With the unveiling of 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, the company is set to change the stalemate in the US market. The Atlas is the company’s first ever large sized SUV, aimed mostly at the US market. Volkswagen, the iconic German carmaker is known mostly for its SUV and sedans that sell in record numbers in Europe and other continents.
However, it had not been able to woo a majority of US buyers to its offerings for a long time. Possibly this had to do with different mindset and usage requirements of car buyers in Europe and the USA. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will lock horns with segment heavyweights like Chevrolet Traverse, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer. VW manufactures the car in its facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas – Stunning Looking SUV
You cannot deny the reality that the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a stylish and stunning SUV though the design is not loud. Made on the company’s new MQB platform, it is a stunner on wheels. It is VW’s biggest ever car to be built on this architecture- as it is. The front fascia looks enticing owing to the use of sleek LED lamps. A skid faux plate sits below the grille. The rear side gets dual exhaust pipes and wraparound tail lamps. All trim levels get laden with aluminum alloy wheels. The available trim levels are S, SE, SEL and top notch SEL Premium. However, the special launch edition will be offered in limited numbers too. It will be sold in exterior hues like a deep black pearl, Fortuna Red metallic, kurkuma yellow metallic and Platinum Grey metallic etc.
Step inside the cabin of 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and you will get a taste of understated elegance and utilitarian design style. The design traces of stablemate Passat are evident and it is a roomy cabin. The third row of seats is comfortable for adults too. Cargo space is abundant when you fold down 2nd and 3rd rows of seats. VW has used easily to deploy slide and tilt mechanism in the 2nd row which makes accommodating passengers simpler. There are 17 cup holders and in-cabin storage cubbies. However, with all seats up, cargo space is average and here rivals like Chevy Traverse and Ford Explorer get the edge.
The company has loaded the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas with enough safety technologies and amenities to woo the target buyers, as it is. All trims also get equipped with features like multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, under-floor cargo storage, LED headlights, infotainment screen etc. the SE trim adds faux leather seats, automatic headlights, keyless entry, proximity key, heated front seats. SEL trim brings three-zone climate control, panoramic moonroof. Top SEL Premium trim adds Fender premium audio system and premium leather seats. You can opt for an R-Line styling package for SEL and SE trims.
While safety features are decent, base S trim misses out on most of these. The SE and SEL trim buyers can opt for the Technology group. This brings also features like lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, post-collision braking tech and surrounds view camera. It is a nice touch on part of VW to offer a 6 year or 72000-mile warranty on each model of the Atlas.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas – Engine Specifications
You get a number of powertrain choices in the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas. A 3.6 L V6 engine is there that generates 280 HP. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is offered that makes 238 HP. These engines are clubbed with 8-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 5000 pounds and here it outshines rival like Dodge Durango and Nissan Pathfinder.
These engines are laden with VW’s famous 4Motion all-wheel drive. You get driving modes like off-road, Sport, snow eco etc. The acceleration is brisk but not exactly what you call sporty. The focus is on ride comfort and grip on terrain rather than raw speed. Sport mode can take a toll on mileage. Body roll is negligible and barring the base trim, the cabin remains quiet during driving.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas – Cost and Launch Date
Finally, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas pricing begins at $31.000 approx. However, the top trim price with customizations can cross past the $50.000 mark. It is now available in VW showrooms for sale.
Summing it up
The new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is an ambitious effort by the German car behemoth to grab a pie of American SUV segment. As a first effort, it is definitely commendable. The pricing is reasonable and there are enough trims with plenty of customization choices. The engines are good enough and the V6 is what most buyers will prefer. However, there are some small caveats that prevent the Atlas from emerging as the category leader.
The overall cargo capacity is great but not the default cargo storage capacity. The safety features are good but base trim misses most advanced ones. Lack of any turbo diesel engine choice will also make some buyers grudge. The long warranty, however, acts as a redeeming aspect.