The Atlas is Volkswagen's family SUV. With three rows of seats that comfortably accommodate up to seven people, it has plenty of room for most families. Even families with five kids in car seats can ride comfortably in this SUV. Three seats can be securely fastened in the second row and two in the third row. The Atlas also has plenty of room for cargo, has very high safety ratings and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. Here are the answers to some of the questions you may have if you are shopping for a Volkswagen Atlas.
How many trims are available for the Atlas?
There are 12 Atlas trim levels. The available trims are the S, V6 S, V6 S with 4MOTION, V6 Launch Edition, V6 Launch Edition with 4MOTION, V6 SE, V6 SE with 4MOTION, V6 SE with Technology, V6 SE with Tech. and 4MOTION, V6 SEL, V6 SEL with 4MOTION and V6 SEL Premium with 4MOTION.
What is 4MOTION and do I really need it?
Volkswagen's 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system with Active Control adds $1,800 to the price tag. It allows you to adjust power distribution to the front or back wheels to improve traction and stability on changing road conditions. If you live in an area that experiences fast-changing or severe weather, it would probably be worth the added expense. You can only get 4MOTION with the 3.6-L V6 engine.
Can the Volkswagen Atlas accommodate a busy, hi-tech family?
Yes. If you've got older children in the family who often need to use a USB port, the Atlas will keep them happy. You'll want to go with the higher trim levels, though. The Atlas SE with Technology and SEL come with three 12V power outlets, two USB data ports in the front seat and two USB charging ports in the back seats. The Atlas S and Launch trims come with one USB port.
What does the base Atlas trim have to offer?
The Atlas S comes equipped with dual-zone manual climate control and air vents for each of the three rows of seats, a telescoping and height-adjustable steering column, cruise control, a multifunctional color display, three 12V power outlets and two reading lights for each row of seats. Standard infotainment technology in the S includes Bluetooth connectivity, Volkswagen's Car-Net App-Connect, one USB port and a six-speaker stereo system with a 6.5" color touchscreen and AM/FM radio.
How much cargo space does the Atlas have?
The Atlas has a total of 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space when the second and third row of seats folded flat. Even with the second and third row of seats in place, there are 20.6 cubic feet of area behind the third row. The second row of seats is a 60/40 split bench, and the third row is split 50/50, giving you several cargo-storage options. There is also a small cargo area under the floor in the back that's great for things like a snow scraper, jumper cables, and a first-aid kit.
Are there any fuel-efficient Atlas trims?
The Atlas S with the 2.0-L Turbo engine gets fairly good mileage for a big, full-size SUV. It gets 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. The V6 and V6 all-wheel-drive models aren't quite as fuel efficient, but they still get decent mileage. The Atlas models with a V6 engine get 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. The Atlas models with a V6 and all-wheel-drive get 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.
Which Atlas can I get for under $35,000?
The Atlas S with a 2.0-L Turbo engine has a base MSRP of $30,750. The V6 S starts out at $32,150, and the V6 S with 4MOTION starts at $33,950. The V6 Launch Edition has a base MSRP of $33,500.
If you can stretch the budget to just over $35,000, you could afford the Atlas V6 SE. The price on that trim starts out at $35,240. The V6 Launch Edition with 4MOTION has a base price of $35,300.
The higher trim levels range in price from $37,040 to $48,740.
Is there a four-wheel-drive Atlas model?
The Atlas is available with a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive drivetrain. The S trim, V6 S trim, V6 Launch Edition, V6 SE, V6 SE with Technology and V6 SEL are front-wheel-drive models. The V6 S with 4MOTION, V6 Launch Edition with 4MOTION, V6 SE with 4MOTION, V6 SE with Technology with 4MOTION, V6 SEL with 4MOTION and the V6 SEL Premium with 4MOTION are all-wheel-drive models.
Is the Atlas a safe, family SUV?
Yes. Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have given the Atlas the highest possible ratings. It is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.