2018 Volkswagen Atlas Review, Specs and Release Date – The Volkswagen Atlas does little wrong, however it’s light on personality and a little low-rent inside—but it guzzles fuel. It’s worth having a look, but mostly rivals do more for less.
With its 2018 Atlas, Volkswagen finally features a mid-size three-row crossover, a family-friendly option that the dealers and buyers have long wanted.
Obtainable in S, SE, and SEL trim levels, the Atlas gets everything right in writing, nonetheless its execution leaves a little being desired. In the testing, it’s really a 6.4 out of 10, which puts it a hair above average.
We’ve knocked it down due to the lackluster fuel economy not offset by particularly impressive performance as well as an interior that feels low-rent in comparison to almost all rivals. On the other hand, it’s exceptionally roomy and versatile inside, and it is conservative looks should manage well.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Unlike VW’s previous crossover efforts, the Tiguan plus the Touareg, the new Atlas is a decidedly American-oriented model, a whole lot it to be built-in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Now, VW continues to be down this road before using its Passat, which was made for Americans and it is built alongside the Atlas. Whilst the Passat hasn’t exactly been a winner, the Atlas shoots to the fast-growing crossover SUV segment rather than the slowing sedan market.
The Volkswagen Atlas exists in five trim levels together with different options of 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or 3.6-liter V-6 engines mated to either front- or all-wheel drive, but only the V-6 is often ordered with winter weather-friendly AWD. At only shy of 200 inches from head to toe, it’s about the large side compared to its rivals, this includes the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Nissan Pathfinder.
The Atlas may just be the most significant vehicle to ride on VW’s new modular architecture, which underpins everything from the company’s Golf hatchback line on the next-generation Tiguan. Confusingly, our next Tiguan also hits the market during calendar year 2017 and this will offer three rows of seats, eventhough it has to be fair amount smaller compared to the Atlas.
Volkswagen Atlas styling and luxury
Stylistically, the Atlas shares more in common with the five-seat and a lot more Euro-oriented (and pricier) Touareg, although its flared fenders and a little more angular appearance have a whole lot in common with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Full LED headlights are standard on even the base model, but LED taillights take your choices list.
Inside, the Atlas’dashboard could easily are lifted on the Passat. VW’s Car-Net infotainment system takes center stage about the dashboard and it is flanked by some large air vents. The megabuck SEL Premium offers a full LCD instrument cluster, which displaces with conventional gauges for a multi-configurable screen.
All three rows in the Atlas offer better-than-average interior room. The other row slides fore and aft like for example most competitors, nevertheless the Atlas joins the Pathfinder in allowing youngsters seat to live in the other row when it is slid forward for accessibility rearmost seats. Which third row is reasonably roomy, providing what may be the most capacious accommodations rolling around in its class.
The Atlas’second row exists as the three-seat bench or as some captain’s chairs (for $650 extra), meaning it might seat either seven or six passengers subject to configuration.
S models feature cloth seats including a 6.5-inch touchscreen, nonetheless they do have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SE shoots for mainstream and adds leatherette upholstery with an 8.0-inch upgraded infotainment system. The SEL tops the lineup with much more features like a moonroof and automatic emergency braking, although a loaded model approaches $50,000. Additionally, an R-Line styling package is entirely on SE and SEL models to grant them a rather sportier look (but the package doesn’t actually improve performance as well as including its own 20-inch alloy wheels).
Volkswagen Atlas performance and safety
What’s beneath the hood isn’t much of a surprise in case you are familiar with the VW lineup. Base models employ a familiar 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine rated you’ll come to 238 horsepower. It’s the same powertrain we’ve seen in a number of other VW products, ranging through the Golf GTI all a way to huge Audi Q7 SUV (with that the Atlas shares very little).
That engine, however, is only mated to front-wheel drive, meaning it certainly is not gonna be a good seller within the places where snowfall is definitely a regular thing. That’s an odd decision, in the event you ask us, the way it significantly limits the Atlas’appeal—especially as all-wheel-drive business continues to grow.
Optional is definitely a 280 hp 3.6-liter V-6, which comes standard with front-drive and will be offering all-wheel drive for an option. All engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic no matter what drive wheels. Fuel economy definitely won’t be a feature; the V-6 all-wheel drive model is rated at 17 mpg city, 23 highway, 19 combined, since the front-wheel drive will come in at 18/25/20 mpg. The 4-cylinder wasn’t rated by your EPA.
We’ve only driven the V-6; it’s refined and muscular, can also be doesn’t match the thrust of the not compulsory twin-turbo V-6 in Ford’s Explorer Sport. The Atlas rides softly, even on its optional 20-inch alloy wheels, nevertheless it really remains composed when pushed hard into corners. Ultimately, the Atlas drives well, one of the better rolling around in its segment, deftly hiding its size and 4,500 pound girth.
What’s missing, and what needs to have set the Atlas apart from the rivals, is definitely a turbodiesel option. After VW admitted to cheating within the EPA’s emissions testing, the automaker pulled the plug on diesels here. While there’s a remote probability of a compliant diesel showing up within the automaker’s lineup down the road, we aren’t holding our breath.
The 2018 Atlas hasn’t yet been crash tested (we’ll update this space if it’s put from your full barrage of NHTSA and IIHS testing, however). Advanced security features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning come along the SE when using the Technology group and also SEL, but aren’t optional about the SE.
One standout safety feature stands out as the company’s post-collision braking tech, which automatically holds the brakes from collision to avoid the Atlas from moving when it’s hit by the second and even third vehicle.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Styling
Conservative all about, the Atlas looks muscular and generally hides its girth well.
Using its broad stance and wide fenders, the Volkswagen Atlas’appearance mostly lives up to its nameplate—at any rate outside. Inside, it’s simple and easy intuitive, and not especially memorable.
We’ve awarded it 6 points out associated with available 10, handing it out a supplementary above average because stylish exterior. It’s certainly not the level of vehicle which will have you ever camped out within the garage to stare at it, nevertheless Atlas does be prominent somewhat against its more bulbous rivals.
In advance, a broad grille (that, frankly, looks think itrrrs great may have been manufactured by Brinkmann) extends into standard LED headlamps, the touch. Below, a faux skid plate adds a little ruggedness certainly not saved within the Atlas’actual chance to explore parts less-known. Through the side, it’s more interesting, with a distinctive line that runs through the headlights or higher over the fenders, accentuating an imagine of girth.
At the rear, it’s extra generic besides the swathe of chrome trim that runs between tail lamps.
SEL Premium models come standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, while unique black wheels identical size are obtainable for a supplementary charge on SELs.
Inside, the Atlas has clean lines, but is really conservative. If he does not for the major 8.0-inch infotainment system hidden behind an unfortunately fingerprint-showing glass screen, it could actually attended out a decade ago or more. Things are arrayed for which you might expect, but there is however a definite not enough flair—even about the pricey SEL Premium, which only includes faux wood with an odd sheen and leather seats that feel more such as the vinyl standard on all but the base S trim.
SE models feel more price appropriate compared to a SEL, that could be priced as well as genuine luxury-grade crossovers such as the Acura MDX.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Performance
The Atlas won’t win a drag race, nevertheless it really drives small compared to its hefty size might suggest.
Relating to crossovers, especially those with seating for seven, it’s reliable advice that performance doesn’t sell. Nevertheless the Atlas could change that, with driving dynamics above class average plus a generally refined feel.
We’ve given it a supplementary point because general composure; it’s a player of little, but it’s also short on faults on the subject of the driving experience, bringing it to somewhat of a 6.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is standard on all purchases, although it certainly is not available with the S’Launch package or even the SEL’s Premium equipment group. Fundamentally the engined used within the brand’s Golf GTI hot-hatch, the 4-cylinder is rated at 235 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque, transport to entry wheels via an 8-speed automatic.
Oddly, there’s really no all-wheel drive version for the Atlas within this engine, a surprise given basically identical motor is green to all wheels in other VW Group items like the Audi Q7.
We’ve not yet driven the 4-cylinder Atlas.
The V-6 should are the reason for the bulk of sales. It’s paired with standard front- and optional all-wheel drive and utilizes the exact same 8-speed automatic. At 276 hp and 266 pound-feet, it’s a bit behind some rivals, a truth exacerbated by its hefty 4,500 pound curb weight (with all-wheel drive no options). The V-6 makes a smooth, almost silent companion, but it can take an outstanding stab within the gas pedal with many passengers aboard.
Underneath, the Atlas uses VW’s scalable MQB architecture; that looks like jargon, but what it really means tends to be that it is really vaguely related into the brand’s much smaller Golf GTI. Aging drive like one, however it is composed and refined although the majority of hustled hard proper corner. The Atlas’fully independent suspension soaks up bumps with aplomb and isn’t upset by undulating terrain. It really is confident and poised.
All-wheel drive designs include several traction control settings for dirt and winter, and all models feature user-configurable steering and drivetrain settings. The steering are generally adjusted for a bit more heft, although the transmission are generally developed to kick down just a little faster. It stops well short to be entertaining, there is however something being said about its overall composure.
The Atlas isn’t designed for off-road use beyond on occasional dirt road, but it is doing offer a great 8.0 inches of ground clearance. With the optional factory-installed towing package on V-6 models (it’s included on SELs), it’s rated to tug a hefty 5,000 pounds. Without that package and also a dealer-installed hitch, which does not include extra engine cooling, the Atlas is with a rating of 2,000 pounds. We’ve not even tried to tow with one, but 5,000 is a big figure in this segment.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Comfort & Quality
The Atlas is tops in the segment relating to second- and third-row space and access.
Relating to crossovers, comfort and convenience weigh heavily.
Here, the Volkswagen Atlas does quite well, offering terrific stretch-out space in the 3 rows and great cargo room—that’s four extra points. But we’ve taken one back for an interior that doesn’t feel worth the price of admission on top-tier models and excessive road noise on all. Final tally: 8 outside 10.
All versions come standard with seating for seven, including one minute row bench and 33 % row that folds away within the tug to a lever. Captain’s chairs for your second row are to the options list for $625. S models include cloth seats, while SEs and SELs can come with leatherette that does a luxury job of imitating real hide but is a bit toasty after sitting during the sun. The SEL Premium package includes actual leather, but it isn’t an extremely soft grade like some rivals include.
Front seat passengers have large thrones that include particularly good leg support on account of a cushion that stretches unusually long. Another row delivers crossed leg space and includes backrest adjustment that will be moved fore and aft. It splits inside of a 60/40 arrangement for items, and yes it pushes forward easily for having access to the remarkably spacious third row. Bonus: kids seat can remain during the Atlas’second row although the majority of it’s tipped forward for having access to the back. For families with at least two or three kids, this has become a feature.
We haven’t yet experienced the optional second row captain’s chairs, but they’re promising since they provide the exact same tip-forward convenience together with ability for little ones to slide in the middle each seats.
That third row is really tolerable for full-size adults. The cushion is low down and the trunk windows are up high, but for only some hours, an average-size adult can sit by there turn out to be fairly comfy. It’s among the Atlas’biggest selling points for families that routinely carry a full load of passengers aboard.
And it’s a good distraction from what’s otherwise a ho-hum interior. In the beginning, may well be a nice stitched-looking the top to the the dashboard, that is about where interesting materials stop. Leading doors involve some soft-touch surfaces, yet not the rears. Your feel is acceptable around $35,000 but an enormous step behind much above that, especially since an SEL is priced like an Acura MDX who has nice leather and real wood trim.
The two 18- and 20-inch tires let in a great deal of road rumble, especially in your second row. We’d like to see VW fit more sound insulation here since there’s little wind or engine noise; a quieter ride would profit the Atlas feel more like it’s worth its fairly hefty sticker price.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Safety
Regulators haven’t tested the Atlas yet, but higher-end models come with plenty of safety tech.
I cannot assign the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas a score for their safety since it hasn’t yet been tested by federal or independent agencies, however it lacks little with regards to available technology.
All purchases come standard along with a rearview camera and post-collision braking that automatically holds the vehicle positioned after it detects a wreck. Additionally, expected features like six airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control are, as expected, portion of the package.
Atlas SE and above designs include an upgraded rearview camera with dynamic guide lines that can help backing up.
Sadly, VW hasn’t followed Toyota’s model of making some important features standard, however, for around $40,000, the SE’s Technology Package includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, along with an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Those features are standard to the SEL.
All purchases offer decent visibility with relatively narrow roof pillars and a belt line that’s on our prime side but doesn’t seem to penetrate the way. Over-the-shoulder visibility rearward is additionally good, aided by headrests that tuck down low if not in use.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Features
The Atlas is pricey for the achievements, but it is tops in tech and warranty.
Although it’s cheap in the bottom end, the Atlas approaches luxury-grade pricing yet not a high-end feel as soon as a few desirable options lopped on.
We’ve given it a particular extra point because of its above average infotainment system and another extra point because of its outstanding warranty, bringing it with a 7 outside of 10.
It’s available in three basic trims—S, SE, SEL—with a few option packages.
The tl;dr version? The you to definitely buy this can be a Atlas SE with the Technology Package, consisting of some important family-oriented safety tech that’s now standard on a few rivals. Having a V-6, all-wheel drive, and captain’s chairs in the second row, it’s $40,440.
But this is the more detailed breakdown:
The Atlas S includes a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 6 speakers, cruise control, LED headlights, plus the expected power windows and locks. It starts at $31,42, including a mandatory $925 destination charge. A V-6 engine adds $1,400, while all-wheel drive (which necessitates the V-6) bumps that figure to $34,625.
Following that, the high-volume Atlas SE 4-cylinder, front-wheel drive stickers for $34,515 with automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, blind spot monitors, rear cross traffic alert, a proximity key, leatherette seats, an electricity driver’s seat, heated front seats, and three more USB ports (for a full of four). The SE doesn’t include the moonroof, which is the price difference between it plus the Launch package.
An optional SE Technology package adds $2,000, but includes valuable features like automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, along with an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Topping the lineup would be the SEL at $40,085, which back the power panoramic moonroof, plus an electricity tailgate, an 8-way power passenger seat, memory for that driver’s seat, front and rear park distance control, and a trailer hitch.
The SEL is optionally available which has a Premium package that tops out at $49,415. It adds leather upholstery, navigation, power-folding outside mirrors, heated rear seats, a heated rim, a Fender-branded sound system, ventilated front seats, a surround-view camera, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a trick 12.3-inch, multi-configurable screen that replaces the standard instrument cluster.
On SE and SELs, captain’s chairs can replace the three-seat rear bench for $625.
Despite trim, the Atlas has a generous warranty from Volkswagen. Its comprehensive warranty covers the Atlas for 6 years or 72,000 miles, whichever comes first, and it is transferable beyond the first owner.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Fuel Economy
At merely 19 mpg combined, the VW Atlas will not move the bar forward concerning fuel efficiency.
The most famous configuration with the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas offers several of the worst gas mileage to use class, something that’s hard for us to ignore.
We’ve scored it a 5 outside of 10, where most rivals appear in a minimum of a place higher.
That’s considering that the Atlas V-6 with all-wheel drive, which work better best seller, is estimated by VW at a not-so-good 17 mpg city, 23 highway, 19 combined.
The story’s slightly better with front-wheel drive: 18/25/20 mpg. All of the figures are estimated by VW and are generally pending EPA certification. Do not yet know EPA figures for that 4-cylinder, but it surely should improve things a bit.
To its credit, the Atlas comes standard which has a start-stop system that cuts out the engine at traffic lights to avoid wasting fuel minimizing emissions. The system works silently, additionally it dials back the air con compressor, something you’ll notice over a hot day. This crossover also runs on regular unleaded fuel, which helps save a couple of dollars on the pump.
Essential VW was wishing for another story here; the Atlas was largely conceived and developed in advance of VW’s admission that it willfully cheated emissions tests which consists of turbodiesel engines in the U.S. Such a train locomotive would have elevated the Atlas to 30 mpg—if not more—to the highway.
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