Built and designed in America to suit American tastes, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a highly desirable three-row crossover SUV for Volkswagen. The Touareg who has been present for some time does not offer competitive price and third-row seating. The 2018 Atlas not only competes against competitors in terms of value, it has a passenger room American typically shop for in a family-hauling crossover.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the three-row crossover SUV offered in five trim levels: S, SE, SE w/technology, SEL and SEL Premium.
Standard features for the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas S includes LED headlights, a rearview camera, power mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone manual climate control, cloth seating, a bench seat in the second row, a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also availabe is Atlas S Launch Edition models which only offered with the V6 engine only plus a panoramic sunroof, 8-inch touchscreen with satellite radio and HomeLink programmable garage door opener.
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE adds automatic headlights, rear sunshades, push-button start, a blind-spot monitoring system, a power driver seat, simulated leather upholstery, heated front seats, a larger 8-inch touchscreen interface and second-row captain’s chairs option. The SE w/technology adds all SE equipment alongside automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic three-zone climate control, remote engine start and a power rear liftgate.
Moving up to the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL you will get a park distance control, panoramic sunroof and power-adjustable front passenger seats. Two available options are the R-Line appearance package and black 20-inch wheel.
The top line SEL Premium adds LED taillights, a parking assist system, full leather seating, upgraded touchscreen display with navigation and Volkswagen Digital Cockpit. Also optional is the same 20-inch black wheels offered on the SEL, but the R-Line package is not.
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, while a 3.6-liter VR6 good for 276 hp and 266 lb-ft is optional. Both engines use an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-drive as standard. The VW 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is optional with the 3.6-liter engine. EPA-rated fuel economy hasn’t been release for the turbo 2.0-liter, but the 3.6-liter is rated at 18/25 mpg city/highway for the front-drive model and 17/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.
Inside, high quality materials and clean designs give the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas an upscale feel. Everything is the place you expect, and there is no trickery. The windscreen pillar is average, but the view feels somewhat limited by the high dash. The standard shifter, the simple climate button and the easy-to-use menu on the touch screen make it very user-friendly.
The front seats only have a basic adjustment, and the flat seat looks strange with the thick sides commonly found in sports cars. But overall they feel comfortable for long distance travel.Large side mirrors produce some moderate wind noise, but the cabin is very quiet on the highway.
The second row seats are very spacious in every direction. With the second row moving all the way back. Unfortunately, the third row is very tight for adults, sitting there your knees will touch the seatback. But the second row seats can always be shifted to give the third row more space.
For utilities, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas provides plenty of storage space for your personal belongings. Open the liftgate and there is a fairly large flat space behind the third row. With a third seat in use, there are 20.6 cubes of cargo space, and 55.5 cubic feet with the third row folded.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas goes on sale this May at dealers. The base S models arrive in late summer with price start from $31,425. The S Launch Edition adds $1,800 to the $33,425 starting price for the all-wheel-drive system.
The SE models starting at $34,515, while the SE with Technology priced from $36,615. Moving to SEL price start from $40,085, and the SEL Premium priced from $49,415.