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2018 Volkswagen Atlas: First Look - Video

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author photo by Brian Moody November 2016

Realizing that they're a little light on popular SUVs, VW is adding the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas to their lineup. The Atlas is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is the largest VW to be built in the U.S. The automaker invited media guests to view the new SUV in Santa Monica, California, at the edge of the famous Santa Monica pier.

Here are a few details about the new Atlas:

It's a 3-row SUV, and VW says the third row will fit two adults. There are five trim levels, and buyers have two engine choices -- a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a more powerful (and presumably less efficient) VR6. Both are connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Volkswagen's 4motion all-wheel drive is optional, while front-wheel drive is standard. The automaker says all the expected modern driver's-aide technologies will be offered -- forward-collision intervention, lane-departure detection and prevention, adaptive cruise control an so on. A Fender audio system is on the list of amenities as well.

The design of the new SUV isn't too far outside what we'd expect, but the 2018 VW Atlas does have a blockier, more chiseled look than we might have guessed. From some angles, it kind of looks like the Jeep Cherokee but with some very VW-like touches up front and in the rear-end treatment.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas should be priced from the mid-$30,000 range all the way up to the high $40,000s, depending on model and options.

"The Atlas marks a brand-new journey for Volkswagen to enter into the heart of the American market," Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen's North America Region, commented.

The all-new VW Atlas should be available by spring 2017.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2018 Volkswagen Atlas: First Look - Video - Autotrader