The refreshed 2021 VW Atlas has arrived, and the 7-passenger SUV still starts at $32,000
- VW has refreshed its Atlas SUV for 2021.
- The seven-passenger, three-row SUV has been a big hit for VW in the US.
- The refreshed Atlas has an upgraded exterior design and a wide range of interior options.
- There are two engines available: a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder, making 235 horsepower; or a 3.6-liter V6, making 276 horsepower.
- The base price is unchanged for the 2021 model year, at $31,545.
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The Volkswagen Atlas filled a big, big hole in the German automaker's lineup when it debuted for the 2018 model year. Finally, VW had a large SUV that could haul seven people.Consumers in the US rewarded the company by purchasing over 81,500 of the vehicle last year.Advertisement
We were quite impressed with the Atlas when it first went on sale, naming it a Business Insider Car of the Year runner-up form 2017. In our review, we wrote that "embracing Americana is the smartest thing Volkswagen has done in a long time," adding that "[w]hile it hasn't completely shed its German heritage, the company finally delivered an off-roader with the power, space, and practicality which caters specifically to the largest and most lucrative SUV market in the world."
On Tuesday, VW announced the refreshed Atlas. The base price hasn't changed - $31,545. But in a statement, VW touted a "bolder design as well as interior upgrades, advanced connectivity, new available driver-assistance features, and broadened powertrain availability."
The 2021 VW Atlas, like the launch model, is a big SUV. But VW has tweaked the design.
According to VW, "a bold three-bar grille extends into the front light signature, creating a more sophisticated presence, while new headlight and taillight designs feature standard full-LED lighting, including low beams, high beams, turn signal indicators, Daytime Running Lights, and taillights."Advertisement
Overall, the refreshed Atlas ought to continue to appeal to families in search of something with a tad more style than the usual SUV suspects, without sacrificing versatility.
VW interiors trend to be fairly subdued, and 2021 Atlas' is no exception. "Clean and functional, with a premium feel," is how VW described the approach.Advertisement
"The 2021 model offers a high-end environment that belies its attainable starting price," VW said. Well, maybe. No one would conclude that the Atlas is a luxury SUV.
There's a "cavernous 153.7 cubic feet of total passenger volume," VW said. You could choose from cloth, leatherette, or leather upholstery, depending on trim level.Advertisement
You could get second-row captain's chairs on the SE/Technology trim level. Otherwise, second-row bench seats are the order of the day.
The Atlas has "a maximum cargo volume of 96.8 cubic feet behind the front-row seats when all rear seats are folded down," VW said. "With just the third-row folded, cargo capacity is 55.5 cubic feet, and with all seats up, cargo capacity is 20.6 cubic feet."Advertisement
The Atlas offers two levels of drive modes. The basics are Onroad, Snow, Offroad, and Custom Offroad. But VW said that [w]ithin the Onroad setting, additional options are offered: Normal, Sport, Comfort, and Individual."
Volkswagen's Digital Cockpit system is similar to stablemate Audi's Virtual Cockpit. "Standard on SEL trims and above," VW said, it "presents drivers with a fully-digital instrument cluster."Advertisement
"Using a 10-inch TFT display, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit offers a customizable presentation of important vehicle information," VW added.
The MIB II Infotainment runs on an 8-inch touchscreen on the higher trim levels. and has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available. The base trim has a 6.5-inch unit.Advertisement
A Fender premium audio system is available, with a 480-watt, 12-channel amplifier. This is a personal favorite system for listening to rock-n-roll.
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