2018 Volkswagen Atlas Review

Fuel Type
City MPG
Highway MPG
  • Performance
    4.0 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    4.3 of 5.0
  • Interior
    4.4 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    2.5 of 5.0
07 Jan 2017

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, a full-sized SUV designed by VW, will be introduced to the North American automobile market for the 2018 model year. This SUV is Volkswagen’s third crossover/SUV and their largest to date. Furthermore, VW designed this vehicle specifically for the US market.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a smaller crossover, while the Volkswagen Touareg is a larger SUV with seven seats. The new Atlas is even larger and has seven seats, but unlike the Touareg, the seats in the Atlas can accommodate seven adults. That means no more plastic bucket seats in the back of the car for the smallest passengers. Even the upgraded classic Chevrolet Equinox does not provide this much space and comfort in a single vehicle while maintaining an upscale appearance.

Unfortunately, Volkswagen has no plans to release this massive SUV in Europe at this time. Understandable, given that larger vehicles typically do not sell well there. Following the initial release of the 2018 Atlas in the United States, the vehicle is expected to be available in Russian and Middle Eastern markets as well.

Exterior design

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas has a rather generic appearance. Many design cues from Volkswagen’s CrossBlue Concept are carried over, as many expected, and the Atlas makes a good impression. The generic look is popular among some brands, so it’s no surprise that the Atlas resembles the Audi Q7.

The 2018 Atlas, on the other hand, adopts a grille and headlight design that is reminiscent of the stunning Range Rover Evoque. This distinguishes it from the Audi Q7 and gives it a distinct personality. The headlights and grille form a straight line, resembling a wide strip covering the Atlas’s nose. The VW logo is in the center, and the grille pattern is a sturdy metal one with two chrome strips around it.

The lower air vent, which is taller than on the CrossBlue concept, can be seen beneath. The front bumper is dark in color, with a silver insert and foglight outlines.

Overall, it is clear that the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a very wide vehicle, measuring 77.9 inches wide (1,98m). The car’s blocky appearance, combined with even blockier headlights and grille strip, gives it a tough and sturdy appearance.

Side and rear

The side of the 2018 Atlas has a body line across the middle that puffs out over the wheel arches and another between the wheels at the bottom. The wheel arches on the large wheels are relatively low, giving the side a typical SUV appearance.

The straight taillights, which mimic the front set of headlights and grille, add a nice touch to the back. A chrome strip runs beneath the taillights to connect the rear light set. On either side of the car, there is an angular exhaust on the lower part of the rear bumper.

Interior design

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas’ interior is also a little generic, but it works perfectly. Furthermore, generic does not imply that the interior appears cheap, as it appears decent and upscale. We are particularly impressed with this vehicle’s interior, which is a feature that many automobile manufacturers have yet to master.

Aside from the attractive materials and modern dash design, the car has a slew of cutting-edge technological features. The digital cluster, for example, has a 12.3-inch screen, while the infotainment screen has an 8-inch screen.

A Fender 480 watt amplifier and a 12-speaker system are available as an option.

The main feature of the 2018 Atlas’ interior is, of course, the spaciousness it provides for seven adult passengers and their luggage. The back seat, which has the same level of comfort and upholstery as the front seats, is easily accessible by folding down the middle row. In addition, the back seat can be completely folded down for additional cargo space. According to Volkswagen, the far right middle-row seat can be folded down to transport a surfboard.

Engine specs

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is available with two engines. The first is the 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected TSI four-cylinder engine. The engine is also found in the safe and well-proportioned Volkswagen Tiguan, but it has been tweaked in the Atlas to produce more power. This model has 238 horsepower, an eight-speed transmission, and front wheel drive. The other engine is a 3.6-liter VR6 that produces 280 horsepower.

This engine is available in front-wheel drive or 4Motion All Wheel Drive trims. This last engine also employs an eight-speed transmission system for increased efficiency while driving.

Tech specs

The technology features in the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas are truly outstanding. VW provides its Car-Net system, which includes a variety of vehicle services. Consider smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. Additionally, navigation assistance and roadside assistance, as well as the ability to view car information from a distance, are all available through Volkswagen’s Car-Net.

Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Autonomous Emergency Braking are among the driver assistance and safety features available in the Atlas. Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and Park Assist are also included. The Atlas also has Automatic Post-Collision Braking, which prevents secondary collisions by braking automatically when the airbags deploy.

When the VR6 engine with 4Motion AWD is present, the standard option of Driving Mode Selection is available. For the best performance and fuel economy, the driver can select one of four modes: Eco, Normal, Sport, or Custom.

Price, release and sale date

The base price for the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas with the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine is $30,750. The 3.6 liter engine with front wheel drive starts at $32,150 and the 4Motion All Wheel Drive starts at $33,950.