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Top Features of Base Model
- Excellent cargo room
- Flexible seating for up to seven
- Standard safety includes forward collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert
- Second-row seats can tilt and slide forward even with a child seat in place
Volkswagen Atlas: Everything You Need to Know
About the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas:
The Volkswagen Atlas is a three-row midsize crossover SUV. It's also the German brand’s largest vehicle. Designed for the U.S. market which favors larger vehicles, the Atlas is built in Tennessee.
A competitive entry to the segment, the VW Atlas offers plenty of functionality, space, and technology. With room for up to seven passengers, the Atlas is slated to add a smaller five-seat Atlas Cross Sport to its lineup in 2019.
What’s New in the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas?
Introduced as a 2018 model, the 2019 VW Atlas does not receive big changes, but it does get a few trim-specific updates. The Atlas comes in seven trims: S, SE, SE with Technology, SE with Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium.
- Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning with automatic braking are standard on all models.
- Standard features now include automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and heated outside mirrors.
- SE models add tri-zone automatic climate control as standard, while SE with Technology vehicles add two new options: 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and an extended sunroof.
- SEL models get more standard tech with Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, Media Control, and Discover Media navigation. LED taillights and a heated steering wheel are now standard as well.
- Kurkuma Yellow and Titanium Beige are replaced with Pacific Blue and Terra Brown.
What Does the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas Compete With?
The VW Atlas competes with the following models:
With three rows of seating, the VW Atlas is ideal for families or anyone needing room for passengers and storage. The mid-level SE trims offer the best value thanks to a standard V6 engine and plenty of features without the premium price tag.
Exterior Design of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas
Compared to its segment peers, the VW Atlas has a brawnier, yet bland appearance. There are no odd character lines or chrome where the front grille should be. The beauty of the Atlas, it seems, lies in how pleasant its design is to the average buyer.
The standard 18-inch aluminum wheels can be upgraded to 20-inch silver or black wheels. The former is standard on the R-Line, SE with Technology and SEL models or optional on non-R-Line vehicles. The latter is an option on SEL and SEL Premium models. An even larger 21-inch wheel-and-tire set is available on the SEL Premium.
LED headlights (standard) and LED taillights (standard starting with the SEL) make for a cool look. The black aluminum wheels give the Atlas an aggressive stance, but only the R-Line models really have any sort of flair. This performance-oriented appearance package includes 20-inch silver wheels as well as specific badging, sporty air intakes on the front bumper, a glossy black rear bumper diffuser, and side skirts.
Also, since function is favored over form, roof rails are standard on all Atlas vehicles. SEL models and above also are equipped with a trailer hitch and extra-large sunroof at no additional cost. SE with Technology – with or without the R-Line package – can come with a sunroof as extra.
To be fair, nothing in VW’s current lineup is worthy of a longing glance or lingering stare. Even the Beetle will cease production in July 2019. Volkswagen does redeem itself with cool colors, like the new Pacific Blue and Terra Brown metallic paints. But as the sages say, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts.”
Interior Style in the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas
The simple design strokes that give the Atlas a Plain Jane exterior look continue into the cabin. The clean lines give way to modest trim on the dash and a center console that has an appropriate ratio of knobs, buttons, and touchscreen.
The low and high end of the Atlas lineup receive either cloth or leather seats. The rest of the model line comes with leatherette upholstery. A second-row bench seat is standard for a 2-3-2 seating configuration. Captain’s chairs (i.e., bucket seats) can be optioned on all but the entry-level S.
Unless there is a semi-regular demand for seven seats, splurging for second-row Captain’s chairs will make for a more comfortable ride for passengers, provide easier access to the third row, and still offer flexibility with cargo.
All second-row seat types can tilt and slide with up to 7.7 inches of range. This functionality is not sacrificed even with a child seat installed. Three car seats can fit across the bench seat. But note that the VW Atlas received a “marginal” score from IIHS regarding its LATCH system’s ease of use.
Like other vehicles in its class, the third row is cozier than it is spacious. Although a flexible second row affords more legroom, taller passengers will find the last row useful beyond a short ride. Cargo capacity, however, is ample.
The VW Atlas has a more usable and spacious interior than its competitors whether seats are up or folded down. The Honda Pilot does list more cubic feet behind the first row, but not without stating that the seats must be in their “forward-most and upright” positions. On the road, this won’t be a comfortable or practical seating position for most drivers.
Still, the Atlas has plenty of space and storage for tykes, teens, and their toys. For empty nesters and pet parents, the Atlas can mean more adventures and less worrying about space.
What Technology Comes in the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas?
The VW Atlas may be limited in terms of options packages, but offers a wide selection of tech. Bluetooth and smartphone integration are standard on all models as are media touchscreens of varying sizes.
Optional features include:
- 8.0-inch touchscreen interface system with smart navigation
- Volkswagen Digital Cockpit
- Twelve-speaker premium audio system
- Heated and cooled front seats
- Tri-zone automatic climate control
- VW Car-Net app-based vehicle settings control system
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas?
Standard safety features include a rear camera, a tire pressure monitoring system, Intelligent Crash Response (ICR) and Automatic Post-Collision Braking. In the event of a crash, the ICR system will shut off the fuel pump, unlock doors and activate the hazard lights. Post-collision braking applies the brakes when airbag sensors detect a collision. The system is meant to reduce further damage from further impacts.
Newly standard are driver-assistance features like blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and forward collision warning. Available starting with the SE with Technology trim are adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, high beam control, an overhead 360-degree camera view and parking assist.
What is the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas Like to Drive?
The VW Atlas is available with two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6. The four-cylinder produces 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Only the front-wheel-drive base S model is equipped with this engine. All others, including those with all-wheel drive, receive the V6. This engine is rated at 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque.
Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. But the Atlas is one of the heaviest three-row crossovers, which puts its fuel economy numbers in the middle of the segment.
Our test vehicle was a well-equipped SEL Premium AWD and its handling was well mannered. The transmission provided smooth shifts and accelerated with little fuss onto highway on-ramps and when overtaking slower traffic. Some lower-end torque would be nice, but that’s more a personal quibble than an Atlas flaw.
Along the hilly and curvy portions of the drive route, the Atlas had some body roll, but keep in mind that it is shaped like a big box. Overall, the vehicle handled itself with composure. It absorbed bumps with poise.
Steering feel also was precise. And should you want to be fully engaged in the driving experience, driver-assistance systems can be disabled. For example, we found the lane keep assist to be overly eager to help. This and other settings can be managed via the digital cockpit. With up to four driver settings, the 12.3-inch display is a vast upgrade over conventional analog dials.
Should I Buy a 2019 Volkswagen Atlas?
Although one of the newer kids in the crossover class, the VW Atlas is well designed. Offering one of the better all-around packages in the segment, the Atlas would make a solid addition to any household needing lots of seats and cargo space.
Keep in mind, though, that while the higher trim levels do offer heated rear seats, the Atlas SE with Technology is the best-selling model. Staying below $40,000, this mid-level trim still offers a fair amount of safety and convenience features, such as adaptive cruise control, heated front seats and a power liftgate.
Should I buy a Used Volkswagen Atlas? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
With only two years under its belt, the VW Atlas is still relatively new. Since its debut, the features remain the same but are merely packaged differently from trim to trim.
How Much Does the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas Cost?
Prices start at $30,895 for the entry-level S FWD model and up to $48,395 for the top-of-the-line SEL Premium AWD. Captain’s Chairs are a $695 option.
Pros and Cons of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas
- Cargo volume
- Configurable seating
- Simplified trim/features structure
- Competitive price
- Driving manners
- Boring design
- Touchscreen without sensory feedback
- Third-row is kid-friendly only
- OK fuel efficiency compared to the segment
The History of Volkswagen Atlas: Two Years of Atlas
Debuting in 2013 as the CrossBlue concept vehicle, the Volkswagen Atlas entered showrooms in spring of 2017. Built on Volkswagen’s Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) platform, the Atlas is the biggest vehicle ever produced by VW.
The Atlas is assembled alongside the Passat midsize sedan in the company's only U.S. plant. In October 2018, the manufacturing plant produced the 100,000th Atlas, which was a Pacific Blue SEL Premium model.
Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas
- Body Style
- Sport Utility
- 2.0L TSI I-4 DOHC 16-Valve Turbocharged
- 235 hp
- 8-Speed Automatic w/Tiptronic
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Back Up Camera
- Blind Spot Sensor
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L TSI I-4 DOHC 16-Valve Turbocharged -inc: direct fuel injection and start/stop system
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic w/Tiptronic
- 3.60 Axle Ratio
- Standard Suspension
- GVWR: 2,550 kgs (5,622 lbs)
- Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 1213# Maximum Payload
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 18.6 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
- Wheels: 18" 5-Spoke
- Tires: 18" All-Season
- Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Metal-Look Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Metal-Look Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
- Black Bodyside Cladding and Black Wheel Well Trim
- Chrome Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding and Turn Signal Indicator
- Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper and Defroster
- Deep Tinted Glass
- Rain Detecting Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Lip Spoiler
- Black Grille w/Chrome Accents
- Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
- Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
- Roof Rack Rails Only
- Programmable Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Daytime Running Auto-Leveling Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Radio: Composition Color w/6.5" Touchscreen -inc: AM/FM radio w/USB input, 6-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity (for compatible devices), VW Car-Net app-connect smartphone integration and interface (w/Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink) and capability for in-vehicle 4G LTE enabled Wi-Fi (cellular data plan required; includes limited trial) and capability for VW Car-Net services (capabilities for certain services vary; requires enrollment or subscription)
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
- Audio Theft Deterrent
- Streaming Audio
- Window Grid Diversity Antenna
- 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
- Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way manual driver's seat w/height adjustment and 4-way manual passenger seat
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Split-Bench Front Facing Manual Reclining Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat w/Manual Fore/Aft
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Altimeter, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows and Fixed 3rd Row Windows
- VW Car-Net Hotspot Mobile Hotspot Internet Access
- Fixed 50-50 Split-Bench 3rd Row Seat Front, 2 Manual and Adjustable Head Restraints
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Valet Function
- Power Fuel Flap Locking Type
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 4 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry and Panic Button
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Manual Air Conditioning
- Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Headliner/Pillar Ducts and Console Ducts
- Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look/Piano Black Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look/Piano Black Door Panel Insert, Piano Black Console Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Cloth Door Trim Insert
- Urethane Gear Shift Knob
- Cloth Seating Surfaces
- Day-Night Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front And Rear Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Cargo Features -inc: Spare Tire Mobility Kit
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
- Covered Dashboard Storage, Refrigerated/Cooled Box Located In The Glovebox, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins and 1st Row Underseat Storage
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Front And Rear 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Redundant Digital Speedometer
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Seats w/Cloth Back Material
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
- 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
- Engine Immobilizer
- 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot Sensor
- FCW w/Autonomous Emergency Braking and Rear Traffic Alert
- Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Side Curtain Protection Curtain 1st, 2nd And 3rd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Power Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera