Roadshow Video Reviews
Volkswagen's new three-row SUV is large and mostly in chargeThe 2018 Atlas hits all the right notes, but leaves out the heart and soul.
[MUSIC] We got our first glimpse of what would become the Volkswagen Atlas way back at the 2013 Detroit motor show in the form of the cross blue concept. Well, here we are, a few years later and Volkswagen has finally brought its very first three-row SUV to the market. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is 16.5' of gear-toting, family hauling, trailer-towing, German engineering. Now when it comes to tech in the Volkswagen Atlas, well, it's there. But you're gonna have to stick to the upper trim levels in order to get it. And we've got a full deep dive video into all the nerdiness of this car. But for now, I wanna say three things. Number one, there are no USB ports for that third row. Number two, there are two USB ports for the second row. And number three, Apple Car Play and Android Auto are standard across the line. A 2 liter turbo charged engine is standard, but I have got the optional 3.6 liter V6, which is knocking out 276 horsepower and 266 pound feet of torque. Now that is a lot of grunt for this car and it accelerates really smoothly and it's got more than enough get up and go to get you out there on the highway. EPA ratings for the 3.6 litre are 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 on the highway, and 20 combined and that's pretty much what ive been getting during my week. This model here is front wheel drive but all wheel drive is optional on the V6 models. When it comes to handling, I mean this is a ponderous vehicle right its 16 and a half feet long, weighs over 4,300 pounds. The suspension is tuned so soft that it's almost on the verge of being floaty, especially when you're on maybe some rolling pavement that you might encounter out on the highway. But on the city streets where you've got potholes, broken pavement, it is super comfortable. Plus there is very, very little wind noise. The cabin is super quiet. The only thing I can't really get behind is the way the steering feels. It's just super light, there's not a lot of feedback. Now the all wheel drive versions of this car have different driving modes including a sport mode which helps that, but in front wheel drive what you steer is what you get. Power gets to the pavement through an eight speed automatic transmission and its pretty good. I mean it shifts really smoothly Some enthusiasts might find that it down shifts a little sluggishly especially out of turns but come on you guys aren't Mario Andretti you'll be fine. Third row seating is actually pretty comfortable and it's easy to get to as the second row slides and tilts. That second row will also slide up eight inches to give you more room in the third row but then the second row doesn't really have much space Cargo space is pretty good for the segment with 20.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row, over 55 cubic feet of space behind the second and 97 overall. That's enough to fill it with 17 bathtubs worth of water. Overall the Volkswagen Atlas is just fine. It behaves exactly the way you would expect a three row SUV to behave The interior's really well thought and designed really nicely. Except I don't like this kind of fakey fake wood paneling right here. The outside isn't offensive. It's a very well thought out, well executed, three-row SUV. There's just isn't much emotion to it. I mean I never look at it and I don't smile. The Atlas will satisfy your head, but if you're looking to satisfy your heart, well, you're going to have to look elsewhere. The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas starts at $30,500 for the base model with the smaller, two liter engine. But my guy here, an SE with technology trim, well that's just a smidge over $37,000. Now that's right about in line with the rest of the segment and overall, Go with the Atlas. [MUSIC]