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Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.

Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas may wear a German badge, but its look at crossovers is clearly American, with more rider room, more cargo space and more style.

Introducing the Cross Sport variant last year, Volkswagen has done some minor facelifts to the standard Atlas three-row to bring it in line with its two-row sibling.

The new look includes a smoothed faceplate, redesigned radiator grille and revised bumpers. This year, buyers can get the 4-cylinder all-wheel drive model for the first time.


About that 4-cylinder: It’s a 235-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Ditch the new optional all-wheel drive system and power will be sent to the front axle.

Another option is the 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine producing 276 horses. It also gets an eight-speed automatic transmission and offers a choice between two drive systems. Like the 4-cylinder, it is available in both Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport versions.

Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.

When equipped with a turbo-4, the Atlas has a fuel efficiency of 11 liters per 100 kilometers in the city, 10 liters per 100 kilometers on the highway and 10.5 liters in mixed mode with a front-wheel drive system.

For a liter, 100 kilometers more, there is a car with four-wheel drive and a more powerful power unit. These numbers are identical for both Atlas body styles.

Every new Atlas is equipped with an emergency stop system and a blind spot monitoring system. Additional (optional) equipment includes intelligent cruise control, active lane monitoring, and a surround camera system.

The optional Traffic Jam Assistant can automatically steer, brake, and accelerate the Atlas below 35 miles, although drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives Atlas an overall five-star impact rating. The IIHS gave it the highest «good» rating in the entire crash test series.

Options and prices

Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport have the same trim levels and similar standard equipment, but differ slightly in price, with the Cross Sport being slightly cheaper. Both offer 4- and 6-cylinder engines with a choice of front or all-wheel drive.

• The cheapest Atlas is the base Cross Sport S, which starts at $ 31,565 (includes shipping charges).

• The cheapest three-row Atlas S starts at $ 32,750. Standard features include fabric upholstery, 6.5-inch touchscreen media information system with support for smartphone screen mirroring on both mobile platforms, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, one front USB port, 18-inch alloy wheels and the aforementioned active safety features.

• SE trim is priced at $ 35,915 for the Cross Sport and $ 36,100 for the three-row Atlas. The SE has three additional USB ports, an eight-inch touchscreen, three-zone climate control, a ten-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, wireless charging, and synthetic leather upholstery.

Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.

• SEL trim starts at $ 43,315 or $ 43,915 for Atlas Cross Sport or Atlas, respectively. SEL models get a panoramic roof, full digital instrument cluster, 20-inch wheels, navigation, hands-free tailgate and memory functions for the driver’s seat and exterior mirrors.


Atlas has a blocky shape that doesn’t immediately resonate with familiar Volkswagen ideas. Nice but not cocky, clean but not stylish.

Atlas Cross Sport isn’t all that great. The two-row version retains the same chunky underbody as its bigger brother, but has a much more racing roofline and trimmed rear overhang. These are pretty basic settings, but go a long way towards creating a sense of style.

Volkswagen Atlas 2021-2022.


VW built Atlas to maximize usability and efficiency, and the interior followed that principle as well. Here you will find neither great materials nor smart and elegant designs.

The cockpit is skewed towards basic details, and simple materials provide a practical and unassuming layout. Atlas is functionality, not form, that outperforms most other mass-market three-row crossovers.

However, the lack of stylish design does not detract from the practicality of the Atlas interior. Large windows and a low-slung dashboard provide a spacious cockpit and excellent visibility.

The controls are conveniently located and quickly become a habit. The comfortable seats are upholstered in durable fabric or synthetic leather.

VW has made plenty of room in the cabin, so the three-row Atlas is one of the most spacious options on the market in terms of passenger capacity.

Legroom in the third row is a relatively generous 33.7 inches — a figure comparable to what’s offered in the giant Chevrolet Suburban — while the second row has an impressive 40.4 inches of legroom.

The total cargo area is nearly 97 cubic feet, making the Atlas the leader among three-row crossovers.
Atlas Cross Sport sacrifices room for glasses for style.

In addition to removing the third row, the Cross Sport’s overall cargo volume dropped to 78 cubic feet.

Behind the second row is 40 cubic feet of luggage space, much less than the 55.8 cubic feet in the three-row model’s hatch. The legroom in the second row is unchanged on the Atlas models.

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