2018 Volkswagen AtlasChange Vehicle
of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas base trim shown
From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team
- Second-row comfort and flexibility
- Cargo space
- Crash-test ratings
- Three child seats fit in second row
- Multimedia screen is sharp and bright
- Camera and parking-sensor integration
- V-6 power is underwhelming
- Not enough hidden storage space
- Steering is too light
- Conservative styling
- Advanced safety features not available on lower trim levels
- All-wheel drive with V-6 only
- Brand-new model for 2018
- Three-row, mid-size SUV seats six or seven
- Two engine options
- Built in the United States
- Optional all-wheel drive
- Six-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
With an emphasis on utility, the Atlas is a comfortable SUV with lots of interior room and well-executed high-tech features.
Versus the Competition
For those who often carry people or cargo, the Atlas offers greater interior flexibility and space than the competition.
The newest vehicle from Volkswagen is also its biggest: the aptly named 2018 Atlas. Why does the name fit so well? Because its cavernous interior can carry passengers and cargo better than anything in its class.
The Atlas competes in a crowded segment of three-row SUVs that are a step below full-size, truck-based behemoths like the Chevrolet Suburban and Ford Expedition. Its rivals include the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse. Compare the Atlas with those vehicles here.
I tested two versions of the Atlas, both with the optional V-6 engine and all-wheel drive: an SEL (priced at $43,615 including destination charges) and an SEL Premium ($49,415), the Atlas' top trim level.
How It Drives
There are two engines available for the Atlas: The base engine is a 235-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 258 pounds-feet of torque. Both models I drove were equipped with the optional 276-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 266 pounds-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available on V-6 models.
I found the V-6 to be underwhelming. It doesn't feel like it has quite enough oomph to propel the Atlas' considerable girth with ease. It strains a bit during merges and passing maneuvers, but I found the transmission to be a willing kickdown partner in those instances.
In her video review, fellow editor Jennifer Geiger faulted the Atlas' steering, ... Read more
The Atlas dominated its rivals in Cars.com's 2017 Three-Row SUV Challenge, and after that it went on to win our top accolade for the 2018 model year: Cars.com's Best of Award.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas MPG Check-in: 79 Days, 2,600 Miles
CARS.COM — Time flies. Nearly three months has passed since we bought our Best of 2018 car, a Volkswagen Atlas. But here we are, 79 days and more than 2,600 miles since we ... Read more
2018 Twin Cities Auto Show: 5 Things You Can't Miss
Ok, so the movie "Fargo" turned 22 years old this week, but, so, ya know ... despite widely held stereotypes about the state of Minnesota and its dialect made famous by ... Read more
Subaru Announces Price, Gas Mileage for 2019 Ascent
CARS.COM — Subaru's new three-row SUV, the 2019 Subaru Ascent, will start at $32,970 with destination when it arrives at dealers this summer. That price is for an eight-... Read more
A SUV with a personality
I was looking for a SUV with great space, great interiors, comfortable to drive, low noise while driving, flexibility to accommodate more people, AWD, V6 engine, and of course good looks (my taste is ... Read full review
First new car I have owned
This car is amazing! It rides quiet and smooth. The third row seating is roomy and comfortable and versatile and still has cargo space for traveling. Read full review
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas currently has 0 recalls