Her + His Car Reviews

2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, and detailed POV's on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$41,815 $41,815
We love Volkswagen's newest addition, the Atlas. With the 3.6-liter V6 engine that affords 276 horsepower. This big vehicle sure handles superbly and is responsive on the windy roads and various terrain. The V6 engine is inclined to not have as much pick up and kick as we'd like in this size engine, but overall it is a handler with the 4Motion AWD. Can easily move from one driving mode to another - Dry, Rain, Snow and Rough. Actually, the Atlas feels a lot like most American products that compete in the category, and that, at least for me, is not necessarily a good thing. I, like most car enthusiasts, are used to sporty Volkswagen models that stand out from their competitors, and they have a clearly Teutonic flair to them. But VW desperately needed a large family crossover that will garner them way more customers than their previous attempts at this market were able to achieve. It's a great product. But it just feels Plain Vanilla. The steering feels light, it didn't feel especially comfortable going over large bumps and the potholes of city driving, and it was just too big and wieldy to really feel like fun. Those who haven't had a VW will probably not notice any of this. But VW folks looking for a crossover with VW flair, handling and performance will definitely notice, and they likely will find other models in the VW lineup like the terrific Golf SportWagen.

My three boys - all teens to early 20s--would way more love me to buy a GTI - which I just may do!
Fuel Economy
18 city / 25 highway and 20 miles overall. Takes regular unleaded fuel. Not too bad, but not at the top of the heap either compared to others in its market segment. The federal rating is 18 city, 25 highway, and 20 overall. It uses five gallons to drive 100 miles, and you can expect to spend $2,250 more over five years for gasoline costs, compared to other new vehicles. Annual fuel cost is $1,800 based on driving 15,000 miles a year on $2.40 a gallon of gasoline.
The Car
Volkswagen has bolstered a tremendous spot in the midsized SUV by entering the race with the 2018 Atlas. What class, value and integrity in this ride. C'mon, $41 grand? Wow. They are definitely going after the Honda Pilot, the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and the Volkswagen Tiguan. Its been a heck of a 12 - 18 months for VW, so now they are brining in this new product. It's time. Volkswagen sure is advertising in the football season, too, so there is a general brand push to bring the brand back into good graces not just with the die-hard VW lovers, but to expand market share.

Roomy and seating 7 adults comfortably, the Atlas, is a joy to drive in; regardless of your seat. The third seat hold two (2) adults and fold 50/50. The trunk is spacious bragging up to 96.8 cubic feet for lots of extras. Thank you VW designers for not wasting money or crowding up space with the pretentious, seldom used, paddle shifters.

The panoramic sunroof opens and closes with a touch of the finger. Just like the easy organization of the seating arrangements. Note that this mid-sized SUV does not have a tire, not even a spare, so be warned.

NOTE: FOR AMAZON PRIME MEMBERS IN LA and CHICAGO. For two consecutive weekends (September 22nd to September 24th and September 29th to October 1st), the VW Atlas Prime Now Test Drive Program will offer Amazon Prime members in Los Angeles and Chicago the opportunity to sign up for a limited number of convenient, home-based test drive experiences of the Atlas SEL Premium. "We are very excited to work with Amazon to introduce more consumers to our newly-launched, seven-seater SUV through this unique test drive experience," said Greg Tebbutt, Senior Director, Transformation, Strategy and Communications, Volkswagen of America. "We know people have limited time and are always looking for convenient ways to test out a new product, and with the Amazon Prime Now service we are able to bring the all-new Atlas to customers' doorstep." Very cool.
Let me be very clear here - the Atlas is a really well built, tremendously spacious and comfortable product. It has so much going for it - not the least of which is an incredible six years/72,000-mile basic warranty that is hard to match anywhere in the industry. If you are a family person, you would be out of your mind not to look at it before you buy. It's interior is particularly well done with really nice materials, and I loved the dashboard, especially the infotainment cluster which was beautifully done and really easy to use. But having said all that, the styling, the handling, the seats with support not quite what I am used to in VW products, and the balkiness of the "stop-start" fuel management system needs to smoothed out considerably.
The entourage of airbags in the Front, the Rear, and Side. ABS, 4 Wheel Disc Brakes. Brake Assist, ESC, Daytime Running Lights, Integrated Turn Signals on Mirrors, Rollover protection System, Traction Control, Child Safety Locks. Emergency Trunk release. Blind Spot Monitoring, Land Departure Monitoring, Auto Leveling Headlight, Intelligent Crash Response System. Safety equipment includes Front and Side airbags with supplemental restraint systems for both driver and passenger side curtain protections, head impact airbags, three point safety belts for all seating positions, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, intelligent crash response system, and tire pressure monitoring system.
The technology features you will enjoy in the SEL include the Panoramic Sunroof, Push Button Start, Power and Heated Seats, Remote Engine Start (love it with the weather here.) The Digital Cockpit has a display with an 8? display interface that offers Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity. A 3- Zone Climate Control for customized and personalized comfort ? Driver, Passenger and Back.

AM/FM/ Sirius Radio. The 12 speaker Fender Premium Audio system with 480 watts and is equipped with an equally fawesome 12channel amplifier.

Full-Leather Seating with semi-lumbar. We say that because the lumbar feature is not as robust as most cars in this range. Nor did the seats adjust high enough like the Jeep Cherokee of the Pilot.
You can order your Atlas in a number of variations that include the S, Se, SE with technology, SEL and SEL Premium.

Engine wise, all but the SEL Premium get the base engine, a 235 horsepower four-cylinder engine, or an optional 276 horsepower V6. That V6 is standard equipment on the SEL Premium. Front wheel drive is standard any of the V6 versions can be had with all wheel drive, but it too, is standard with the SEL Premium. The standard transmission in all of them is the eight speed automatic.

If you get the base Atlas S, you can expect cloth seating, a bench seat in the second row, LED headlights and dual-zone manual climate control along with typical features such as power mirrors, a rearview camera and cruise control. There's also a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen interface that offers Apple Car Play, Android Auto and Bluetooth connectivity. A limited run of Atlas S Launch Edition models will be offered with the V6 engine only and the addition of a panoramic sunroof, Home Link programmable garage door opener and an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen with satellite radio.

The SE adds simulated leather upholstery, push-button start, automatic headlights, a power driver seat, heated front seats, rear sunshades, a blind-spot monitoring system, a larger 8-inch touchscreen interface and the option of captain's chairs in the second row. For a bit more you can get the SE with technology, which adds builds on the SE's remote engine start, automatic three-zone climate control, a power rear lift gate, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking.

SEL adds a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front passenger seats, park distance control and two available options: black 20-inch wheels and the R-Line appearance package. The top-of-the-line SEL Premium provides the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, a display that replaces the standard gauge cluster with a video screen that can be reconfigured to show a wide variety of information beyond speed, your gas gauge and temperature readings. All SEL Premium models also get LED taillights, full leather seating, an upgraded touchscreen display with navigation, and a parking assist system. The same 20-inch black wheels offered on the SEL are also optional on the SEL Premium, but the R-Line package is not.
Aesthetics & Styling
Clean, simple and pure. The lines on the Atlas are attractive and bold in this 'double' wide mid sized SUV. Interior is unadoned and welcoming; there is nothing unlikeable about it. Quite therapeutic to be in a car this refined without all the tricks and gadgets. The 20" tires support the Atlas and frame it off nicely. VW has a high female audience and they do need to address the drivers seat height. The interior is quite nicely done, with high quality materials everywhere. A really nice touch is a second row feature that requires only one flick of a handle on the seat to move the seat forward and up to allow entry into the third row. Styling of the exterior? I will be nice. It's modestly pleasant. But certainly, with its boxy lines and swollen wheel arches, it isn't a leader in its segment.
New Vehicle Limited Warranty Leads the competition with 6 years/72,000 miles. Basic warranty is 6 years/72,000 miles.