2018 Volkswagen Atlas V-6 4MOTION Review For quite a few decades now, promoting SUVs to Americans continues to be about as uncomplicated as peddling ice-cold lemonade on the sizzling summertime day. But not for Volkswagen. VW introduced its very first SUV, the Touareg, in 2003, and followed up with all the smaller Tiguan some many years later. Neither caught on. In excess of 14 years, VW has sold fewer than 400,000 copies of these two designs in complete; for viewpoint, take into account that Honda sold nearly 360,000 CR-Vs just final yr.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas V-6 4MOTION Review
VW now seems to be overcompensating together with the new-for-2018 Atlas. Whilst the somewhat unconventional Tiguan and Touareg were often too costly and as well, properly, European to possess broad appeal here, the Atlas aims directly on the American-style three-row-crossover bull’s-eye. Its name sounds appropriately adventurous (and simple to pronounce); it’s significant, using a just about 200-inch length that makes to get a cavernous seven-seat interior; and it seems to be blocky and trucky-somewhat very similar towards the Ford Explorer, the present sales leader.
As opposed to the space-inefficient Ford, the VW has a squared-off shape that pays dividends within. The Atlas’s interior is airy and open, with oodles of space for legs, feet, and elbows in all three rows. Seven seats are conventional courtesy of a three-seat second-row bench plus a two-place third row, while a $625 selection for second-row captain’s chairs (obtainable later on this year) decreases that capability to six.
There’s no eight-seat arrangement as inside the Honda Pilot, but the Atlas is otherwise one of the most accommodating nonminivan individuals carriers around the marketplace. The second-row bench is nicely padded and, when slid to its rearmost place, has adequate space for adults to cross their legs. The third row is easy to have into due to a fold-and-slide function to the 2nd row that produces a generously sized portal. And, beyond the plentiful room to the sixth and seventh passengers, what’s extra remarkable is that the Atlas’s third-row seats do not force adults’ bodies into awkward, contortionist positions. The bottom cushions are higher ample that your knees will not be at your chest, along with the backrest angle is comfy even for longer trips.
Looking to haul nonhuman cargo? The Atlas continues to please: There’s a practical 21 cubic feet of area behind the third row, a cavernous 56 cubic feet behind the 2nd row, as well as a downright enormous 97 cubic feet with all seatbacks folded to produce a constant, flat floor. Each and every of people figures is close to the top rated in the class.
Established Bones - 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V-6 4MOTION Review
We’re not amazed at Volkswagen’s packaging acumen, offered the Atlas derives its bones from VW’s MQB platform that may be applied in lots of VW and Audi goods. Yes, definitely: This behemoth shares its standard suspension layout and choose other hard points with all the VW Golf hatchback, also a paragon of room efficiency.
Although we wouldn’t go to date as to state that the Atlas drives like a Golf, it does share a sense of solidity that we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen. Ride top quality is sublime, with just the right volume of compliance, luxury-car-like wheel control, along with a stiff structure that soaks up impacts with no any hint of reverberation. The trade-off for that trip high quality, not surprisingly, is often a considerable level of entire body roll; even when pushed, however, the Atlas remains predictable and secure, turning in 0.84 g throughout the skidpad and stopping from 70 mph within a aggressive 174 feet.
Acquainted VW hardware resides under the hood, as well, within the type of a three.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 making 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, mated to an eight-speed automated transmission. This drivetrain proved significantly less than energetic in our absolutely loaded, all-wheel-drive Atlas SEL Premium check car or truck, motivating its 4728 lbs to 60 mph in the lackadaisical seven.9 seconds-the Honda Pilot as well as the GMC Acadia are almost two seconds faster. The Atlas also lags in fuel economy, averaging 19 mpg in our hands and 24 mpg in our real-world 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, in which the V-6 Pilot along with the turbo four-cylinder Mazda CX-9 recorded 26 mpg. The Atlas quickly will provide a a lot more efficient turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four but only with front-drive and on decrease trim levels.
Polished and Premium - 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V-6 4MOTION Review
This six-cylinder is refined adequate for us to forgive its sluggishness, with smooth throttle tip-in, an intuitive automatic transmission that performs practically imperceptible shifts, and minimal quantities of noise, vibration, and harshness. Somewhat of excess wind noise over the highway would be the only hiccup in an otherwise quiet, polished, and luxurious driving knowledge.
Luxurious also describes the Atlas’s rate, at the very least in its thoroughly loaded SEL Premium kind, which just slides in underneath $50,000. If $50,000 for a Volkswagen would seem like a challenging pill to swallow, recall that mid-size SUVs from Chevrolet, Ford, and Dodge are similarly pricey. The top-level Atlas also includes a large degree of gear, such as adaptive cruise handle, a 360-degree camera technique, remote start off, three-zone climate management, a Fender-branded audio system, and an easy-to-use 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment technique with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With some low cost plastics found about the door panels and tacky-looking fake wood within the dash, nevertheless, the Atlas’s interior high quality reminds us significantly less from the polished Euro-centric Golf and much more with the cheapened cabins from the North America-made Jetta and Passat.
Just like the most up-to-date Tennessee-built Passat, the Atlas is tailored towards the American market place and it is built right here. But as opposed to Passat, it doesn’t exchange a slow-selling Euro-tuned model (the Touareg will continue right here), so these who prefer the latter can still find it, at a value. VW is plainly working outside of its comfort zone with all the Atlas, however it has created a competitive three-row SUV with all the correct priorities for its audience. That has a cavernous interior, sound driving dynamics, and vaguely rugged styling, the Atlas is ultimately an SUV from Volkswagen that hits its mark.