2019 Volkswagen Atlas Review

Atlas

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2019 Volkswagen Atlas Overview

Volkswagen’s 3-row Atlas SUV is a core part of the brand’s strategy to reclaim a wholesome image. Volkswagen introduced this family-friendly vehicle in 2018. It carries over unchanged. For 2019, the Atlas’ available trim levels are shuffled around a bit, though nothing too dramatic.

The Atlas’ simple, fresh exterior needs no updating this year. The look includes LED lighting on the bold front end, available LED taillights, and 18-inch wheels. The available R-Line package adds exclusive exterior trim and 20-inch wheels.

Volkswagen offers two engines with the Atlas. A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder comes standard, and is rated for 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For 276 hp and 266 lb-ft, take a look at the available 3.5-liter V6. Both come with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is available with V6 models. The 4-cylinder Atlas gets the best fuel economy of the three: 22 mpg city, 26 highway, and 24 combined. With the V6, you can expect 17, 24, and 19 with front-wheel drive (FWD) and 17, 23, and 19 with AWD.

The spacious and upscale Atlas is available in five trim levels. The base S model features cloth upholstery and gets new standard features for this year: automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The SE adds synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, remote start, and tri-zone climate control. The SE with Technology gets a remote power liftgate. Upgrade to the SEL for a power passenger seat and driver-seat memory settings. Take a look at the SEL Premium trim for leather upholstery, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The SE with Technology package and SEL trims are also available with the R-Line appearance package with unique badging, bumpers, and side skirts.

The Atlas’ standard infotainment system features a 6.5-inch touchscreen with a 6-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and Volkswagen’s Car-Net App-Connect system, which integrates Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and MirrorLink smartphone connectivity. There are a ton of upgrades available, including an 8-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch Digital Cockpit customizable instrument cluster, an 8-speaker audio system, a 12-speaker Fender audio system, voice recognition, and navigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the Atlas a 5-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2018 model Good scores for crash testing across the board and a Top Safety Pick designation. For 2019, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert become standard, along with automatic post-collision braking and a reversing camera. Safety options include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward-collision monitoring, front and rear park assist, and a multi-angle camera.

There are a lot of good midsize SUVs on the market, which makes it hard for a newcomer like the Atlas to stand out. However, if you are shopping for a vehicle in this class, this spacious and family-friendly vehicle is definitely worth a look.

Updated

Cherise is a Chicago-based freelance writer and editor with nearly 15 years of experience covering the automotive industry. Cherise loves writing about car culture and sharing common-sense car-buying advice. She is eagerly awaiting delivery of a 2019 Subaru WRX Series.Gray, which will join her household's 2008 Toyota RAV4, 2007 Genuine Buddy Italia 150, and 2015 Honda Grom.

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