Earlier this month, Volkswagen said they will be revealing their latest addition to their crossover lineup. The automaker has called it the Atlas and has just revealed their first ever three row SUV aimed primarily at the US market.
The new seven-seat crossover from Volkswagen is set to compete with the likes of the Ford Explorer, Dodge Durango, Honda Pilot and Hyundai Grand Santa Fe. It rides on VW Group's MQB architecture and the first of its platform to be built in the brand's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. As a large crossover, it measures 5,036 mm long, 1978 mm wide and 1768 mm tall, making it marginally larger than the CrossBlue concept on which it was based. VW says it's about the size of one of its chief rivals, the Ford Explorer, and has a wheelbase longer than the Chevrolet Tahoe, a full-size SUV.
As for its exterior, it closely resembles the CrossBlue concept as well with its squared-off headlights and wide grill. To give it an off-road look, it gets a faux skid plate at the bottom of the bumper, flared wheel arches into the character lines and unpainted cladding surrounding the bottom half of the large crossover.
Inside, VW claims the Atlas makes use of its dimensions to offer space for seven adults and their luggage. The third-row can be easily reached by an innovative folding seat solution, one that works even with child seats installed in the second row. It also has driver-centric displays enhance the feeling behind the wheel with the center console slightly tilted towards the driver. Also available is the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit allows drivers to reconfigure how they view vehicle information. Back to the driver's seat, the instrument cluster has a multi-information display housing vehicle status and systems check.
Opt for the Volkswagen Car-Net and it provides a full suite of connected vehicle services, including standard App-Connect technology that offers integration with the three major smartphone platforms, namely Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. Another option is the Fender Premium Audio System which channels sound through 12 speakers along with a 480-watt amplifier.
Safety equipment available in the Atlas include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert; Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), which actively helps the driver steer the car back into its lane; and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) and Automatic Post-Collision Braking System.
Under the hood of the Atlas are two engine choices. First is a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injection TSI four cylinder with 240 PS, up by 20 PS from the same unit found in the GTI and Passat. The second engine option is the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter VR6 engine with 283 PS. Two wheel drive Atlases are front wheel drive and 4Motion all-wheel drive is an option. The lone transmission offering for the Atlas is an eight-speed automatic.
Sales of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas starts early 2017 in the US. It is yet unknown if VW will be offering the Altas outside North America in the future.