The 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport is expected to carry over with no changes after its debut in 2020. The Atlas Cross Sport fits just below the larger Atlas in VW’s lineup, with two-row capability to the Atlas’s three. The two SUVs are based on the same platform, but the Atlas Cross Sport has a lower roofline and a sharper profile.
Those attributes give the Cross Sport an edge in the styling department. Flared wheel wells lend a touch of aggression, while the roofline brings some needed sportiness to the Atlas shape. The interior isn’t quite as sharp, but everything is functional and easy to use.
The current Atlas Cross Sport misses out on a third row, but it makes up for it by reallocating the space for five passengers. The second row boasts 40.4 inches of leg room, excellent for the class and 2.8 more than the Atlas. Cargo capacity is equally impressive, with 40.3 cubic feet behind the seats.
The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport will likely keep the same engine options, a 2.0-liter turbo or a 3.6-liter V6. Both engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive. VW’s AWD system sends power to the front wheels until slippage is detected, but it still brings efficiency down to a disappointing 20 mpg combined.
The current Atlas Cross Sport has not been rated by federal or independent safety testers, but it did bring a full suite of safety features. Automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitors come standard, with advanced features like adaptive cruise control on the menu. VW’s semi-autonomous traffic-jam assistant will make its way to the larger Atlas this year, but it was already available on the Atlas Cross Sport.