What Is It?
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is an all-new midsize crossover SUV with seating for up to seven occupants. It’s been designed especially for the United States, and VW’s facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is producing it.
The basic setup features front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 238 horsepower. Alternatively, a 280-hp 3.6-liter V6 is available, and it comes with the option of all-wheel drive.
There are plenty of cool touches, such as the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit (similar to Audi’s Virtual Cockpit), an information display that can be configured by the driver. The infotainment system allows smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but expect it to start at around the $32,000 mark.
When Can You Get It?
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a tempting package. The third row is easy to get to, even for cranky and creaky adults. The second-row seats slide forward and back, the comparatively thin A-pillars mean good front 3-quarter visibility, the cabin is almost Audi-quality, and cargo space is exceptional at 96.8 cu ft.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Chevrolet Traverse — The Traverse is comfortable, commodious and well-equipped for the money.
2017 Ford Explorer — The Explorer’s third row is a little cramped in comparison with the Atlas, nor is it so easily accessible. But it does kind of look like a Range Rover.
2017 Honda Pilot — This is arguably the one to beat. A new generation debuted for 2016, so this is still fresh. The cabin is quiet and roomy, with seating for up to eight.
2017 Hyundai Santa Fe — The Santa Fe received a freshening for 2017, and it offers generous equipment and a pleasurable ride.
2017 Toyota Highlander — Refreshed for 2017 with advanced safety features and an updated V6 on offer, the Highlander is a major player in this class.
Used Chevrolet Suburban — If fuel bills aren’t a big priority, but space is, the cavernous Suburban is like taking the family house out for a ride. It’s imposing and comfortable, but it won’t squeeze so neatly into parking spaces where the Atlas could fit.