VW has given the US SUV a makeover. The new look comes with extended equipment, but Atlas buyers will have to do without the V6 engine in the future.
With the Atlas based on MQB, VW has been trying to participate in the SUV boom in the USA since the end of 2017. It is larger than the European Tiguan, but significantly cheaper than the Touareg. For model year 2024, VW is presenting a comprehensive facelift for the seven-seater Atlas and the five-seater SUV coupé sister model Atlas Cross Sport. Both models will premiere at the Chicago Auto Show.
New light, new front
In order to be better received by US customers, in the course of the facelift, VW has put a hand on the interior of the two SUV siblings in particular. In addition, the body design was sharpened. Both the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport give a more modern look with a new front fascia, an updated grille, new C-shaped Adaptive LED headlights with a connecting LED light bar, and new taillights that also run the width of the vehicle with a light strip appearance. However, the illuminated VW logo and the light bar that extends across the top of the grille are reserved for the higher-end trim levels. The newly designed roof edge spoiler, which is intended to lengthen the roof line more dynamically than before, is always on board. The Cross Sport differs more from the Atlas with a new rear diffuser. Usual upgrades include new designs for the 18- to 21-inch alloy wheels.
The interior is becoming classier
With new surface materials and new comfort functions in the interior, the VW Atlas is striving for more value. The dashboard and the center console - now with an additional storage compartment - are covered with imitation leather. Wide application strips with new wood-look designs extend to the door panels and further into the rear. The ambient lighting offers more setting options and also backlights parts of the dashboard. The now standard 10.25-inch digital instrument in front of the driver is supplemented by a 12-inch touchscreen on the dashboard. A head-up display is optional. Smartphones can be integrated via Apple Carplay and Android Auto and supplied with power in an inductive charging station. In addition, at least six USB-C sockets are distributed throughout the interior for docking advances.
In the future, the standard equipment will offer a heated steering wheel, air-conditioned seats and the air conditioning reacts to voice commands. Also always on board is the IQ.Drive assistance package.
Only turbo four-cylinder
The drive side was deleted. The 280 hp and 360 Nm 3.6-liter naturally aspirated VR6 engine is history. Only turbo four-cylinder engines are used in the Atlas. The two-liter unit brings 272 hp and 370 Nm to the starting line. It is always shifted by an eight-speed automatic. In the standard configuration, only the front wheels are driven. All-wheel drive is available at an additional cost.
In the USA, the two new Atlas models are scheduled to be launched in autumn 2023 as 2024 models. VW only wants to communicate prices shortly before the market launch. The SUV coupé Atlas Cross Sport is currently available from around 33,300 euros and the Atlas with three rows of seats from around 34,000 euros. With the upgraded equipment, however, the prices should increase.
VW trims its US SUV models Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport for more value. There is also a more modern design and improved equipment. However, VW is canceling the VR6 top engine. The Atlas is only available with a turbo four-cylinder.