Built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas represents a new chapter in the brand’s U.S story. The new model offers competitive levels of spaciousness and technology combined with Volkswagen DNA chromosomes such as attention to detail and impressive driving dynamics.
“The new 2018 Atlas marks a new journey for the brand to enter the American market by delivering what Americans want and deserve – superior craftsmanship, distinctive design, and all-rounded performance. The new model is the brand’s biggest and boldest ever built in the U.S,” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO for Volkswagen’s North American market.
That said, Volkswagen couldn’t afford to mess around during its construction. Admittedly, the new model stacks up quite well against other offers in its class. For example, the passenger and cargo volume are copious, there’re impressive utility features, the model range consists of five trim levels for user personalization, and comes laden with high-tech convenience and infotainment features.
Like the rest of its stablemates, the new 2018 Atlas features a simple yet sophisticated interior design. Even for base models, the automaker offers above-average quality materials, intuitive controls, and easy-to-read gauges, while those with money to burn will appreciate the premium technologies available.
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- interior Changes
- trim models
- exterior updates
- engine specs
- release date & Price
Volkswagen Atlas Interior & Trim Levels
The new model offers a clean design coupled with high-quality, soft-to-touch materials. Needless to say, it offers shoppers in this segment everything they’ll ever need, and there’re no gimmicks. Below we review ease of use, interior space, exterior visibility, and ease of ingress and ingress and others.
Even for the uninitiated, the control and buttons controlling the touchscreen, shifter, menus, and climate dials are all easier to use.
Thanks to the large door openings, getting in and out is a pleasant daily affair. The height of step in is moderate but some users might find the doors to weigh a bit more.
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Roominess. As was expected for a car trying to make a name for itself in the small crossover SUV segment, the new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas measures quite well in terms of passenger and cargo space. First and second row passengers will find the head, shoulder, hip, legroom to be sufficient even for taller folks. Nonetheless, the third row space, just like most models in this class, didn’t manage to escape the “crampy feel” fever. Volkswagen in its defense says there’s the option of sliding the 2nd-row seats to give the 3rd-row more room.
Due to the average-sized windshield pillars, the new Atlas 2018 feels a bit restricted. But that is the worst downside we’ve found inside as far as nitpicking is concerned.
The new model is available in a whopping five trim models – base S, mid-level SE and SE w/technology, and top-of-the-range SEL and SEL Premium.
Standard features for the Atlas S include a dual-zone manual climate control, LED headlights, cloth seating, cruise control, a rearview camera, and power mirrors. Infotainment options include Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all displayed on the crisp 6.5 inch touchscreen. Options include an eight-inch touchscreen with satellite radio, a panoramic sunroof, and a programmable garage door opener.
Upgrading to the Atlas SE gets you a power driver seat, a simulated leather upholstery, a larger eight-inch touchscreen interface, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear sunshades, and heated front seats. Stepping to the SE w/technology adds a three-zone automatic climate control, a remote engine start, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a power rear liftgate.
The Atlas SEL adds to the fray, a park distance control, adjustable and powered front seats, and a panoramic sunroof. Options here include the R-Line package and 20-inch black wheels.
At the top of the food chain is the Atlas SEL Premium. With it is a suite of exclusive features. Some of these include Volkswagen Digital Cockpit display, a parking assist system, full leather seating, and LED taillights.
All things considered, including features, performance, and price, we have to admit that we like the Atlas SE w/technology more than the others. Reason being, in addition to those aforementioned, it builds on the equipment levels already provided by the well-equipped Atlas SE. Again, the driver aids offered are top-notch as are the convenience features.
Exterior Pictures, Colors, Dimensions & Design
Exterior colors include Pure White, Fortana Red metallic, Deep Black Pearl, Reflex Silver Metallic, Kurkuma Yellow Metallic, Titanium Beige Metallic, Platinum Gray Metallic, and Tourmaline Blue Metallic.
Dimensions are as follows: length – 198.3 inches, width – 69.6 inches, and width – 69.9 inches making it the largest Volkswagen ever made for the U.S market.
The exterior design of the new model builds on the CrossBlue concept first seen in 2013. The design is muscular and modern and will undoubtedly be a fresh injection to the small crossover SUV segment.
All models are available with LED lighting, including side marker lights, daytime running lights, signal indicators, and high beams.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Engine Specs & Performance
The new model is offered with a choice of two notoriously efficient and powerful engines. The engines in question are: a standard 2L turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6L VR6 engine. Standard across the two include Remote Start and Start/Stop technology.
The 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is capable of generating a decent output of 235 horsepower and 258 pounds feet of torque at 4,500rpm and 1,600rpm respectively. For excellent fuel economy management, Volkswagen in its design also utilized direct fuel injection and turbocharged induction.
On the other hand, the 3.6L VR6 engine is optionally available across the entire lineup. It utilizes twin overhead camshafts, variable valve timing, four valves per cylinder, and a crossflow aluminum-alloy cylinder. Output is rated at 276 horsepower and 266 pounds of torque at 6,200rpm and 2,750 rpm respectively.
Even as we await EPA certified ratings, the FWD models should be expected to return fuel economy ratings of 20 mpg for combined city and highway driving while 4Motion AWD models should be expected to return 19 mpg. Official ratings are set to be announced closer to the on-sale date.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas Release Date & Price
The new model is already hitting dealerships lots as we speak. Pricing is as follows: Atlas S - $30,500, Atlas SE - $33,590, Atlas SEL - $39.160, Atlas SE w/technology - $37,090, and Atlas SEL Premium - $48,490.
Once it goes for sale, the 2018 VW Atlas will have to squeeze its way against other similarly capable and seasoned veterans such as the GMC Acadia and the Honda Pilot.
The Pilot is a fine choice in the small crossover SUV segment for buyers looking for a bit of off-road capability, a versatile interior, and tons of space without breaking the bank. Furthermore, it is utilitarian by almost all standards, carries eight passengers, and capable of towing a maximum capacity of 5,000 pounds. On the flipside however, the Pilot fails to offer a very intuitive touchscreen, wide third-row seats, and a refined nine-speed automatic transmission. Pricing for the Pilot starts at $33,970.
Acadia on the other end assumes the “prototypical midsize crossover vehicle” in its class. While it functions laudably as a family hauler, its smaller size pits it against most of its peers. Those looking for refined quality, excellent all-rounded performance, modern onboard technology, and simple cabin layout may find it appealing. Pricing starts from $33,390.