The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas supplies the fundamentals in a considerable large bundle. Anyone in chase of a giant, three-row ancestors crossover will acquisition a appropriately ample one right here. Anniversary basement row is so ample that you would calmly ample the Atlas alone with 6-footers, whereas added of their baggage will be capable of match central than in about each competitor. All this, and it’s each ready and priced applicable in band with the capital antagonism from Japan and the US.
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Don’t seem engaging for acceptable German clarification and high quality, nevertheless, as VW prioritized absolute acreage and quantity over autogenous look and lively dynamics. Not one of the crossovers of this skill are abnormally agreeable to drive, however the Atlas’ underpowered engines, cumbersome administration and high-seas journey affection put it towards the aback of the pack. The autogenous is moreover a letdown. The structure is boring, abnormally in comparison with added acute interiors from the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, and alike top-dollar trims motion little in the best way of a distinctive ambiance (and little advance over cheaper variations). Mainly, motion and quantity gained over anatomy within the Atlas. This actuality the case, we anticipate the cheaper trims symbolize the Atlas at its arch and would acclaim these over one of many added big-ticket fashions.
Volkswagen put the 2021 Atlas by the mannequin’s aboriginal cogent awakening this 12 months. It will get revised administration with new bumpers that stretch the Atlas’ absolute breadth by Three inches. Yeah, it acquired alike larger. New LED lights in superior and aback added differentiate it from the 2020 Atlas. On the within, VW gave it a brand new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment association that provides WiFi and affinity with VW’s smartphone app. Two disciplinarian abetment look — Journey Abetment and Emergency Abetment — are moreover fabricated accessible for 2021.
Not considerable has troubled on the powertrain entrance, with the notable barring of VW abacus an all-wheel-drive benefit for the accepted 2.0-liter turbo engine. It’s moreover now the accepted agent on each trim apart from R-Line trims. These will abide to look accepted with the V6.
Inside abstracts and all-embracing ambiance are disappointing. There may be classically ascetic German structure and once more there’s aloof obvious – the Atlas avalanche into the closing class. That is abnormally correct within the decrease trims, however alike swapping out the argent synthetic emphasis trim within the S (pictured aloft left) for the irregular wood-ish actuality of the added trims (at proper) would not snazz issues up sufficient. The love of plastics, decidedly on the centermost console, is worse than what you’d acquisition in battling SUVs. Upmarket interiors acclimated to be a Volkswagen trademark. At present, it is amplitude and worth, which skill be completed for abounding buyers.
In-car know-how is an even bigger scenario. Alike the abject Atlas S contains Apple CarPlay and Android Auto extra a touchscreen that is accessible to make use of and see, if a bit child at 6.5 inches. There are alone two USB ports, nevertheless. Stepping as much as the SE trim provides an added three USB ports, accent radio and the anew tailored 8-inch MIB3 infotainment display. That is the infotainment bearings for all of the excessive trim ranges, admitting the SEL does avowal the Volkswagen Agenda Cockpit that replaces the accepted barometer array with one agenda show. It may simulate authorised gauges, or abbreviate them to look a ample aeronautics map, audio interface or added show.
The Atlas is gigantic, and VW fabricated it Three inches finest this 12 months. Fairly merely, should you allegation added amplitude than this, you completely settle for no finest however to go along with a minivan or a full-size SUV like a Ford Expedition. Alike the Chevrolet Traverse, which surpasses the Atlas in finest dimensions, is not so considerable larger to completely matter. (Word that there’s moreover the Atlas Cross Sport that seats 5, and is beneath in breadth and top. We evaluation individually)
The Atlas has a seven-passenger lodging with extra row financial institution basement for 3 throughout, or captain’s chairs with a six-person capability. We have activated examples with the bench, which is 60/40-split and slides added forward and aft than these of opponents. This lets you accompany accouchement in automotive seats afterpiece to mother and pop, or chargeless up alike added third-row legroom. They moreover acquiesce for a considerable past pass-through to the third row than added crossovers can handle.
Not alone is it simpler to get into the Atlas’ third row, it’s added ample already you get aback there. As we element within the video above, addition 6-foot-Three has added than considerable head- and legroom within the third row. True, you apparently will not be lodging NBA level guards aback there, however whoever is in the best way aback will probably be beneath awkward and aloof about happier.
As for burden capability, as you may see in our luggage evaluation video beneath, the Atlas’ 20.6 cubic-feet of amplitude abaft that aloft third row accustomed us to bundle three attache curler suitcases, one mid-size check-in attache and an temporary bag. Not one of the added three-row crossovers we have baggage activated settle for akin it. In settlement of finest burden amplitude with all rows lowered, its 96.Eight cubic-feet is alone outdone by the Traverse (barely), minivans, and people full-size SUVs.
Paired with each front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, the abject 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder agent (2.0T) produces 235 utility and 258 pound-feet of torque. That achievement arrives beforehand within the rev ambit than the accessible V6, acceptation it completely feels a bit faster off the road. It is moreover completely faster than the SEL, again the SEL’s added equipment after-effects in a considerable heftier barrier weight. Its ammunition abridgement is boilerplate for the articulation at 21 mpg metropolis, 24 mpg artery and 22 mpg amassed with FWD and 20/24/20 with AWD.
The accessible 3.6-liter V6 (dubbed VR6) might be commutual to front- or all-wheel drive, and comes accepted on the R-Line trims. It is different on the SEL and SE w/ Expertise trims. The VR6 produces 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, acceptation each accessible engines are underpowered for the section. It too will get an eight-speed automated commonplace. Ammunition abridgement maxes out at 17 metropolis, 23 artery and 19 amassed with FWD and 16/22/18 with AWD. These abstracts are low for the section.
The Atlas would not ache with the abject four-cylinder agent as you skill count on. Dispatch can completely be faster than the VR6 mannequin, and we start that accepting beneath weight to lug about makes the four-cylinder Atlas lighter on its anxiousness and beneath cumbersome about corners. It’s nonetheless no absorbing handler.
Now which you can get all-wheel drive with the four-cylinder, there’s alike beneath acumen to go for the V6. That larger engine’s dispatch is rarely as lively as you’d acquisition in finest opponents, and administration is moreover a bit ponderous, each in allegory to the four-cylinder archetypal and battling SUVs. The council is at atomic abundantly beeline in accomplishment behindhand of engine, and chargeless from the extra-numb on-center really feel of added Volkswagens.
As for the journey, it is precise springy. The Atlas sure and floats over undulations, but greets manholes and burst pavement with archetypal Germanic firmness. The added kilos added by the closely ready SEL we activated obtain these high-seas anatomy motions a bit, however the Atlas’ journey is persistently badly mushy.
We evaluation the most affordable adaptation of the Atlas: the S trim with front-wheel drive, a four-cylinder engine, bolt seats and few equipment and gizmos.
The Cross Sport loses the third-row bench and a agglomeration of size, chops the roofline and makes the administration a bit sportier. It is nonetheless nearly huge, although, and never a nasty finest if a lot of burden amplitude is added necessary than eight-passenger seating.