Matthew Pilgrim
Automotive Editor - December 12, 2018

2019 Volkswagen Atlas OVERVIEW

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas receives notable improvements even though it debuted just last year. The three-row SUV is traditionally shaped inside and out, yet details throughout the vehicle effectively distinguish it and help justify its lofty price.

What's New for 2019

For 2019, the mid-size SUV receives forward automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert on all trims. Feature availability trickles further down the lineup, while the turbocharged four-cylinder engine is now limited to just the base S trim.

Volkswagen Atlas

Choosing Your Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas embraces VW’s current mantra of big interior space. The cabin opens up to 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats folded, which is more than the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Even with the seats up, there still remains about 25 percent more cargo space. Passengers are unlikely to complain about space and comfort, even from the third row.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder motor generates 235 horsepower and 258 foot-pound of torque, though these figures are achieved with premium fuel. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and relegated to front-wheel drive only, this engine achieves an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 24 combined.

The 3.6-liter V6 powers all other trims but the S and is better suited to the SUV's 4,500-pound curb weight. Generating 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and mated to the eight-speed automatic, this engine gets 17/24/19 mpg (city/highway/combined) with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive drops the highway mileage by one notch. With the V6, the Atlas is capable of towing 5,000 pounds.

There are three main trim levels available as well as a few sub-trims:


The base S trim is priced from $31,890 (all prices include the $995 destination fee) and features the basic level of active safety features, automatic headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED headlights, heated mirrors, and silver roof rails. Inside, standard features include cloth seating, dual-zone climate control, a six-way power adjustable driver seat, a digital driver display, and a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen with Bluetooth and USB audio inputs. Opting for the V6 requires adding all-wheel drive and ups the price to $35,090. A tow hitch is available for $550 and is the only non-accessory option offered.


The Atlas SE begins at $36,490 and adds proximity entry on all five doors, heated washer nozzles, and fog lights that illuminate during low speed turns. All seats are covered in synthetic leather while the front seats gain heating and the driver gets 10-way power adjustment. An eight-inch infotainment display with XM and HD radio capability, more USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a couple more speakers (eight in total) are additional entertainment features. A six-month subscription to VW’s automatic crash notification system is also included. Second-row captains chairs are newly available for $695, while the tow hitch remains a $550 option.

The SE with Technology variant starts at $38,290 and gains adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, active blind-spot monitoring, remote start, and a power tailgate. A panoramic sunroof with a Homelink garage door opener is offered for $1,200, and 20-inch alloy wheels can be added for $700.

A SE with Technology R-Line model is next up, carrying a starting price of $40,240. It adds larger 20-inch wheels, sportier front and rear bumpers, a rear diffuser, stainless steel pedals covers, and a plethora of R-Line badges inside and out. The tow hitch, second-row captain's chairs, and panoramic sunroof remain available on this sub-trim.


The SEL trim checks in at $42,390 and includes a tow hitch, panoramic sunroof, parking sensors with low speed automatic emergency braking, LED taillights, a heated steering wheel, navigation, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 115-volt power outlet, an eight-way power passenger seat, and memory for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors. Black 20-inch wheels are available for $995, while the second row captain's chairs ($695) and 20-inch alloy wheels ($700) are still options.

The SEL R-Line appearance sub-trim is available for a starting price of $44,340, adding the R-Line badging, 20-inch silver aluminum alloy-wheels, and stainless steel pedal covers to the features of the SEL. The captain's chairs are the only available package.

The top of the line SEL Premium model is only available with all-wheel drive and begins at $49,390. It builds on the SEL and adds power folding exterior mirrors, 20-inch wheels, and automatic parking. A surround-view camera helps observe the parking process while automatic high beams help to ensure visibility down the road. The interior is upgraded to include leather seating, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, ambient lighting, and a 12-speaker Fender audio system. The captain's chairs and the 20-inch black alloy wheels are the only available options.

CarsDirect Tip

Of the 2019 VW Atlas lineup, the SE with Technology strikes the best balance of standard features and value by including standard equipment such as the automaker's suite of active safety features and their latest infotainment system.

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