Turbocharged Volkswagen Atlas Rated At 24 MPG Combined

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 20, 2017

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the German automaker’s late entry into the three-row crossover segment. While the Atlas will be available with two engines, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged-four-cylinder engine and a 3.6-liter V6, the automaker has made the more expensive and powerful V6 engine the go-to choice. The four-pot will only be available on the base S trim and will be an order-only item for the rest of the lineup.

That news, though, isn’t new. What is new, are the fuel economy figures for the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that the EPA just pout out. According to the agency’s website, the base engine is good for 22 miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which results in a combined rating of 24 mpg.

Those figures are much better than what the 3.6-liter V6 can muster. According to the EPA, the V6 can get 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, resulting in a combined rating of 20 mpg. While some may think that the extra performance from the V6 is worth the cost at the pumps, it’s not that simple. The four-cylinder churns out 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the V6 cranks out 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. That’s not a huge gap.

The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine makes the Atlas almost as fuel efficient as the smaller Tiguan, as well, which further complicates the matter. The Tiguan is powered by a 184-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter and is rated to return 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 24 mpg combined. Despite being larger and having a more powerful engine, the Atlas only gets one mpg less on the highway than its smaller counterpart.

The four-cylinder Atlas occupies a strange part of the crossover segment, then. It has nearly the same amount of power as the V6 model, is almost as fuel efficient as the smaller Tiguan, and is larger than the Tiguan. On paper, the four-cylinder Atlas looks like the crown jewel of the automaker’s crossover lineup. But there is a major price difference between the mid-size Tiguan and the full-size Atlas.

Volkswagen Atlas

The Tiguan S is priced at $26,245, including the $900 destination fee, while the Atlas S has a starting price of $31,425, which includes the $925 destination fee. That’s a difference of $5,180 for what’s essentially a larger, more powerful vehicle. And while VW hasn’t released any official performance times for either the Atlas or the Tiguan, with such similar performance figures and what will likely be a lower weight, the four-cylinder Atlas shouldn’t be far off the V6-powered model's time.

Volkswagen isn’t making it easy for consumers to get an Atlas with a turbocharged-four-cylinder engine, but at least on paper, it's worth the hassle.

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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