2020 Lexus ES Series vs. 2020 Volkswagen Arteon

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus ES Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Volkswagen Arteon doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The ES Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Arteon doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the ES Series and the Arteon have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the ES Series its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Arteon last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

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Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the ES Series 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Arteon. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Arteon ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The ES Series’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Arteon’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the ES Series’ reliability 34 points higher than the Arteon.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 25 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 27th.

Engine

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The ES 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (302 vs. 268) and 9 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 258) than the Arteon’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the ES 350 is faster than the Volkswagen Arteon:

ES Series

Arteon

Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.2 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97 MPH

94 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

On the EPA test cycle the ES Series gets better fuel mileage than the Arteon:

MPG

ES Series

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/44 hwy

3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/32 hwy

F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

22 city/31 hwy

Arteon

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the ES Series Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Arteon doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lexus ES Series uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Arteon requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lexus ES Series higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Volkswagen Arteon (3). This means the ES Series produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Arteon every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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The ES 300h has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Arteon doesn’t offer a CVT.

Suspension and Handling

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The ES Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the ES Series flat and controlled during cornering. The Arteon’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the ES Series’ wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Arteon (113 inches vs. 111.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the ES Series is .3 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the Arteon.

For better maneuverability, the ES Series’ turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Arteon’s (38 feet vs. 39 feet). The ES Series w/18-19” wheels’ turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Arteon’s (38.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

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The ES Series F Sport uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Arteon doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The ES Series has 3.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Arteon (99.9 vs. 96.2).

The ES Series has 1.2 inches more front legroom and .8 inches more rear headroom than the Arteon.

Cargo Capacity

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With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the ES Series offers cargo security. The Arteon’s hatchback body style and non-lockable folding seat defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 50% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The ES Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Arteon doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The ES Series’ headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Arteon’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Lexus ES Series offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Arteon doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/03

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus ES Series and the Volkswagen Arteon, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Lexus ES Series outsold the Volkswagen Arteon by almost 21 to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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