VW's best-looking model is also pretty safe.
Following the reveal of a significant facelift for the 2021 model year, including a Europe-only R model and wagon variant, the 2020 Volkswagen Arteon just scored a win in the United States. The Arteon has become the second 2020 VW model along with the Tiguan to receive a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Last year, the 2019 Arteon failed to receive the Top Safety Pick rating because its headlights were rated as "poor."
To qualify for the award, a car must receive "good" ratings in each of the Institute's six crashworthiness evaluations. They must also score "good" or "acceptable" on their headlights and available front crash prevention technology. The 2020 Arteon scored "good" on the six evaluations and "superior" for vehicle-to-vehicle crash avoidance with its standard Front Assist system.
Volkswagen's forward-collision warning system and autonomous emergency braking system with pedestrian monitoring can both alert occupants before a crash and provide braking support in certain instances. The car warns the driver both acoustically and visually when traveling above 18 mph. In the event of a near-crash, the Arteon can provide an automatic jolt of the brakes or put more pressure on the pedal if it detects not enough has been applied to stop.
Not all Arteon models may qualify for this award, though. The IIHS specifies that the Arteon achieves a Top Safety Pick when "equipped with LED headlights and the adaptive front-lighting system (AFS) with dynamic cornering headlights." VW currently sells four trim levels of the Arteon - SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line - but does not specify which ones receive AFS.
Buyers should still take comfort knowing that the Arteon comes with a ton of standard safety equipment, including blind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert, and available features such as adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane-keep assist, park assist, high beam control, and a surround-view camera.