For decades now, selling SUVs to Americans was around as simple as peddling lemonade. But maybe not for Volkswagen. Neither captured on. Over 14 decades, VW has offered fewer than 400,000 copies of these two versions in complete; for view, think about that Honda sold nearly 360,000 CR-Vs only annually.
VW today appears to be overcompensating using the Atlas. Even though the Tiguan and Touareg were costly and too European to have appeal here, the Atlas aims in the American-style three-row-crossover bull’s-eye. Its name seems suitably daring (and simple to announce); it is enormous, using a nearly 200-inch span which makes for a cavernous seven-seat inside; and it appears blocky and trucky–somewhat like the Ford Explorer, the present sales pioneer.
Contrary to the Ford, the VW has. The Atlas’s interior is open and airy, with oodles of space for feet, legs, and elbows.
There is no arrangement from the Honda Pilot, but the Atlas is among the nonminivan people. The seat has space for adults and, even when pumped into its position, is padded. The third row is not difficult to get to a function. And, beyond the area for the seventh and sixth passengers, what is more striking is that the Atlas’s third-row chairs do not induce adults’ bodies to positions that are awkward. The cushions are high that your knees will not be in your torso, along with the backrest angle is more comfortable even.
Seeking to haul nonhuman freight? The Atlas proceeds to please: There’s a 56 cubic feet behind the second row a 21 cubic feet of space behind the third row, and also a downright 97 cubic feet. Every one of these amounts is close to the top of the course.
We are not amazed at Volkswagen’s packaging acumen, provided that the Atlas derives its own bones out of VW’s MQB stage that’s employed in VW and Audi products. Yes, actually: This behemoth shares its suspension design and other points that are difficult together with the VW Golf hatchback a paragon of space efficiency.
While we would not go so far as to state that the Atlas drives such as a Golf, it will share a feeling of solidity that we have come to expect from Volkswagen. Ride quality is sublime, using a structure that soaks up impacts wheel controller, and just the perfect quantity of compliance. The trade-off for this ride quality, unsurprisingly, is a substantial quantity of body roll; even if pushed, however, that the Atlas stays secure and predictable, turning in 0.84 gram around the skidpad and halting from 70 miles in a aggressive 174 feet.
The Atlas also lags averaging 19 mpg in our palms along with 24 mpg in our street fuel-economy evaluation, where the V-6 Pilot along with the turbo Mazda CX-9 listed 26 mpg. The Atlas shortly will provide a much more efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four but just using front-drive and on reduced trim levels.
This six-cylinder is elegant enough to forgive its own sluggishness, with throttle tip-in, an transmission which performs amounts of noise, vibration, and harshness, and shifts. A bit of wind noise on the street is the only hiccup in an otherwise silent, glistening, and driving experience.
Luxurious clarifies the Atlas’s price in its SEL Premium form, which slides in under $50,000. If $50,000 to get a Volkswagen seems to swallow, recall that SUVs from Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge are expensive. With some plastics located in the door panels and fake wood on the dashboardthe Atlas’s interior quality reminds us less of this glistening Euro-centric Golf and much more of the cottages of this North America–created Jetta and Passat.
But unlike Passat, it does not substitute a slow-selling Euro-tuned version (that the Touareg will last here), so people who favor the latter may still locate it, in a cost. VW is operating with all the Atlas, but it’s produced a competitive three-row SUV with the priorities for its own audience.