2021 Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Atlas Photos
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas provides the basics in a great big package. Anybody in search of a large, three-row family crossover will find a properly spacious one here. Each seating row is so large that you could comfortably fill the Atlas exclusively with 6-footers, while more of their luggage will be able to fit inside than in virtually every competitor. All this, and it’s both equipped and priced right in line with the main competition from Japan and the United States. Don’t come looking for traditional German refinement and quality, however, as VW prioritized real estate and cost over interior style and driving dynamics. None of the crossovers of this stature are especially enjoyable to drive, but the Atlas’ underpowered engines, cumbersome handling and high-seas ride quality put it toward the back of the pack. The interior is also a letdown. The design is boring, especially compared to more compelling interiors from the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, and even top-dollar trims offer little in the way of a premium environment (and little improvement over cheaper versions). Basically, function and value won over form in the Atlas. This being the case, we think the cheaper trims represent the Atlas at its strongest and would recommend those over one of the more expensive models. What's new for 2021? Volkswagen put the 2021 Atlas through the model’s first significant freshening this year. It gets revised styling with new bumpers that extend the Atlas’ total length by 3 inches. Yeah, it got even bigger. New LED lights in front and back further differentiate it from the 2020 Atlas. On the inside, VW gave it a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that adds WiFi and compatibility with VW’s smartphone app. Two driver assistance features — Travel Assist and Emergency Assist — are also made available for 2021. Not much has changed on the powertrain front, with the notable exception of VW adding an all-wheel-drive option for the standard 2.0-liter turbo engine. It’s also now the standard engine on every trim except for R-Line trims. Those will continue to come standard with the V6. What's the Atlas' interior and in-car technology like? Interior materials and overall ambiance are disappointing. There is classically austere German design and then there's just plain – the Atlas falls into the latter category. That's especially true in the lower trims, but even swapping out the silver plastic accent trim in the S (pictured above left) for the unusual wood-ish substance of the other trims (at right) doesn't snazz things up enough. The quality of plastics, particularly on the center console, is worse than what you'd find in rival SUVs. Upmarket interiors used to be a Volkswagen trademark. Today, it's space and value, which might be fine for many shoppers. In-car technology is a better situation. Even the base Atlas S includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a touchscreen that's easy to use and see, if a bit small at 6.5 inches. There are only two USB ports, however. Stepping …
Full Review
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas provides the basics in a great big package. Anybody in search of a large, three-row family crossover will find a properly spacious one here. Each seating row is so large that you could comfortably fill the Atlas exclusively with 6-footers, while more of their luggage will be able to fit inside than in virtually every competitor. All this, and it’s both equipped and priced right in line with the main competition from Japan and the United States. Don’t come looking for traditional German refinement and quality, however, as VW prioritized real estate and cost over interior style and driving dynamics. None of the crossovers of this stature are especially enjoyable to drive, but the Atlas’ underpowered engines, cumbersome handling and high-seas ride quality put it toward the back of the pack. The interior is also a letdown. The design is boring, especially compared to more compelling interiors from the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, and even top-dollar trims offer little in the way of a premium environment (and little improvement over cheaper versions). Basically, function and value won over form in the Atlas. This being the case, we think the cheaper trims represent the Atlas at its strongest and would recommend those over one of the more expensive models. What's new for 2021? Volkswagen put the 2021 Atlas through the model’s first significant freshening this year. It gets revised styling with new bumpers that extend the Atlas’ total length by 3 inches. Yeah, it got even bigger. New LED lights in front and back further differentiate it from the 2020 Atlas. On the inside, VW gave it a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that adds WiFi and compatibility with VW’s smartphone app. Two driver assistance features — Travel Assist and Emergency Assist — are also made available for 2021. Not much has changed on the powertrain front, with the notable exception of VW adding an all-wheel-drive option for the standard 2.0-liter turbo engine. It’s also now the standard engine on every trim except for R-Line trims. Those will continue to come standard with the V6. What's the Atlas' interior and in-car technology like? Interior materials and overall ambiance are disappointing. There is classically austere German design and then there's just plain – the Atlas falls into the latter category. That's especially true in the lower trims, but even swapping out the silver plastic accent trim in the S (pictured above left) for the unusual wood-ish substance of the other trims (at right) doesn't snazz things up enough. The quality of plastics, particularly on the center console, is worse than what you'd find in rival SUVs. Upmarket interiors used to be a Volkswagen trademark. Today, it's space and value, which might be fine for many shoppers. In-car technology is a better situation. Even the base Atlas S includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a touchscreen that's easy to use and see, if a bit small at 6.5 inches. There are only two USB ports, however. Stepping …
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Retail Price

$31,545 - $50,725 MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$695 - $2,079 Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
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Engine 2.0L I-4
MPG 21 City / 24 Hwy
Seating 7 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd w/OD
Power 235 @ 4500 rpm
Drivetrain front-wheel
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