The new Volkswagen Atlas is a mid-sized three-row SUV, while it is the largest product by the German automaker it is manufactured here in the US at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. Since its launch last year this new VW stands apart among the rapidly growing and competitive mid-sized SUV market. The Atlas combines exceptional engineering and high technology with a clean line design and intriguing tech innovations.
The front grill proudly displays VW’s refined DNA and it takes the center stage, the rear deck on the Atlas is simple yet elegant. Our test car was the SEL premium and the interior was airy and almost loft-like, the attention to detail and fine appointments throughout were spot on. With standard 20-inch wheels the SEL Premium is aggressive in stance and streamlined and smooth modern silhouette. While every bit is pure VW the Atlas is larger then one might expect, yet the design is anything but bulky.
We drove a 276-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission and it made our merges onto the highway a breeze. The Front wheel drive system work well on the Atlas and the 4Motion all-wheel drive is impressive, it is optional on all trim levels but for our SEL it’s standard. The Atlas AWD system does have four drive modes best suited for a wide range of weather. On road, Snow, Off-road and Custom Off-road, all can easy be selected, to meet changing conditions and there also on-road driving settings: Eco, Normal, Sport and Individual.
Once inside, the sense of space, style and luxury is encompassing. VW’s has “An innovative folding seat solution” that makes getting into the third-row seats easy and direct, even with a child seat installed in the second row. With the addition of the available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit your SUV is more then a people carrier, it is a driver’s SUV that allow the driver to choose what information they want to see on the instrument cluster. That might just be the speedometer and tachometer, or it could be an expanded view of the navigation map.
The standard VW Car-Net App-Connect technology played a major role in the Atlas’ design. It allows phone to apps programming as well as streaming music into the available Fender Premium Audio System, with a 480-watt amplifier and 12 speakers. “This is the biggest and boldest Volkswagen we have ever built in the United States, delivering the distinctive design and craftsmanship we’re known for, now with room for seven, ” said Hinrich J. Woebcken, CEO of the North America Region, Volkswagen. “The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen to enter into the heart of the American market.” Atlas.
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