STATUS: Unchanged for 2020 - The Tennessee-built seven-passenger Atlas joined the burgeoning full-size utility segment for the 2018 model year. The largest VW in the fleet appears bigger than the tape measure otherwise indicates. Perhaps that's due to a wide, thin grille, bulging fenders and a boxy shape. Among its many strengths is an abundance of space throughout the three rows of seats. The left and right sections of the split-folding second-row bench can be independently reclined by up to 14 degrees, and adjusted forward and back by nearly eight inches. That provides extra legroom when needed, or easier access to the third row. Cargo capacity is generous and a 5,000-pound towing capacity ranks it as near the top of its class. Engine choices include a turbocharged 235-horsepower four-cylinder, while a non-turbo 276-horsepower V-6 is optional. Both consume regular gasoline, but the 2.0 requires premium fuel for maximum performance. All-wheel-drive can be added, but only when the V-6 is specified. Note that a hatchback version of the Atlas, called the Cross Sport, is expected to launch part way into the 2020 model year.
Base price (incl. destination): $32,550
Type: Full-size utility vehicle
Engines (h.p.): 2.0-liter I-4, turbocharged (235); 3.6-liter V-6 (276)
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Layout: Front- /all-wheel-drive
Base mpg (city/highway): 18/25/20 (V-6)
Base weight (lb.): 4,220