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2023 Volkswagen Atlas

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Expert Rating

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
2023 2.0T SE 4dr Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $36,445
2023 2.0T SE 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $38,345
2023 3.6L V6 SE w/Technology 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $42,365
2023 3.6L V6 SE w/Technology 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $44,265
2023 2.0T SEL 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $46,235
2023 3.6L V6 SEL 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $47,985
2023 3.6L V6 SEL R-Line Black 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $49,935
2023 3.6L V6 SEL Premium R-Line 4dr All-Wheel Drive 4MOTION Price:   -  From $53,635


What's New

Sharing most of its DNA with its Cross Sport sibling, Volkswagen’s Atlas is a carryover from 2022. It remains a five-trim three-row SUV, offering two seats more than the Cross Sport for only a few hundred dollars extra.

Choosing Your Volkswagen Atlas

The five-model Atlas range starts with Volkswagen’s traditional entry-level SE trim, priced at $35,895 including destination. VW’s 4MOTION AWD system is a $1,900 upgrade on SE and SE with Technology models, while a 3.6-liter V6 can replace the two-liter turbocharged gas engine for $1,750 on SE with Technology and mid-range SEL. 4MOTION is standard from SEL trim upwards, while the V6 is the only powertrain in SEL R-Line Black and SEL Premium R-Line guises. The latter will set you back $53,085 as the range’s flagship model.

Engine Choices

The three lower Atlas trims come as standard with a two-liter turbocharged gas engine producing 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, supplied to either the front or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy stands at an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway, and 23 combined, but specifying AWD knocks one MPG off each figure.

Move up to the 3.6-liter V6, and power outputs rise slightly to 276 hp and 266 lb-ft. For this modest power gain, fuel economy drops to 18/24/20 miles per gallon in the rare FWD configuration, with AWD reducing the highway mileage by one MPG.

Engine TypeHorsepowerTorqueFuel Economy (City/highway/Combined)
2.0 turbo235 hp258 lb-ft

21/25/23 (FWD)

20/24/22 (AWD)

3.6 V6276 hp266 lb-ft

18/24/20 (FWD)

18/23/20 (AWD)

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

Cargo capacity for the seven-seater Atlas stands at 20.6 cu ft with the rear seats in place, 55.5 cu ft once they’re dropped, and 96.8 cu ft if you also lower the second-row seats.

Volkswagen Atlas

Safety Features

Every Atlas receives six airbags, electronic brake pressure distribution and hydraulic brake assistance, blind spot monitoring, and autonomous emergency front braking. SE models miss out on the adaptive cruise control and parking sensors standard on every other model, while SEL is the first to receive road sign displays, high beam assist, lane keeping, and emergency assistance. Rain-sensing wipers and weather-adaptive automatic LED lights are standard across the range.


You probably won’t see an SE Atlas in your local dealership’s showroom, because its 6.5-inch touchscreen with two-band radio is way off the pace nowadays. Navigation only appears in SEL models, and even wireless smartphone connectivity is reserved for SE with Technology models, as are rear USB ports and satellite radio. SE with Tech models also enjoy a 10.25-inch configurable driver instrument display and wireless device charging.

Volkswagen Atlas

2023 Volkswagen Atlas SE – MRSP From $35,895

It wouldn’t be fair to describe SE models as sparsely equipped, but cost-cutting is evident in the leatherette steering wheel, manually adjustable passenger seat (though the driver gets eight-way power), and manual climate control. The 6.5-inch touchscreen is another throwback, though at least the side mirrors are heated, folding, and power-adjustable, while keyless entry is standard alongside heated front seats.

There are no packages on SE models.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology – MRSP From $40,065

Replacing SE’s 18-inch wheels with far more stylish 20-inch wheels, SE with Technology lives up to its name by offering a power rear liftgate, three-zone climate, adaptive cruise, and remote engine start. The infotainment screen expands to eight inches and gains HD/satellite radio. Wireless smartphone connectivity and charging both come as standard.

There are no packages here either, though second-row captain’s chairs cost $695 (as they do on all higher trims) and a panoramic sunroof will set you back $1,200.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas SEL – MRSP From $46,080

Adaptive front lighting distinguishes SEL models externally, alongside heated washer nozzles and outside mirrors with position memory and auto-tilting on the passenger side. A panoramic sunroof is hidden behind silver roof rails, illuminating a cabin that features eight-way power adjustment for both front seats, ambient cabin lighting, a heated steering wheel, and navigation. Safety is also improved with everything from lane keep assistance to traffic sign recognition.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas SEL R-Line Black – MRSP From $49,780

V6-only Black models live up to their name with black roof rails and matching external styling, alongside a standard trailer hitch. However, they lose SEL’s heated steering wheel.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium R-Line – MRSP From $53,085

Exclusively shod in 21-inch alloy wheels, Premium trim enjoys leather-clad seats which are heated in the second row and ventilated up front. A surround-view camera system is standard alongside park assistance, and the stereo is upgraded to a Fender system with a subwoofer.

Compare Atlas Trims Side-By-Side

CarsDirect Tip

SE models are too underequipped to be a serious proposition, so SE with Technology represents the first acceptable rung on the Atlas ladder. SEL brings welcome extra safety features, but higher trims don’t justify their price premium, and the V6 engine standard on more expensive models harms gas mileage without significantly improving performance.

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Automotive Editor
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Prices & Deals

Expert Review

  • Extensive warranty coverage
  • Downright cavernous cabin
  • Stout towing capacity
  • Comfortable ride quality

  • Aging infotainment system
  • Lackluster acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Subpar interior materials
Expert Rating

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

Now With A Simplified Lineup. Last year, the Volkswagen Atlas was available in four main trims with a handful of packages. For the 2023 model year, the Atlas lineup grows to five trims, though there aren’t any optional packages. Instead of having to worry about what optional packages to choose, Volkswagen’s streamlined lineup for the 2023 Atlas allows shoppers to focus on a single specific trim.

The other major change for the 2023 Atlas is the introduction of its Digital Cockpit Pro digital instrument cluster as standard equipment on all trims above the entry-level SE. The base SE trim makes do with a standard 8-inch digital instrument cluster, though it’s a non-configurable unit.

With the new lineup, the SE with Technology stands out as the one to get. It starts at $40,065 (with destination) and adds some noteworthy features over the base SE trim. Standard equipment includes remote start, front and rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, seven USB ports, a hands-free liftgate, and 20-inch wheels.

Room For Everyone. By midsize SUV standards, the Atlas is downright massive. It offers one of the roomiest cabins in the segment with enough space for everyone and everyone’s belongings. The front two rows of seats are incredibly spacious, while the third row is surprisingly roomy for adults. That’s not a trait that most midsize SUVs have.

For passengers seeking the most seats, the second-row bench seat brings a seating capacity of up to seven, while the available captain’s chairs reduce seating capacity to six. While you lose a seat with the captain’s chairs, they make it far easier to get to the third row. Once there, passengers get 33.7 inches of legroom, a large figure for the segment.

The Atlas also impresses when it comes to cargo capacity. With the third row in place, the Atlas has 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space. That figure expands to 55.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row and a total of 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space in total. That’s plenty of space for everyone’s luggage on a road trip.

Volkswagen Atlas

Poor Acceleration, Smooth Ride. Volkswagen continues to offer the Atlas with two engines. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For a midsize SUV of this size, a 235-hp feels underpowered. It’s fine around town and for short commutes but lacks the punch needed to tow large cargo or pass on the highway.

The available 3.5-liter V6 engine is a much better option for the Atlas. It brings a rating of 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, which results in far better acceleration and passing power on the highway. While the V6 is an upgrade over the four-cylinder engine, it’s well off of what you’ll find with other midsize SUVs. Still, we prefer the V6 engine and so will consumers looking to tow cargo, as the V6 offers up to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity.

The Atlas may not be the most exciting SUV to drive in a straight line or around corners, but it does offer a smooth ride. The midsize SUV feels more like a large SUV on the road with a supple ride that evens out on the highway. The result is an SUV that will soak up miles on the annual family trip.

Drab Styling. Volkswagen is playing it safe with the 2023 Atlas’ exterior and interior design. Compared to midsize SUVs like the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, and Jeep Grand Cherokee L, the Atlas’ design comes off as boring. We don’t mind the staid exterior look, but the utilitarian design of the cabin and drab materials are hard to ignore.

There’s not a lot of color on the inside and a few of the Atlas’ interior materials feel below average for the class. The Atlas lacks the same soft-touch materials as its rivals and a lot of the switchgear doesn’t have the same well-designed feel.

Final Thoughts. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas is a room-first SUV. For consumers in search of an SUV with a generous amount of interior space, few competitors can match the Atlas. In other areas, like performance, technology, and interior quality, the Atlas doesn’t have what it takes to compete with our favorites.

The Kia Telluride continues to be a class favorite. It has a stylish design, comes packed with tech features, offers upscale trims with a luxurious feel, and comes with a punchy V6 engine. The Jeep Grand Cherokee L has serious off-roading capability, a luxurious interior, high-tech features, and three rows of spacious seats.

Check prices for the 2023 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
21 / 25 / 23 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
7 / 6
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
21 / 25 / 23 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
200.7 "
Exterior Width
78.3 "
Exterior Height
70.1 "
Front Headroom
41.3 "
Rear Headroom
40.4 "
Front Legroom
41.7 "
Rear Legroom
37.6 "
Front Shoulder Room
61.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room
60.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,255 Lbs.
Wheel Base
117 "
Turning Radius
20.3 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Machined W/painted Accents Aluminum / 20.0 " Silver Aluminum / 20.0 " Black Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Accents
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
7 / 6
Seat Trim
V-tex Leatherette
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
(8-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
(8-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench / Full Bucket
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm With 360l Am/fm, Seek-scan / Siriusxm With 360l Am/fm/hd/satellite, 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
Climatic / Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
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
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Front Assist (forward Collision Warning And Autonomous Emergency Braking) Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Side Assist 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
Park Distance Control Front And Rear
Security Systems
Security System
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

Find Your New Volkswagen Atlas

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