2019 Volkswagen Atlas Review: A Huge Family Hauler For Nearly Every Budget

With the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas, you can’t say you don’t have options. Across the two available powertrains, there are no less than fifteen different trim options ranging from the low $30,000 range to around $50,000. It competes in a fiercely competitive segment, where every manufacturer takes part. From the old guard like the Dodge Durango and the Ford Explorer to newcomers like the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, the Atlas needs a certain something to make it stand out.

Volkswagen's 2017 Sales Rebound - 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
The Volkswagen Atlas is the brand’s largest SUV, sitting above the Tiguan and Atlas Cross Sport.

The Atlas does stand out on its looks with its rugged, boxy shape. But there’s one more area where the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas stands out: the amount of choice the model offers.

2019 Volkswagen Atlas: Trims and Pricing

*Prices do not include desitnation charges.

2.0L I-4 models (FWD only)

TrimStarting Price
SE w/ Tech$35,895

3.6L VR6 models

TrimStarting Price
V6 S w/ 4Motion$34,095
V6 SE (FWD)$35,495
V6 SE w/ 4Motion$37,295
V6 SE w/ Technology (FWD)$37,295
V6 SE w/ Tech & 4Motion$39,095
V6 SE w/ Tech & R-Line (FWD)$39,245
V6 SE w/ Tech, R-Line, 4Motion$41,045
V6 SEL (FWD)$41,395
V6 SEL w/ 4Motion$43,195
V6 SEL R-Line (FWD)$43,345
V6 SEL R-Line w/ 4Motion$45,145
V6 SEL Premium w/ 4Motion$48,395

The basics

For all you parents out there, the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas suits its purpose well, since the company built it strictly for the American market. It replaced the European-based, much more expensive Touareg with something larger and less expensive. Speaking of larger, the Atlas rides on a 117.3-inch wheelbase, and measures out to 198.3 inches long, 78.3 inches wide and 70.0 inches tall. That’s nearly a full 10 inches longer than the previous Touareg, and the Atlas is larger in every other dimension as well.

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has two available engines. One is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four with 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, available in S, SE and SE with Tech Package trims. The 3.6-liter VR6 engine is similar to what was in the old Touareg, although here Volkswagen tuned it to run on regular fuel. The power figures on standard fuel come out to 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Both engines mate up to an eight-speed automatic transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive, should you choose a model that has it equipped.

Great American Road Trip Through Yellowstone National Park: Volkswagen Atlas and Tiguan Double Feature
The Volkswagen Atlas is available with a V6 engine with 276 horsepower.

Even with the larger VR6 engine, the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas just can’t overcome its 4,500 pound curb weight. At least, not with the all-wheel drive system bogging it down. Driving it over the week we had the Atlas in the TFL fleet, the car struggled to gain any significant speed at altitude unless I floored it. Even then, the car felt painfully slow. Get it up to speed, though, and the Atlas does ride smoothly, and is relatively quiet.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2nd row seat

The space

While it’s massive from the outside, its boxy shape does translate to a cavernous interior. Legroom measures out to 41.5 inches in the first row, followed by 37.6 inches in the second and 33.7 inches in the third. Its substantial size means there’s plenty of room for all seven passengers. Adults sitting in the third row won’t feel too cramped, and access to the rear seats is straightforward. Volkswagen also thoughtfully included rear-seat cupholders and storage, and there are tabs to easily fold away each seat.

With the passenger seats folded, the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas has a gargantuan 96.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity.


The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas S kicks off at $30,895. For that, you get a decently efficient 2.0-liter engine with 20 City / 26 Highway mpg, according to EPA figures. While you do get blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking, there aren’t many other notable features on that trim. Stepping up to the SE does add four USB ports, three-zone climate control and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system (the S has a 7.0-inch unit).

This top-spec V6 SEL Premium is fully-loaded with 4Motion all-wheel drive, but comes at a price. It starts at $48,395, but offers features like the larger touchscreen, 360-degree camera, and Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit system. The larger engine does net you lower fuel economy, though, at 17 City / 23 Highway mpg.

A well-rounded, reasonably priced choice

The nicest part of the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is that there is an option to suit most families. Don’t forget, either, that the company also just revealed its five-seater version, the Atlas Cross Sport. That drops the third row, but also changes up the style and adds more tech for the upcoming model year.

As it stands, the larger Atlas is a well-rounded option, with a wide array of choices to stand up against its competition. It’s not the most dynamic choice, nor is it the most efficient. However, for a solid family crossover that is built in America at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, the Atlas is one of the top contenders.

If you don’t need quite so much space, check out the smaller Atlas Cross Sport below: