It’s well-known that Malaysians buy cars based on price, not segments, and any vehicle that strays too far from the buying public’s perceived pricing barrier tends to have a hard time. That hasn’t stopped Volkswagen from trying with the Arteon, which has aspirations greater than its Passat underpinnings suggest.

The svelte five-door fastback is priced quite a bit higher than its sibling, putting it well inside premium brand territory. And for 2022, the Arteon is more expensive than ever – at RM258,019, it costs more than even the very capable BMW 330e. That takes some serious cojones.

But the Arteon theoretically has some advantages to make up for it. Apart from its dramatic coupé-like styling and frameless windows, the VW is also packed with kit, driver assistance systems notwithstanding. And in its latest facelifted guise, it packs some serious firepower – 280 PS and 350 Nm of torque, to be exact, fired by a 2.0 litre turbo four-cylinder to all four wheels via a seven-speed wet DSG dual-clutch transmission.

You don’t drive cars on paper, however, so does the Arteon really have the substance to hold its own against a sea of attractive premium metal from Munich, Stuttgart and further afield? And does the lack of even the most basic autonomous emergency braking system dock off any points (spoiler alert: it does)? Watch Matthew Tong take a swing at Wolfsburg’s new pretender in our video review above.

Looking to sell your car? Sell it with myTukar.