Volkswagen bet big with the Atlas last year. And we mean big in a whole lot of ways. The Atlas is VW's mid-size three-row crossover, and it towers over the Touareg that it replaces.
Though we call it a midsize, this SUV offers up room for even six-footers in all three rows of seats. It can even tow more than 2,000 kg, putting it on par with the other big crossovers like Ford's Explorer and the Chevrolet Traverse.
Despite its size, it uses the same platform as the one that underpins the Golf. Which means that it's getting a big stretch in every dimension here, but also that it gets some of that Golf DNA in the chassis. Not that a seven-seat SUV can offer the quick turn in of the GTI, but this vehicle clearly feels like a Volkswagen. Just one that's been blown up to double size.
New for 2019, the Atlas adds autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian assist to the base Trendline. A power liftgate is now on Comfortline trim as well as a heated windshield as standard. A sunroof package is now available on the Comfortline trim as an option. New blue and brown paint colours have been added.
The Atlas offers two engine choices. The first is a 2.0L turbo four that offers 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. If you're hauling seven people and their stuff, then that might come up a little short, so Volkswagen is also offering up a 3.6L V6 that's good for 276 hp and 266 lb-ft.
Both use an eight-speed automatic. The four-cylinder models get front-wheel drive, and V6s get all-wheel drive standard. The four-pot is rated for 10.8 L/100 km city, 8.9 highway, the V6 gets 13.7/10.1.
Trendline comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, privacy glass, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Comfortline adds keyless access and go, adaptive cruise, and three-zone climate as well as blind spot detection with cross-traffic alerts. Highline gets an 8.0-inch screen with proximity sensor, perforated leather seats, the V6 as standard, and heated seats front and rear plus a panoramic sunroof. Execline adds 20-inch alloys, Fender Premium Audio, park assist, Volkswagen's digital cockpit display and a surround view camera.