2021 Volkswagen Atlas Prices, Reviews, and Pictures


The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is a boxy SUV with a cavernous interior and a practical appearance. This has been a hallmark of SUVs for many decades. The Atlas is also one of the largest mid-sized crossovers. It has a huge footprint which allows for three rows of spacious seating. VW wanted the Atlas to feel like a hospital room. However, it offsets that bland aesthetic with lots of desirable features. The front- and all-wheel-drive SUVs come with a pair of quiet engines that provide drive motivation. The 2021 has a variety of standard driver assistance and confident handling characteristics, but you shouldn’t expect the Atlas’ to be as exciting or as sophisticated as the best in this segment.

What’s new for 2021?

VW updates the 2021 Atlas with new front- and rear fascias, which increase the SUV’s length by nearly three inches. The front is enhanced with a three-bar grille and revised headlights, which now have standard LED elements. Special badges, a body kit and 20- or 21 inch rims are available for models with the R-Line option. You’ll find the latest version of VW’s Car Net smartphone app, a new steering column, updated stitching, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen on SE and SEL models. For the first time, the four-cylinder Atlas now comes with all-wheel drive.

Pricing and Which One To Buy

The 2021 Atlas is slightly more expensive than the model last year. We recommend the V-6-powered SE with Technology package. For $1900, those who desire 4Motion all-wheel driving can purchase it. The example we have includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, remote start, adaptive cruise control and three-zone climate control. We’d also add the second row captain’s chairs, and the tow hitch, which unlocks the Atlas’s maximum towing weight of 5000lbs.

Performance, Transmission and Engine

You can choose from either a 235-hp four cylinder or a 276 hp V-6 engine for your Atlas. Each engine comes with either front- or rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 sounds and feels refined. It transmits hardly any shiver into its cabin. Although the V-6 and four-cylinder models that we have tested had average acceleration on the road, the V-6 felt very powerful. Although it isn’t as fun to drive as the Mazda CX-9 Mazda Atlas, it responds well to steering inputs and doesn’t feel clumsy. It’s composed on the highway, but agile in the city. It is comfortable and absorbs all potholes.

Fuel Economy and Real World MPG

Although the Atlas’s fuel economy ratings aren’t exceptional for big-box family haulers of this size, its real-world performance is comparable to that of other segments. The front-wheel-drive variant of the four-cylinder model scores ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway. The V-6 model, which is more fuel-intensive, has a rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 highway with front-wheel drives and 16 mpg in the city and 22 highway with all-wheel drives. On our 200-mile test route, both the V-6 and four-cylinder models outperformed their EPA ratings. The V-6 Atlas returned 24 MPG, while the four-cylinder model produced 27 MPG.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo

The Atlas is a practical and family-friendly vehicle, with a simple control layout and a large number of cupholders. This makes it a great choice amongst other practical competitors. A third row of seats can be used to comfortably seat full-size adults, which is a huge plus. The Atlas’s interior design is simple and functional. It’s perfect for families, but not so much for style aficionados. You can store small items in the well-placed storage spaces. The cabin is large enough to accommodate suburban families. We were impressed by the Atlas’ ability to fit four carry-on suitcases behind its third row and 38 behind its first row, just like the huge Honda Pilot.

Infotainment & Connectivity

The Atlas is ready to entertain, no matter what trim you choose. The touchscreen interface is as intuitive as a smartphone’s and responsive. Base S models have a 6.5 inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability, six-speaker stereo system, Bluetooth phone, audio connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot and a USB port. Upgrade to the SE and SEL models to get an infotainment screen that is 8.0 inches. Three additional USB ports are located in the center console. SiriusXM satellite radio, two speakers, and three more USB ports make it a larger display.

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