The Volkswagen Atlas is a midsize, three-row crossover utility vehicle with room for seven. It replaced the Touareg, a high-priced model with limited appeal. The Atlas tops Volkswagen’s four utility vehicle range and is followed by the Atlas Cross Sport, Tiguan, and Taos. This model offers two engine choices and available all-wheel drive. It has one of the roomiest interiors across all three rows.
Chronicling the Changes
2023 – For its sixth model year, the Atlas is down to five grades –
SE, SE w/ Technology, SEL, SEL R-Line Black, and SEL Premium R-Line. For 2023, the SE w/ Technology grade gains the 10.25-inch fully configurable Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro.
2022 – Volkswagen drops the base S grade. The remaining changes cover amenities shuffling.
2021 – For its fourth model year, the Atlas receives a refreshening with updated front and rear fascias. Improved materials now dress the cabin. A two-row Atlas Cross Sport model debuts and is marketed separately.
2020 – A Wi-Fi hotspot and Volkswagen’s app suite are now standard.
2019 – For its second model year, the Atlas gains two additional R-Line grades. The remaining changes include broadening the available amenities.
2018 – The Volkswagen Atlas debuts, a midsize three-row crossover designed with American consumers in mind. Delivering room for seven, the Atlas comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6. The standard engine works with an 8-speed automatic transmission and is front-wheel-drive only. Meanwhile, the V6 comes paired with a 6-speed automatic, and sends power to the front or to all four wheels. Upon its introduction, the Atlas comes in five grades — S, SE, SE w/technology, SEL and SEL Premium.
First-Generation Volkswagen Atlas
Volkswagen Atlas Considerations
The Volkswagen Atlas navigates a crowded segment with nearly every manufacturer represented. One brand that is absent is Mitsubishi.
The list of competitors includes the Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and the GMC Acadia. Other models to consider include the Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, and the Mazda CX-9. The Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Kia Sorento are other models in this segment.
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