2019 Volkswagen Atlas: A wise (and wide) SUV choice
Volkswagens Atlas is the largest model in the automakers lineup and when we reviewed it last year, we found that there was a lot to love about this big boy.
However, we're back a year later taking a look at the 2019 model to see how it stacks up against the competition today.
Now, at about 78 inches wide, it's a very broad boy, about five inches wider than Toyota's Highlander but only about a fraction of an inch narrower than the Honda Pilot.
However, Volkswagen's very horizontal design language means it ends up looking a lot broader and more imposing on the road than the Honda.
At 198 inches from nose to tail, there's plenty of room for the [UNKNOWN] third row.
I wouldn't call it spacious back there, but aside from there not being a USB port on the third row, it's not a bad place for a small adult or a child to spend a long road trip.
Let's hit the road.
[SOUND] The Volkswagen Atlas is the largest model in VW's lineup.
And when we took a look at it last year at launch we found that there was a whole lot to love about this big boy.
Now a year later we're behind the wheel of the 2019 Atlas and let's take a look back and see how it's aged over the years.
Nit picks and high points that we found.
And see how it compares to the rest of the class.
Now one of my first nit picks is with the rear camera and the parking sensors.
When you put the car into reverse it dips the audio volume, activates the rear camera, and the parking sensor so you know how far you are from obstructions.
But when you put the car into drive isn't turning those systems off until you hit around 10 miles per hour, which means in a large parking lot or a neighborhood with a low speed limit, it might not ever turn off and get you back to your audio and I just want to listen to my podcasts.
Also, when you put the car into drive, it doesn't default to the surround view camera, you've got to press a separate button for that.
So what's even the point of having it if you have to turn it on every single time
Now one thing that I still love about the Atlas is the app connect dashboard technology.
We've got the larger eight inch version here and I think it's still one of the best infotainment systems in the class With really good on-board software and maps that work very well with our SEL Premiums digital cockpit instrument cluster.
And if you'd like to bring your own technology, there's also standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you can bring your own maps and apps with a USD cable We've got a full tech check into how this system works in a separate video definitely check that out and you'll see everything that we love about it.
Driver a technology is also pretty good with a modern loadout.
For this class we've got adaptive cruise control that works and stop and go traffic.
We've got Lane Keeping steering assist, we've got blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alerts and phronesis which is automatic emergency [UNKNOWN] However the 202 Toyota Highlander is coming to the market later this year with the so called lane trace assist.
Which actively centers the vehicle in the lane instead of bouncing beyond the boundaries.
That's something that this vehicle doesn't do, so if you're looking for the latest and greatest, there's gonna be better coming to this class Performance is still pretty all right.
You can get this vehicle with a standard two liter turbocharged engine but most atlases are gonna roll off the lot with a 3.6 liter V6 engine and four motion all wheel drive.
And that configuration, it makes 276 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque, which Volkswagen calls monstrous.
But with only eight pound feet more than the two liter, I don't know if I'd call it very monstrous in this big old SUV.
For the most part, it's just a decent amount of power and a pretty smooth power train that is very quiet and with 5000 pounds of towing capability to at least get a small family in a boat to the lake on the weekend.
[SOUND] Acceleration for passing is just okay.
The eight speed automatic transmission does a decent job, but it sucks a lot of the fun out of this power train, I reckon.
There is a sport mode, but, I mean.
Who are you kidding, this is kind of a family vehicle, you're not going to spend a lot of time in that mode.
Handling on the other hand is actually pretty darn good for this class.
The really wide stance does a really good job of helping the vehicle feel planted in the corners.
Although on the very narrow roads that we're on today, it means that I'm not having a very good time staying actually on my side of the road.
Externally something that's changed around the Atlas is the competition surrounding it.
It still competes with the likes of the Honda Pilot, the Mazda CX 9 and compares favorably with those vehicles however, However, the Toyota Highlander is getting a big update that I mentioned, later this year.
I think it's gonna be a very strong competitor for your money in this price space.
Also, you've got Cadillac getting back into this three-row SUV class, with its new XT-6.
Gonna be a pretty scrappy fight for a mid-size, three-row SUV.
Now I've mentioned the 2020 Toyota Highlander a few times.
That's gonna be a strong competitor when it hits the road later this year.
So be sure to check out our first takeover on TheRoadShow.com.
If after that you're still interested in the Atlas, and why wouldn't you be?
You should know that it starts around $30,000.
But that's for the four banger with four wheel drive, and you don't want that.
You at least want the V6.
So the real starting price is around 35K.
However, our SEL Premium with all the bells and whistles tips the scale at just over $49,000 including destination charges.
It's not the cheapest in the class but when you consider everything you're getting, it's not that bad of a deal.
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