Volkswagen Atlas vs. Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

By

Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

, Automotive Editor - April 17, 2020

In 2018, Volkswagen expanded its crossover range to include the three-row, midsize Atlas. While not the best-received crossover, this dollop of vanilla ice cream filled a gap in the brand's lineup. Meanwhile, the 2020 model year brought about the introduction of the all-new VW Atlas Cross Sport, which suits the broader base of crossover shoppers who have no need for a third row.

Does the new Atlas Cross Sport hit that middle ground the Atlas missed? Keep reading to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Atlas & Atlas Cross Sport »

What the Atlas Gets Right

The VW Atlas’ biggest benefit over its Atlas Cross Sport brother is its interior. Whereas the Atlas Cross Sport hauls just five people, the Atlas’ third row increases passenger capacity to seven. Sure, the third row isn't exactly spacious with just 33.7 inches of leg room, but it’s the perfect size for younger children or adults in a pinch.

Though the third row is short on room, it’s easy to access thanks to large rear doors and second-row seats that slide forward. Plus, with its innovative LATCH placement, there’s no need to remove the child seat to slide the second row forward. Parents will appreciate this feature the most.

The Atlas also hauls cargo with the best of them in its class with 20.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 55.5 behind the second row, and cavernous 96.8 behind the first row. The Atlas Cross Sport offers just 40.3 cubic feet behind its second row and 77.8 total.

What the Atlas Cross Sport Gets Right

The VW Atlas Cross Sport shows off a sportier look – just as its name implies – with a lower roofline, smaller glasshouse, and forward-raked rear glass. The Atlas Cross Sport is the chocolate-vanilla swirl to the vanilla Atlas.

The Atlas Cross Sport shares the Atlas’ 117.3-inch wheelbase, but its 195.5-inch length is 2.8 inches shorter. This pushes the wheels to the corners for enhanced stability, and the shorter body makes it easier to zip through tight traffic.

The Atlas Cross Sport may lack the third row its big brother boasts, but it makes up for that with an adult-friendly second row. Here, passengers will have 40.4 inches of leg room, which is 2.8 inches more than the Atlas offers.

The Atlas Cross Sport starts from $31,565, which is an even $1,000 cheaper than the Atlas. Plus, it boasts all the same standard features as the three-row model, including a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, 18-inch wheels, and more.

Got to Have Three Rows?

The VW Atlas doesn’t make as much sense for the average family as the VW Atlas Cross Sport, but those who have a larger-than-average family will appreciate its third row and extra cargo space for just an additional $1,000.

Our Verdict: Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

With its lower base price, loads of room for the average family, and identical features to the three-row model, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport just makes more sense for more buyers than the standard Volkswagen Atlas.

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Atlas »

Take a closer look at the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

Privacy Policy|Do Not Sell My Personal Information|Terms of Use|Cookie Policy|Disclaimer
COPYRIGHT 1999-2020 MH Sub I, LLC dba CarsDirect.com