cutting that feels jarringly out of place in such an otherwise well-finished car: The volume knob is a single piece; when rotated, the iconography rotates. This, quite frankly, drives me insane. The cluster screen flashing ECO TIP: Close the sunroof for reduced wind resistance! made me question why they'd included such a gorgeous, expansive sunroof if they were going to instill me with guilt for using it. The center console touchscreen required a hard press to activate, and its placement relative to the wheel made it hard to operate seamlessly, which seems to defeat the purpose and ease of standard CarPlay.


2021 Volkswagen Arteon Volkswagen still clearly remembers their roots in German quality and design that established them in America.Victoria Scott


And then, finally, the closest thing to a dealbreaker for me: The steering wheel. The capacitive-touch steering wheel holds no fewer than a dozen buttons, all cryptic and way too easily activated. I lost count of the number of times I turned on the steering-wheel-heater with the edge of my thumb in the middle of the LA summer, only to realize it was cooking me once my palms started burning. The genuinely helpful Travel Assist cruise control becomes downright annoying to activate by being hidden in a steering wheel menu of vaguely demarcated buttons. It was a constant aggravation in an otherwise pleasant car; if I owned this thing I'd have to forgo an airbag and swap in a Nardi just to prevent a stroke from pure frustration.


2021 Volkswagen Arteon The capacitive-touch steering wheel holds no fewer than a dozen buttons, all cryptic and way too easily activated.Victoria Scott


Outside of these minor irritations and the war-crime steering wheel, I found myself pleasantly surprised. Volkswagen still clearly remembers their roots in German quality and design that established them in America, and the Arteon drives like a callback to those better times. In short - VW has built a competent enough sporty sedan with looks paralleled by none, and comfort only rivalled by a few. It shows the flaws of a manufacturer still trying to recall the glory days of high-end automaking, but it's close enough to the mark in a nearly empty market segment to be worthy of at least a test drive. Just watch those thumbs on the steering wheel.

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