In case anyone doubt in Volkswagen’s determination to build a completely new midsize three-row crossover, today no one can say that they made a mistake. Even though we can’t really say it’s among the best in the class because it has to prove its quality eventually, we have to give a big applause for the all-new 2018 VW Atlas. It’s quite simple: Every three-row crossover has to have seats for at least seven people, but some of them can’t brag about the fact. The 2018 Atlas, however, fits two adults in its third row without a single problem. But don’t you think that’s all from VW’s new SUV because the high-riding vehicle is a lot more from a comfortable car.
2018 VW Atlas: Engine Options and Platform
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas draws power from two engines. The base model uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine which is rated at 235 hp and 258 pound-feet of torque. The mill is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
There is an optional V6 engine as well. It’s actually 3.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 capable of delivering up to 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. The unit is also mated to the 8-speed gearbox, though you can choose between front- and all-wheel drive.
The crossover is a rookie, but it rides on a pretty familiar platform. The MQB bones support plenty of VW’s and Audi’s, so we know it’s reliable, lightweight, and rigid enough. However, this doesn’t mean that the 2018 Atlas features a class leading fuel economy. On the contrary, the V6 can’t compete with Pilot’s V6 or the Mazda CX-9. Still, MPG numbers for the four-cylinder turbo are much better.
Design and Equipment
Exterior wise, the three-row SUV looks good, but not the best in class for sure. It features VW’s distinctive design with not too complicated body lines and usual cues in the front. The grille and headlights and connected and attractive, but the bumper is not too impressive at all. The headlights are full LED, yet in case you want LED lights in the rear, you will have to pay extra.
Like we said, the interior is very spacious. However, the 2018 VW Atlas’ cabin won’t win the beauty contest without any doubt. The German car manufacturer simply loves Passat’s dashboard. We know that because the crossover sports the same treatment inside. The center of the dash is occupied with Car-Net infotainment system, which is flanked by two air vents.
There are three trim levels S, SE, and SEL. Depending on what you choose, you will get either 6.5-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen. In addition, there are standard 18- and optional 20-inch wheels, as well as optional leather upholstery. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 6 speakers, cruise control are also a standard part of every Atlas, but you can always spend some extra money on extras such as navigation, power-folding outside mirrors, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel. Plus, there is some amazing equipment like Fender-branded audio system and 12.3-inch, a multi-configurable screen that comes in place of a standard instrument cluster.
The all-new 2018 VW Atlas is already available in dealerships across North America. Volkswagen set a base price pretty low at around $31,500, though, the topping SEL trim costs around $50K.