The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Gets Its Biggest Overhaul Yet, Including a New Engine

Both the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport get a thorough overhaul for the new model year

(Images: Volkswagen)
  • Volkswagen debuted the second facelift of its Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs at the 2023 Chicago Auto Show.
    • The last facelift came with the introduction of the two-row Cross Sport in 2020.
  • Both cars get a new face, more technology, an updated interior and a revamped four-cylinder engine.
  • 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport models will launch later this year.

The updated 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are more visually dramatic than previous models.

Ever since it arrived on the scene in 2017, the Volkswagen Atlas has been gunning for market share among a crowded field of midsize SUVs. That’s why the automaker decided to facelift the model in 2020, as it introduced a two-row Atlas Cross Sport, and now we get another major refresh to take us into the new model year. While VW teased the updated Atlas models earlier this week, we’re finally able to get a proper look at what’s in store from this year’s Chicago Auto Show.

Both models will retain the underpinnings from the outgoing Atlas, but there is one notable mechanical change coming. Before getting into that, though, the styling changes are the first obvious clues, as Volkswagen’s family hauler gets a brand-new four-bar grille, new headlights and new illuminated light bars both front and rear (at least on all but the base models). With an illuminated grille and badge, you’ll definitely be able to spot these cars in the dark.

At the rear, both get a larger spoiler, while the Cross Sport gets a larger rear diffuser to further differentiate it from its conventional SUV sibling.

There’s one critical change under the hood for the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport: No more 3.6-liter VR6. VW decided to drop the larger engine, while it says it’s also replaced the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a new unit that should boost fuel economy (though we don’t have specific numbers there yet). More importantly for most, it still manages about the same amount of power as the old six-pot did, at 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. For reference, the outgoing 3.6 managed 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft.

An 8-speed transmission and front-wheel drive are still standard, while Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive is available across the range. Maximum towing capacity remains the same as before, at 5,000 pounds.

Looking inside the updated Atlas/Atlas Cross Sport

From the exterior design to the interior materials and layout, the Volkswagen Atlas has been decent, if not exciting. This time around, though, Volkswagen seems to be upping its game with a freshened look and more technology. Front and center, the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas lineup gets a standard 12-inch infotainment screen, running the latest version of the automaker’s (sometimes fussy) MIB infotainment system. Like other recent VWs, the Atlas has moved toward slider controls for the climate settings and adopted a rocker-style gear selector.

That frees up some visual real estate and physical space throughout the center stack, but we’d still prefer actual buttons and knobs. Nevertheless, many automakers seem keen on focusing most, if not all, of the controls around the car’s displays. Speaking of which, the Digital Cockpit Pro also gets an upgrade, with the 10.25-inch screen displaying much sharper graphics.

On the convenience front, you still can get up to 8 USB-C ports and wireless charging, while a heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats are standard equipment. Volkswagen’s IQ.Drive driver assistance suite also comes on all Atlas models, though you will still have to opt-in for a head-up display and adaptive cruise control..

More information including the updated trim walk and pricing will be available closer to the Q3 2023 launch. We’ll post that information when it’s available, so stay tuned!