The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the first three-row SUV from Volkswagen and it can seat up to seven passengers. Since its reveal last year, we managed to get some seat time behind the wheel of VW’s mid-size hauler and log plenty of miles too.
Here are seven cool things about the Atlas, which makes it a big winner for VW fans and us.
1. It’s not a diesel—at least not here in the U.S. Instead, the Atlas packs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Available as an option is a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that makes 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission.
2. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard; Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system (AWD) is available as an option on the V-6. There’s a fuel-economy penalty—22 city/26 highway for the four-cylinder Atlas versus 17 city/23 highway for the AWD V-6 and 18 city/25 highway for the V-6 FWD—but V-6 versions can to tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the four can only pull 2,000.
3. Inside, the Atlas is spacious with three rows of seats–enough to fit six adults and one kid or large pet. The third row folds down to increase luggage space and allow the second row to slide rearwards to offer limousine-like legroom. Total passenger volume is 153.7 cubic feet and maximum cargo volume is 96.8 cubic feet.
4. The Atlas is the largest vehicle yet built on Volkswagen’s scalable MQB architecture, which underpins most other Volkswagens, including the Mk7 Golf and the new Tiguan.
5. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit is awesome, but is offered only on the SEL Premium Atlas. It offers a customizable display of vehicle data and a 12.3-inch display screen. It’s second only to the similar system offered by Audi—that offers slightly better map graphics than the ones found in the VW.
6. At 4.46 feet by 2.85 feet, the panoramic sunroof is breathtaking, but only available on the top two SEL trims. However, LED headlights, cruise control, rearview camera, roof rails, and power door mirrors are standard on all five trim levels—S, SE, SE w/technology, SEL, and SEL Premium.
7. The Atlas is assembled in Chattanooga, Tennessee and our 2.0T SE model’s engine is from Mexico and its transmission is from Japan. Volkswagen sold 27,119 of them last year. Base prices range from $30,750 up to 33,950 and can go way up from there depending on packages ordered.
|2018 Volkswagen Atlas Specifications|
|PRICE||$30,750, $32,150, and 33,950 (base)|
|ENGINE||2.0L DOHC 16-valve Turbo I-4/235 hp @ 4,500 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm; 3.6L 24-valve V-6/276 hp @6,200, 266 lb-ft @2,750|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 7-passenger, front-engine, FWD, AWD SUV|
|EPA MILEAGE||22/26 mpg, 17/23, and 18/25 (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||198.3 x 78.3 x 70.0 in|
|WEIGHT||4,222 lb, 4,336 lb, and 4,502 lb|
|0-60 MPH||7.5 sec|
|TOP SPEED||135 mph|