2024 Volkswagen Atlas Review

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

Available in four trims and with room for either six or seven occupants, the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas is the largest SUV in the brand’s lineup.

To describe it as spacious would be an understatement. With a third row of seats that adults can actually use, and the ability to fold all the rear seats completely flat, the Atlas can haul both cargo and people with ease – and in comfort, too.

Styling: 8/10

For 2024, all Atlas trims get a new front end with LED headlights. On trims but the cheapest one, the grille-mounted VW logo is illuminated for added pizzazz.

The only gripe about the exterior styling – and admittedly, it‘s a subjective one – is the faux exhaust. A growing number of manufacturers seem to be styling their vehicles with fake openings, so we aren’t singling Volkswagen out, but we are calling the brand out – especially since the real exhaust tips are located right behind the fake outlets in the bumper.

Inside, the cabin is welcoming and refined. You won’t find cloth seats in any of the trims. It’s either leatherette (Comfortline and Peak Edition), leather (Highline), or premium leather (Execline).

Safety: 8/10

All Atlas trims come well equipped with an array of both passive and advanced safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning and keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

The 2024 Atlas gets a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and a five-star overall rating for crashworthiness from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Features: 9/10

All models come nicely equipped. Standard equipment heated and ventilated front seats, a power tailgate, 12-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connections, wireless charging, a three-zone climate control system, and a heated steering wheel. The Peak Edition adds a power outlet in the second row, rear sunshades, and interior ambient lighting. A panoramic power sunroof is optional.

The Highline gets a 10-speaker stereo (six speakers are standard lower in the lineup), memory function for the driver’s seat, an eight-way power front passenger seat (to go with the 10-way power driver’s seat), heated second-row seats, automatic high-beam control, and the option of second-row captain’s chairs. Finally, the Execline benefits from an R-Line exterior design package for a more aggressive look, a surround-view camera system, head-up display, and a few other extras.

User-Friendliness: 10/10

Whether you’re packing the Atlas full of people or cargo, you’ll have no trouble with accessibility. Even third-row passengers will find it easy to get in and out thanks to the design of the second-row seats, which are made to move forward and well out of the way.

As far as electronics are concerned, the infotainment system works as advertised and is easy to figure out. All controls are logically organized, easy to understand, and the graphics are sharp and easy to read.

Practicality: 10/10

The Atlas has room for seven occupants, although that drops to six with the second-row captain’s chairs in place of the standard bench. Either way, everyone inside will have plenty of head-, leg-, and shoulder-room.

With all the seats occupied, the Atlas still offers a decent amount of cargo space behind the third row (583 L), and with all rear seats out of the way capacity climbs to an impressive 2,735 L. If you need more cargo-hauling capacity, the Atlas can tow 2,268 kg (5,000 lb).

Comfort: 9/10

Equipped with leatherette or leather upholstery, depending on trim, the Atlas comes with firm and supportive seats. Standard equipment across all trims includes a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar support.

The front seats are both heated and ventilated, and the entire steering wheel is heated (instead of just the sides like it is for some rivals). Highline and Execline trims get heated second-row seats, and third-row passengers stay comfortable with both floor vents and C-pillar vents that can send hot or cold air to the rearmost row.

Power: 7/10

Every Atlas gets the same engine and transmission: a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that produces 269 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, which is coupled to an eight-speed automatic. While it’s adequate in most scenarios, there were times during this test that we were left wishing for a bit more low-end torque.

Driving Feel: 9/10

A long wheelbase and a soft suspension make for a very comfortable ride. The interior is well insulated, and both road and wind noise are subdued. Despite its size, the Atlas is easy to manoeuvre, responds well to driver inputs, and handles corners with minimal body roll. All trims come with selectable drive modes including eco, comfort, sport, snow, off-road, and custom. Each setting alters operating parameters for the engine, transmission, steering, traction-assistance, and other systems, while the latter setting allows drivers to mix and match parameters.

Fuel Economy: 7/10

While the fuel economy numbers for the Atlas aren’t great, they’re on par with some other vehicles in this segment. According to Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), the Atlas has three different fuel economy ratings, depending on trim. The Comfortline is rated at 12.2 L/100 km in the city, 9.2 on the highway, and 10.8 combined.

The Peak Edition is good for 13.0/9.7/11.5 city/highway/combined, while the Highline and Execline trims are slightly better (12.6/9.4/11.2). Our Execline tester returned a combined average of 12.5 L/100 km.

In comparison, NRCan rates competitors like the Kia Telluride at 11.7 L/100 km combined, and the Toyota Grand Highlander at 10.0 or 10.7, depending on the trim – although the hybrid versions are rated as low as 7.0. The Mazda CX-90 is rated at 9.3 or 9.5.

Value: 8/10

The base Comfortline is nicely equipped and starts at $53,278 (all prices include freight, but not taxes). Next is the Peak Edition, which starts at $57,278, while the Highline starts at $60,278. Finally, the Execline starts at $63,278.

In comparison, the Telluride starts at $53,433, but has less overall cargo space and less third-row legroom. The Grand Highlander starts at $53,555, comes with a more extensive safety package, and is available as a hybrid model, which greatly improves fuel consumption. The Mazda CX-90 starts at $49,348, offers better fuel economy, but has a lot less cargo room and less legroom for third-row passengers.

The Verdict

There are quite a few three-row SUVs on the market today. However, many seem a bit tight on cargo and passenger space. The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas delivers on the promise of a usable and comfortable third row, as well as a truly versatile and cavernous cargo hold. While fuel economy isn’t its strong suit, the Atlas is on par with other SUVs in this size class – although more fuel-friendly options do exist.

Engine Displacement 2.0L
Engine Cylinders I4 Turbo
Peak Horsepower 269 hp @5,500–6,500 rpm
Peak Torque 273 lb-ft @ 1,600–4,750 rpm
Fuel Economy 12.6 / 9.4 / 11.2 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 583 / 2,735 L seats up/down
Model Tested 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Execline
Base Price $60,495
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $2,150
Price as Tested $63,445
Optional Equipment
$700 – Captain’s Chair Package, $700