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2020 Volkswagen Atlas

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Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2020 2.0T S 4dr Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $31,545
2020 2.0T SE 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $34,695
2020 3.6L V6 S 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $34,745
2020 3.6L V6 SE 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $36,095
2020 3.6L V6 SE 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $37,895
2020 2.0T SEL 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $40,795
2020 3.6L V6 SEL 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $42,595
2020 3.6L V6 SEL R-Line 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $44,295
2020 3.6L V6 SEL 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $44,395
2020 3.6L V6 SEL R-Line 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $46,095
2020 3.6L V6 SEL Premium 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $49,195


What's New

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas gets a few minor tweaks for the new model year. VW's midsize crossover SUV gains the next generation of the brand's Car-Net telematics system and wi-fi hot spot capability. Feature shuffling among trims round out the changes.

Choosing Your Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas is available in seven trims: S, SE, SE with Technology, SEL with Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. Pricing starts at $32,565 including destination for a base S and climb to $50,215 for the SEL Premium.

Engine Choices

The S, SE, SE with Technology, and SEL come standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The SE with Technology R-Line, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium get a 3.6-liter V6. The bigger engine is available on all other trims for $1,400 ($1,800 on the SEL).

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueMax. TowingFuel Economy (Combined)
2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder235 hp258 lb-ft2,000 pounds22 mpg
3.6L V6276 hp266 lb-ft5,000 pounds19 mpg

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Models with the four-cylinder engine are only available with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available with the V6 for an extra $1,800.

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Atlas offers three rows of seating for up to seven passengers (two in front, three in the second row, and two in back). Second-row captain's chairs, which drop seating capacity to six, are available for $695 starting on the SEL with Technology.

There's 20.6 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row. Fold it down, and 55.5 cubic feet become available; with both back rows out of the picture, the Atlas can carry a maximum of 96.8 cubic feet of cargo.

Volkswagen Atlas

Safety Features

Every Atlas is packed with driver assistance technology, with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert all standard. A crash response system shuts off the fuel pump and unlocks the doors, and a post-collision braking system reduces the risk of additional crash damage.

The SE with Technology model benefits from adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. The SE with Technology R-Line adds front and rear parking sensors, while the SEL Premium gets a surround-view camera system, an automated parking system, and automatic high beams.


The Atlas S starts with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and two USB ports, but all other trims feature an 8-inch display with satellite radio, HD radio, and three extra USB ports. Both systems feature Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth integration. Navigation becomes standard on the SEL trim.

Volkswagen’s Car-Net service, which is standard on every trim, provides the app-controlled management of vehicle locking, turning on the lights and horn, plus fuel level and mileage data.

Volkswagen Atlas

S - From $32,565

Despite costing almost $18,000 less than flagship Atlas SEL Premium models, the S trim still delivers cruise control, dual-zone climate control, automatic LED headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The side mirrors are power-adjustable and heated, while the exterior features 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and roof rails. However, the cloth front seats require manual adjustment, and this is the only model to receive the smaller 6.5-inch touchscreen.

SE - From $35,715

Key upgrades on SE models include keyless entry, push-button start, heated washer nozzles, three-zone climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Seating is upgraded to leatherette upholstery, with a 10-way power driver seat and heated front seats. This is also where the larger 8-inch touchscreen becomes standard.

SE with Technology - From $38,065

Riding on larger 20-inch wheels, SE with Technology models receive remote start functionality and a power liftgate. Key safety upgrades from SE include adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

A panoramic sunroof with Homelink is available for $1,200.

SE with Technology R-Line - From $41,665

Putting aside its bizarre name, this model underlines its V6-only status with stainless steel pedal caps. The power liftgate gains hands-free activation functionality, and the front and rear parking sensors become standard. R-Line models also get dedicated badging, bumpers, side skirts, and wheel arch extensions.

SEL - From $41,815

The SEL is the first Atlas to receive a panoramic sunroof, LED taillights, an eight-way power passenger seat, and memory settings for the driver’s seat as standard. The steering wheel is heated, there’s navigation, and VW's Digital Cockpit replaces analog dials with more a sophisticated digital infotainment display.

SEL R-Line - From $45,315

Stainless steel pedal caps make another appearance in SEL R-Line trim, while a trailer hitch is also standard on all configurations. Otherwise, this model merges the SE with Technology R-Line and the SEL.

SEL Premium - From $50,215

The most expensive Atlas is the only model to ride on 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and the only one to receive ambient cabin lighting and a 12-speaker Fender audio system. It’s unique in receiving leather seating, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and puddle lights in the side mirrors.

Compare Atlas Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

Unless navigation is essential, we’d say the 2020 VW Atlas SE with Technology offers the ideal balance between affordability and equipment. If you can swing it, the SEL is a noteworthy step up, as it brings desirable features like the sunroof, heated steering wheel, navigation, and a power passenger seat.

author image
Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Spacious interior
  • Very safe
  • Adult-sized third row
  • Lethargic engines
  • Unimpressive materials
  • Gets pricey fast
Expert Rating
2.9 (Fair)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

VW goes conventional. In Greek mythology, Atlas holds up the world; in VW's corporate offices, the Atlas holds up hope that the brand can win over consumers enamored by three-row crossovers.

Compared to its predecessor, the expensive and complex Touareg, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas takes a more consumerist approach: there's no fancy powertrains or Audi-esque pricing to dampen its appeal. The Atlas is instead about as conventional as a Toyota Highlander in the hopes it can steal some sales from that bestseller.

Refined but unhurried. Power comes to the Atlas by way of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter V6. Neither engine is notably fast, but the standard 235-horsepower four-cylinder feels particularly slow. Because VW only pairs it with front-wheel drive, it likely won't be common north of Florida and Texas, and we're thankful for that – something this big needs more than 235 hp.

The 276-hp V6 attempts to rectify the power deficit of the smaller engine. There's no doubt the extra 41 horses help, but we found this hulking VW was still happiest trundling along on flat grades. The extra two cylinders struggle to motive the 4,500-pound Atlas up hills, and with a full load of passengers, even acceleration on level ground leaves a lot to be desired. This would not be our first choice to tackle the Rockies – heck, even Denver would likely leave the weak-chested Atlas out of breath.

Whichever engine you get, you'll need to budget for fuel. V6 models with all-wheel drive are EPA rated 16 miles per gallon city, 22 mpg highway, and 19 combined. This is about on par with a V8-powered Chevrolet Tahoe. Front-wheel-drive models with the four-cylinder get 20/24/22 mpg (city/highway/combined), which still lags behind many competing crossovers.

AWD models also include different drive modes for snow and mud, but this is no trail beater. Poorly graded dirt roads are about the extent of this VW's off-road capabilities.

A long 117-inch wheelbase offers a composed ride over most road surfaces. That long wheelbase works in tandem with the heavy curb weight to ensure that the Atlas won't be disturbed by crosswinds, grooved pavement, potholes, or anything else of the sort. It feels like it could drive unperturbed through a tornado.

Despite the dearth of power, the Atlas can still tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

Volkswagen Atlas

Cavernous interior. Clamber into any of the three rows and you'll find ample space in every dimension. Deserts feel more cramped than the Atlas.

The abundance of room is particularly notable in the third row. There's 38.3 inches of headroom, for starters. Legroom is also seriously impressive at nearly 34 inches – some crossovers hardly offer that much space in their second row. Getting in and out of the back is also an easy task, with the second row easily sliding or tilting forward at the pull of a latch. You won't even have to take out the car seat to open up access to the third row.

If you don't need the third row, fold it down and enjoy the 55.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats. Fold those down and total cargo space expands to 96.8 cubic feet. With all the seats in place, there's still 20.6 cubic feet of cargo area to play with, much of it below the window line. To put these numbers in perspective, a Chevrolet Tahoe doesn't have that much room.

Though the space is first-rate, the materials are not. It's a far cry from the Touareg, which was luxury SUV masquerading as a VW. This is a VW that feels like a Kia from before their recent product renaissance. At least all the hard plastics and tough synthetics will be easy to clean and will hopefully be durable.

Safe and well-equipped. This big crossover has quite the sales pitch when it comes to occupant protection: a five-star NHTSA overall safety rating, top marks from the IIHS for all their collision simulations, and a full roster of active safety equipment.

The list of standard equipment isn't the most enticing, but with a few options, the Atlas offers all the features buyers in this class could want. Base models are upholstered in cloth and use a small 6.5-inch touchscreen for infotainment. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and there's a single USB port to connect to. Manual climate control takes care of heating and air conditioning.

That doesn't scratch our itch for creature comforts the way the SE trim does. Costing another $1,500 over a base model, it includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, four USB ports, and synthetic leather. If you want the most popular features of the moment without breaking the bank, this is the way to go.

Beyond that, the Atlas quickly erodes any sense of value it might offer. Top models retail at about $50,000, and for that kind of cash there's plenty of other choices out there worth considering that do a better job of emanating luxury.

Final thoughts. The 2020 VW Atlas is intent on stealing a bigger slice of the three-row crossover pie than its predecessor ever managed. It aims to achieve this by offering value and practicality in the way of safety, spaciousness, and comfort. A starting price of just over $32,000 also helps.

However, the Atlas doesn't particularly impress us beyond the hugeness of the interior. Nicer interiors can be found in the new Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade, and they have more standard equipment to boot. The Highlander and Honda Pilot have their reputation for longevity and use higher quality materials. The Ford Explorer covers the performance side of things pretty darn well with its ST model, and even its lower-spec EcoBoost engine offerings aren't as lethargic as the Atlas.

It's not that the Atlas is a bad vehicle – it just competes in an incredibly contested market segment, where even small demerits can put a product a few places back in consumer's minds. To be a class leader, this VW needs to be polished up and perfected, starting with more power and some nicer materials. Then, this Atlas might be able to victoriously hoist up the crossover segment.

Check prices for the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 235 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
8-spd Tiptronic w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
20 / 24 / 22 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.0L I-4 / 235 HP / 258 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
20 / 24 / 22 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
18.6 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
96.8 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
154 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
198.3 "
Exterior Width
78.3 "
Exterior Height
70.0 "
Front Headroom
41.3 "
Rear Headroom
40.4 "
Front Legroom
41.5 "
Rear Legroom
37.6 "
Front Shoulder Room
61.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room
60.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,222 Lbs.
Wheel Base
117 "
Turning Radius
19.0 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Silver Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Front And Rear
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Fcw W/autonomous Emergency Braking Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Blind Spot Monitor Blind Spot
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Pedestrian Monitoring Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
24 Months / 20,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
84 Months / 100,000 Miles
Accessories Months

Used 2020 Volkswagen Atlas for Sale

1 vehicles found within 100 miles of your area
2.0T SE
Color: Blue



50,295 mi

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Diamond Chevrolet Buick GMC (85 mi)

Phone: (951) 484-2537

Other Volkswagen Atlas Listings

We have expanded the search to include other Volkswagen Atlas years that you might be interested in.

3.6L V6 SE w/Technology
Color: Blue



76,741 mi

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Karplus Warehouse Inc (23 mi)

Phone: (747) 232-5403
3.6L V6 SE
Color: White



90,741 mi

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Karplus Warehouse Inc (23 mi)

Phone: (747) 232-5403
3.6L V6 SE w/Technology
Color: Gray



63,907 mi

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Nissan of Mission Hills (24 mi)

Phone: (747) 600-2312
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