The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon signals the brand’s return to the near-luxury segment. Serving as the informal replacement to the since-departed Volkswagen CC, the Arteon trades its predecessor’s trunk for a versatile hatchback. Don’t worry, sensuous styling remains.

In fact, the Arteon is arguably the most attractive vehicle in its segment. With coupe-like looks, wide hips, and distinctive headlights that merge into the grille, the Arteon values style above all else. But it’s also comfortable. Thank a rear seat with nearly as much legroom as a Toyota Avalon, as well as standard tri-zone climate control.

Helping the big hatch keep pace with traffic is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that mates to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination offers plenty of power for typical drivers. Still, the Arteon’s four-pot won’t keep up with the 365-hp V6 in the Kia Stinger GT. Hopefully, Volkswagen will introduce a more powerful variant of the car in the future.

Once the road turns twisty, the Arteon feels like an oversized Volkswagen Golf. No surprise, really, given that the Arteon rides on Volkswagen’s venerable MQB platform, which also underpins the Golf. The chassis allows for predictable dynamic responses and a quiet cabin.

The cabin is a bit of a bore to look at, but like other Volkswagen products, the Arteon’s insides benefit from high-end materials and build quality. Such niceties come at a cost, though, and the $35,845 Arteon sports the most expensive starting price in its class.

Is the Arteon worth the extra money over competing products? Watch the video to see what’s Greg Fink feels about Volkswagen’s latest addition to its U.S. model line.

Gallery: 2019 Volkswagen Arteon: U.S. First Drive

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