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2021 Volkswagen Atlas SUV gets sleeker looks, more tech

VW's three-row SUV has been updated with a new badge and styling to match.

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Sharper looks are here for the Atlas.

Steven Pham/Roadshow

Following in the footsteps of the new two-row Atlas Cross Sport, Volkswagen has facelifted the big three-row Atlas SUV for the 2021 model year.

On the outside VW has brought the big Atlas more in line with its Cross Sport sibling. There's a new three-bar grille that's flanked by standard LED headlights, and the front bumper has been given a more modern look with a silver-colored faux skidplate. The rear bumper and LED taillights are also new, and VW says the new Atlas is almost three inches longer than before. R-Line models get unique front and rear bumpers, side skirts and wheel designs measuring 20 or 21 inches.

One of the biggest changes -- no, seriously -- is the fitment of Volkswagen's redesigned emblem. The steering wheel that it's attached to is new as well, and the Atlas' interior has also seen the addition of available contrast stitching and an 8-inch infotainment screen that's standard on all but the base model. VW's next-gen Car-Net telematics system is onboard, too, which includes a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Atlas remains available with niceties such as ventilated front seats and a digital gauge cluster.

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VW's new logo is fitted to the steering wheel and exterior badging.

Volkswagen

Automated emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard equipment on every Atlas. The traffic jam assist system that debuted on the Cross Sport is now available, as are existing optional features such as adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera.

The Atlas' powertrains remain the same, so there's a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 235 horsepower as the base powertrain or a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 with 276 horses. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive as standard. 4Motion all-wheel drive is now available with the four-cylinder engine as well as the V6; it was previously restricted to just the six-cylinder motor. VW has also made the turbo four available on every Atlas trim level, where it used to be offered only on lower-end models.

The 2021 Atlas will go on sale in the spring, with pricing being announced closer to the on-sale date. Don't expect the refreshed Atlas to be much pricier than the current model's $31,890 starting point.

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