By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos VW US Media Newsroom
For 2019, the seven-passenger VW Atlas offers competitive levels of technology and spaciousness combined with hallmark Volkswagen driving dynamics and attention to detail, all at a price designed to draw attention in the crowded family SUV segment; As the biggest member of the Volkswagen lineup, the midsize Atlas SUV offers family-ready passenger and cargo volume, as well as everyday usability and utility.
Debuted for the 2018 model year, Atlas built on the latest Volkswagen design DNA to create a bold new look in the SUV segment. Its modern and muscular design retains classic proportions and clean lines.
For 2019, all Atlas models feature full LED front lighting, including low beams, high beams, turn signal indicators, Daytime Running Lights, and side marker lights. LED taillights are standard on SEL and SEL Premium models. Overhead, a large panoramic sunroof measuring 4.46 feet by 2.85 feet, with a two-part glass opening system and powered sunshade, is available on SE with Technology models and standard on SEL and SEL Premium models.
SE with Technology trims offer a standard power tailgate, while SEL and SEL Premium models add the Easy Open feature. Easy Open works in conjunction with KESSY keyless access on all doors to enable opening of the tailgate with just a kick of the foot below the rear bumper, providing the key is in range.
In addition, Atlas models feature standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped in 245/60 all-season tires, except the R-Line models and SEL Premium models, which boast 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 255/50 all-season tires. SE with Technology and higher models can be outfitted with available 20-inch wheels and SEL Premium models can also be outfitted with available 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 265/45 all-season tires. All models feature 8.0 inches of ground clearance and departure angles of 20.4 and 22.2 degrees front and rear.
The Atlas’ interior design is classic Volkswagen, clean and functional, with a premium feel. Driver controls are positioned for optimal ergonomics and usability, and simple, driver centric displays enhance involvement behind the wheel rather than distracting from it. The seat position, shifter height, and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for driver comfort. Ambient lighting, standard on the Atlas SEL Premium, further highlights this upscale character, as does the use of premium materials throughout.
Inside, Atlas makes maximum use of its three-row seating layout to offer space for up to seven adults, boasting a cavernous 153.7 cu-ft of total passenger volume. Headroom is 41.3/40.4/38.3 inches, while legroom is 41.5/37.6/33.7 inches, respectively. Standard second-row bench seating offers a 60/40 split, a 14-degree backrest recline function, and a 7.7-inch sliding range. An innovative folding mechanism for the second row offers improved entry and exit room on both sides by enabling the second-row bench to tilt and slide forward, even with child seats in place.
While the base Atlas S is equipped with cloth seating surfaces in a quilt-like design, Atlas SE models come with leatherette seating surfaces and include a second-row middle armrest with integrated cup holders. SEL models come with a three-profile driver seat memory function. SEL Premium models boast leather seating surfaces and heated outboard seats for the second row.
Across all three rows, an array of available inputs, cup holders, bottle holders, storage nets, and cargo containers provide convenience for all passengers. Atlas has a maximum cargo volume of 96.8 cu-ft behind the front-row seats. With just the third row folded, cargo capacity is 55.5 cu-ft, and with all seats up, cargo capacity is 20.6 cu-ft.
Dual-zone climate control is standard on Atlas S, along with a second-row control panel for rear passengers. All other models come with tri-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. KESSY keyless access on all five doors, along with push-button start, is standard equipment on SE trim levels and above.
Atlas is offered with a choice of two powerful and efficient engines, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or an available 3.6-liter VR6 engine. Both units feature Start/Stop technology; Remote Start is available as an accessory on S and SE models and is standard on SE w/ Technology trims and above.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit is a member of the latest EA888 engine family, utilizing turbocharged induction, and direct fuel injection to achieve excellent efficiency while still delivering impressive power. Output is rated at 235 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 rpm.
All Atlas trims are available with a 3.6-liter VR6 engine. This powerful direct-injection engine delivers 276 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 266 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm. The engine utilizes a crossflow aluminum-alloy cylinder head design, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing.
With either engine, power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to help maximize efficiency. This transmission then sends the power to either the front wheels, or if equipped with 4Motion with Active Control all-wheel drive, all four wheels as needed.
Atlas models are outfitted with an 18.6-gallon fuel tank. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6 front wheel-drive models is 17 mpg in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. V6 models with 4Motion all-wheel drive are rated at 17 mpg in city driving, 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for Atlas models with the 2.0-liter engine is 20 mpg in city driving, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.
New for 2019
For the 2019 model year, the Atlas is available in seven trims levels S, SE, SE w/ Technology, SE w/ Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. The Atlas family receives a modest value alignment, with driver-assistance and innovation features moving to lower trims. Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are now standard on all models. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, the high-tech configurable instrument cluster is now standard on SEL models. In addition to the new driver-assistance features, the entry-level Atlas S also adds standard automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and heated side mirrors. The Atlas SE adds tri-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. Atlas SE w/ Technology models add two options: a panoramic sunroof with Homelink garage door opener and 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Pricing for the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0-liter starts at $30,895 for the S model; 3.6-liter models start at $34,095 for the S 4Motion. The destination charge for all Atlas models is an additional $995.