Thursday, July 29, 2021

2021 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0T SE: The Brand’s Three Row Crossover

                                                               A photo of the Atlas SEL

Highlight: Volkswagen offers its customers the best bumper-to-bumper warranty in the industry. And unlike some other brands, the warranty is transferable, when it is retailed as a used vehicle.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $35,915 (Base model: $32,565)

Seating Capacity: 7

Standard Safety Features: air bags; a rearview camera; a post collision automatic braking system; blind spot monitor; a rear traffic alert system; an electric parking brake; rain sensing windshield wipers; front assist and a tire pressure monitoring system

                                                   photo of an Atlas SEL

Standard Equipment S: 18-inch wheels roof rails; front wheel drive

cloth seats; manually front seats; a manually operated seat control system; fold flat second and third row bench seats; a dual zone automatic climate control system; a manually operated liftgate; VW Car Net App; manual adjustable headlights; and a 6.5-inch infotainment screen

Standard Equipment SE: leather-like seats; a 10-way power driver’s seat; second row center armrest with integrated cup holders; keyless access doors; a tri-zone automatic climate control system; an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system; and a wireless charging system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: None

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 6 years or 72,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 72,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo/235-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/25-hwy

Towing: 2,000 lbs

What’s New: VW’s flagship crossover joined the line up in 2018. For the 2021 model year, the front and rear has been restyled. Also the vehicle has enhanced with a host of interior upgrades.

                                                         An interior of an Atlas SEL


Available with two powertrains, a 4-cylinder and a 6-cylinder engine

Available in a variety of trims

Seven passenger seating

Easy access to the second and third row seating

Second row seats slide forward, which creates additional room for third row occupants

Front wheel drive and an all-wheel drive availability

Optional bucket seats available in second row seating area

An upgraded 12-speaker audio system

Independent suspension system and other components improves the ride and handling of the Atlas

Easy to use touchscreen infotainment system

A smartphone can be used via VW’s Car-Net system to unlock and lock the doors, check the service health of the vehicle, etc.

A stop-and-go gas saving feature (unlike other vehicles, the feature can be deactivated)

A host of semi-autonomous driving features are available on Atlas depending on the trim

An optional navigation system



An automatic headlight system is not available on the base S model

The Atlas can achieve up to 370 miles on a full tank of gas with the 6-cylinder. VW should enhance the mpg, making it comparable to the competitors

When the third row headrests are in use, the driver’s view is limited

Verdict:  Since the arrival of the Atlas in 2018, its been a hit for the brand. Volkswagen has made great strides in reinventing itself, since the diesel debacle. This Passat-based three-row crossover has been a worthy competitor in this established segment. It’s roomy. It’s a great road vehicle. It’s available with a choice of powertrains. And more importantly, the Atlas is a true seven seater vehicle, unlike many of its segment competitors.  

Competition: Chevy Traverse; Dodge Durango; Ford Explorer; Honda Pilot Hyundai Santa Palisade; Kia Sorento; Kia Telluride;  Mazda CX-9; Subaru Ascent; and Toyota Highlander

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