|The new 2018 VW Atlas strikes a bold pose. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
The Atlas is large and in charge. It’s the only VW that seats seven, now that the Routan minivan is kaput. And the Atlas’ third row is unique, as you can leave three child safety seats firmly connected in the second row and still have generous access to the adult-sized third row. Yes, you can be more than five feet tall and sit comfortably in the Atlas’ third row.
|Stylish SUV should be an instant hit amongst VW faithful and newcomers alike. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
Speaking of Atlas content, you’ll be impressed at base Trendline, Comfortline or Highline trim levels. Let’s start with safety, where VW is world class in terms of content. If there is a system on the market
|The high-tech yet rich looking cabin is mighty appealing. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
Atlas is the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which is standard on all models. This system builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact-the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision, helping reduce the chance of additional damage.
Atlas also offers a number of standard and available driver assistance systems, including
|A 12.3-inch configurable colour TFT gauge package is serious premium kit for the mainstream class. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
On the road, the Atlas really excels. As stated earlier, it drives much smaller than its size. I expected it to offer ponderous handling like some other large SUVs in its class. Atlas underpinnings include front coils springs with tube shock absorbers, and a multilink setup in the rear. Meaty 245-section rubber mounted to standard 18-inch wheels offer
|Second row buckets are roomy and comfortable. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
And Atlas is indeed off-road capable. Use the console mounted rotary controller to select from four 4Motion all-wheel drive modes: Dry, Rainy, Snowy and Rough. When the going is smooth, the eight-speed Tiptronic transmission handles shifting duties with consummate ease. And while you can ‘rough it’ off-road, you’ll be hard pressed to rough it in the Atlas’ well-appointed interior.
It’s hard to know where to start. Choose the expansive panoramic sunroof, and you’ll get three rows of clear views to the skies.
|A third row designed for real adults. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
Another impressive standard feature is the 17 cupholders throughout the three rows. Yes, each passenger can have 2.42857143 drinks at their disposal. To keep all entertained, choose from myriad audio options via the 12.3-inch centre console display. It’s crisp, informative and intuitive, amongst the best I’ve experienced. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment, and a rockin’ 480-watt Fender premium audio system is optional.
At present, the only powertrain available is a 3.6-litre V6 outputting 276 horsepower with either front- or all-wheel drive. Later this year, a front-wheel drive-only 2.0-litre turbo four with 235 horsepower will be available at a lower MSRP.
|Cavernous cargo area will appeal to active families. (Photo: Volkswagen)|
If Volkswagen doesn’t sell every Atlas they build, I’ll be incredibly surprised. It’s one heck of a great SUV at a most impressive and affordable price point. Well done VW!
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