We Drove the Updated Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Launched in 2018, the Volkswagen Atlas introduced itself as a midsize crossover capable of seating seven passengers, followed by the introduction of its five-passenger counterpart, the Atlas Cross Sport, in 2020. The 2024 iterations of the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport have been updated with new front and rear designs, alongside an updated engine, setting them apart in a highly competitive market with their notably spacious interiors and substantial storage capabilities. Our review, however, covers the two-seat model.

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front three-quarter view

2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport

The refreshed Atlas Cross Sport boasts new exterior styling enhancements and now comes equipped with standard driver-assistance technologies. The previous V6 engine has been replaced by a more efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

For 2024, the Atlas Cross Sport lineup features five primary trims, each offering unique features and pricing:

SE: Starting at $36,895

Standard features include a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available for an additional $1,900.

SE with Technology Package: Priced at $41,090

Adds advanced technological features to the base SE trim. Front-wheel drive remains standard, with the option for all-wheel drive at an extra cost.

Dashboard. 2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport.

SEL: At $47,870

Upgrades include enhanced interior and exterior features over the SE trims. Standard front-wheel drive with an all-wheel-drive option available.

SEL R-Line: Offered at $49,320

Sports visual enhancements and additional luxury features compared to the SEL. Maintains the standard front-wheel drive option with the possibility to upgrade to all-wheel drive.

SEL R-Line Premium: The top tier, priced at $51,880

The most luxurious option in the lineup, featuring all the bells and whistles. Unlike other trims, this one comes with all-wheel drive as standard.

Each trim is subject to a $1,425 destination fee. Additionally, for those interested in more space, the three-row Atlas variant is available, generally at a $1,010 premium across most trim levels, ensuring a wide range of options to suit different needs and preferences.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front seats
2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear seats

Cutting-Edge Exterior

Externally, the Cross Sport impresses with its design, closely mirroring the three-row Atlas but with a distinctive sloped roofline that adds to its elegance and bold presence. It features a striking grille, enhanced by sophisticated lighting elements, a wide hood, and robust pillars, alongside wraparound rear lighting for a complete look. Sporty elements such as 20- or 21-inch wheels and integrated exhaust tips add to its allure.

Cavernous Interior

The interior of the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport has undergone a significant update, enhancing both its appeal and functionality. The design strategy focuses on maximizing space and comfort, ensuring ample room without compromising the sleeker profile’s headroom. This approach extends to cargo capacity, where the Atlas Cross Sport excels with 40.3 cubic feet of space behind the second row, expanding to a substantial 77.8 cubic feet when the seats are folded. This surpasses the storage offered by competitors, such as the Ford Edge, emphasizing the vehicle’s practicality.

The 2024 brings forrth upscale features, including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and a digital gauge cluster. These enhancements create a comfortable and convenient driving experience, tailored to the needs of contemporary users.
Despite the common trade-off in SUV “coupes” where a sloping roofline usually means less cargo space, the Atlas Cross Sport manages to combine its sporty silhouette with ample cargo capacity. The rear seat headroom and legroom are notably spacious, ensuring this midsize SUV is as functional as it is visually appealing.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport profile

Tech Choices

In terms of technology and safety, the Atlas line includes two audio setups: a standard six-speaker system and a 12-speaker Harmon-Kardon option exclusive to the SEL Premium R-Line. It supports SiriusXM with 360L from the SE w/ Technology trim, requiring a subscription. The touchscreen display, though initially complex, is made user-friendly with voice control. Volkswagen’s Car-Net services enhance connectivity, while the IQ-Drive safety package offers comprehensive driver-assist features across all models.

Volkswagen outfits every trim level of its vehicles with the IQ-Drive safety package, a comprehensive suite of features designed to enhance driver and passenger safety. This package utilizes advanced technology, including front and rear cameras as well as radar systems, to provide a robust array of standard safety features. Among these are forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capabilities, lane-keeping assistance, and blind-spot monitoring, ensuring a well-protected driving experience.

Powertrain Upgrade

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s performance is enhanced by its updated 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 269 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine offers a significant improvement in both power and efficiency compared to its predecessors.

VW Atlas Cross Sport Engine

It also features a towing capacity starting at 2,000 pounds, which can increase to 5,000 pounds with the right equipment. Available in both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive configurations, the Atlas Cross Sport delivers competitive performance within its segment.

On the Road

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport impresses with its turbocharged engine, which provides confident and smooth power delivery, a hallmark of Volkswagen’s driving experience. Despite its stature as one of the largest in its class, it maintains the distinctive driving satisfaction associated with the brand, offering responsive acceleration, nimble handling, and lag-free power delivery thanks to Volkswagen Group’s engineering prowess. The all-wheel-drive option enhances stability, ensuring commendable performance across various conditions, even if it doesn’t reach the complexity of Audi’s quattro system.

Driving the Atlas Cross Sport reveals an SUV that’s effortlessly maneuverable, with notable highway ride comfort and cabin quietness that align with segment expectations. Comparing it directly with the larger, three-row Atlas highlights its slightly easier parking due to a five-inch reduction in length, though both models share a similar driving character. These attributes, combined with its effective noise insulation and robust highway performance, underline the Atlas Cross Sport’s position as a comfortable and capable contender in the SUV market.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear three-quarter view

VW Atlas Cross Sport Takeaways

Volkswagen continues to make a name for itself in the ultra-competitive midsize crossover utility vehicle space. With two similar models offered, this automaker covers both bases effectively. What you won’t find, though, is an electrified variant such as offered in the Hyundai Santa Fe (two rows) or the Toyota Highlander (three rows).

Beyond the base model, there is plenty to choose from when considering the Atlas Sport. We’re partial to the technology package that is available with the SEL, adding desirable features most customers want. On the other hand, springing for the $1,900 all-wheel drive upgrade only makes sense for customers who live in snow country. In any case, the 2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport may offer the best arrangement in its segment, a successful counterpart to the standard Atlas.

See AlsoAbout the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas

Photos copyright the Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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