Volkswagen has recently found itself falling behind in the crossover segment here in the U.S. The primary reason for its lagging? The fact that it lacks anything that can haul more than five people. That will all change with the arrival of the all-new 2018 VW Atlas.
The Atlas will hit showrooms with a distinct look that will stand out on VW lots while maintaining some of the brand’s signature cues. The latter will include its vertical grille bars and the LED-underscored headlights. Other than those two features, the Atlas will be cut from its own cloth with chunky shoulders, a broad hood, and upright nose. It’ll also stand out as the largest vehicle VW sells, standing in at 198.3 inches long, 77.9 inches wide, and 69.6 inches high.
Inside, the Atlas sets itself apart with its seven-passenger capacity and room for luggage. To access the third-row seats, VW will include an intuitive folding seat that is fully functional, even with a car seat installed in the second row. Buyers will also enjoy the available Volkswagen Car-Net system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, MirrorLink, and a premium 12-speaker, 480-watt audio system.
There will be two powertrains available for the 2018 Atlas. The base engine will be a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 238 horsepower. Optionally, buyers will be able to choose a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 280 horsepower. Both engines will pair with an eight-speed auto transmission and will come standard with front-wheel drive. The V6 model will have all-wheel drive available as an option.
Safety ratings won’t be ready for some time, but we anticipate good results, thanks to its list of available safety features. These will include available adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, blind-spot monitor with rear-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, and more.
Expect further updates closer to launch.
Pricing & Release Date
Pricing will remain a mystery for a while, but we do expect it to fall somewhere between the Volkswagen Tiguan and the premium Touareg. This will likely put the 2018 Atlas in the $32,000 to $55,000 range, depending on how luxurious VW makes its range-topping trim.
This price range should put the Atlas in line with other larger crossovers, like the GMC Acadia ($29,995 to $47,845), the Toyota Highlander ($31,430 to $44,470), and the Hyundai Santa Fe ($31,695 to $42,045).
Volkswagen expects to have the Atlas in showrooms in the spring of 2017.
Pictured: 2018 Atlas