2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review
LIKES
  • So, so spacious inside
  • Good warranty
  • Can be a solid value in some trims
  • Good ride quality
DISLIKES
  • Prodigious thirst
  • So-so infotainment
  • Luxe-free cabin
  • Somewhat limited lineup
BUYING TIP
  • The 2023 VW Atlas is a good buy in SE trim with the optional Technology package.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas shrugs off smaller rivals with its huge cabin, though it’s a thirsty beast.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas? What does it compare to?
The 2023 VW Atlas is a big crossover SUV worth shopping against the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Hyundai Palisade. 

Is the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas a good car/SUV?
Overall, the 2023 VW Atlas is a good choice with a spacious interior, a comfortable ride, and a decent feature set among its attributes. We wish its cabin was dressier and its fuel consumption less gluttonous, though. As a result, the 2023 Atlas scores a 5.8 out of 10.

What's new for the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas?
The Atlas carries into 2023 with only minor tweaks, including a standard 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster on Atlas SE and above.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

This big SUV comes in two forms that share part of their name and part of their style. The standard Atlas is a conventional three-row crossover SUV with boxy, blocky styling and a huge interior. The Cross Sport is a bit shorter and has a sloping roofline for a budget-BMW X6 look, though it’s actually still quite spacious inside. 

A 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 235 hp comes standard in all, and it can be paired with front- or all-wheel drive. An optional 276-hp 3.6-liter V-6 provides a small boost in performance and a smoother feel at the expense of fuel economy. At best, look for 24 mpg combined with the 4-cylinder and a few mpg less with the thirsty V-6. Either way, an 8-speed automatic does a nice job handling what power it’s offered, and the Atlas serves up decent handling and a comfy ride for such a big, heavy SUV. 

Cabin space may be the Atlas’ biggest draw, literally. These SUVs are huge inside, with great space in all three rows in standard Atlas form. The Cross Sport dispenses with row three but still has a gigantic cargo area. 

Feature-wise, the Atlas leaves the factory with a decent complement of tech, but it leaves off wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (you’ll need a cable to connect). Fortunately, a full complement of collision-avoidance tech is standard. 

Crash tests have been mixed, including a four-star rating from the NHTSA and mostly “Good” scores from the IIHS. 

How much does the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas cost?
The 2023 VW Atlas starts at $35,895 and climbs to north of $50,000 when fully loaded.

Grab the SE trim and add the Technology Package, all-wheel drive, and the V-6 engine and you’ll wind up with a $43,540 bill for a reasonably well-equipped crossover SUV with an impressive cabin. 
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

Where is the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas made?
In Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Styling

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas pushes no envelopes when it comes to styling.

Is the Volkswagen Atlas a good-looking car?
It’s big but not brash. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas is pleasantly conservative in the looks department. Its clean, traditional lines earn a 5 out of 10 on the TCC scale.

The standard Atlas is around half a foot longer than the Cross Sport, but you’d have to line the two up together to really notice the difference. Both share the same broad front end with a big VW grille and plenty of brightwork. Chunky fender flares along the side give way to a fairly plain tail that echoes some of the front end’s chrome. Only the roofline really differs between the two, with the Cross Sport’s sharper rear window angle giving it a sportier look. 
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

It’s all business inside, whether with the standard (and somewhat small) 6.5-inch touchscreen or the optional 8.0-inch display. The Atlas has a simple dash that’s light on flourish but heavy on convenience, with controls and switches arranged in predictable locations.

Performance

The 2023 VW Atlas won’t win any drag races, but its supple ride makes it a great cruiser.

Is the Volkswagen Atlas 4WD?
It can be. All-wheel drive is optional across the line. 

How fast is the Volkswagen Atlas?
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

With the base turbo-4, the Atlas sends 235 hp to the front or all four wheels. These are heavy SUVs even before you add a full cabin of passengers and gear, so what was just acceptable acceleration turns into dull responses when loaded up.

The better choice here is the 276-hp V-6, though even it’s not much of a speed demon. It’s a bit smoother and definitely more confident in highway passing. It’s also needed to unlock the 5,000-lb towing capacity.

Either engine makes use of a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission that sorts through the gears with impressive precision.

Even with accurate steering that builds heft in a gradual fashion, the Atlas struggles to overcome its sheer size on a curvy road. It handles well, for what it is. But it never lets you forget what it is. 
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

The independent suspension slurps up big bumps best with the standard 18-inch wheels. The optional 20s are a bit firmer, while the 21s fitted at the top of the range can crash and thud. 

Overall, the Atlas earns a perfectly average 5 out of 10. It fails to stand out in any way, though it’s light on major concerns.

Comfort & Quality

The 2023 VW Atlas’ biggest asset is its size.

This is a big crossover SUV by any measure. The 2023 VW Atlas wins for front and middle-row space, plus its third-row seat can accommodate adults. Its cargo space is also massive. We assign it an impressive 9 out of 10, though the Atlas Cross Sport is slightly less commodious. 

The Atlas stretches 198.3 inches long, putting it toward the upper end of its segment. Cross Sports are about five inches shorter, and they have a roofline that slopes down to trim cargo space. 

Broad, supportive front seats offer all-day support and standard power adjustment for the driver. Second-row passengers will discover nearly 38 inches of leg room and, on most trims, a choice between a three-seat bench or twin captain’s chairs with a little room between them. The third row on the standard Atlas body can handle two smaller adults in reasonable comfort. It’s great for kids, and it’s easy to access thanks to wide rear doors.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

Even behind the third row, the standard Atlas has room for nearly 21 cubic feet of cargo. Fold that downward and that grows to a massive 55.5 cubes. Even Cross Sport versions can lug an impressive 40.3 cubic feet of cargo, though taller items will be a tight fit. Fold row two and the standard Atlas can lug nearly 97 cubic feet of cargo. 

If there’s a downside, it’s the occasionally drab decor. VW is stingier about soft-touch plastics and adventurous trims than many rivals offer.

Safety

The 2023 VW Atlas is a mixed bag when it comes to crash-test results.

How safe is the Volkswagen Atlas?
It’s big and well-equipped with safety gear, but the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has some small blemishes on its crash-test record. We rate it at 7 overall based on its standard automatic emergency braking and its five-star rating from the NHTSA. 

That said, it earned a four-star rating for frontal impact from the NHTSA, but its overall score rounded up in its favor. The IIHS is similarly mixed, granting it mostly “Good” scores in instrumented crash tests. Its standard automatic emergency braking system rates “Basic,” though, and only the top curve-adaptive headlights earned a “Good” rating. 

Features

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas can be a good deal in certain configurations, but it’s pricey in others.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas starts at $35,895, or about $700 less in Cross Sport guise, which buys the base turbo-4 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility, as well as blind-spot monitors and automatic emergency braking.

Add that decent feature set to a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that also includes two years of free maintenance and the 2023 Atlas scores a 7 on the TCC scale. 

Which Volkswagen Atlas should I buy?
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

We’d take your money and step up to the SE with the Technology Package. That version adds a 10.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a power tailgate with hands-free access, and 20-inch wheels, plus they’re the gateway to more options such as the V-6 engine, second-row captain’s chairs, and a sunroof. 

How much is a fully loaded Volkswagen Atlas?
Keep going with options and you’ll work your way through the SEL trim to the R-Line version, which has leather seats, 21-inch wheels, premium audio, and a few other niceties for a hefty $53,500. Sure, some rivals can be built to an even pricier level, but they generally feel more luxurious inside.

Fuel Economy

Even by big SUV standards, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas is a thirsty beast.

Is the Volkswagen Atlas good on gas?
It’s not great, and there’s relatively limited incentive to stick with the less-powerful 4-cylinder. We score the 2023 Atlas lineup at 2 out of 10 for their fuel economy. 

The greenest versions are front-wheel-drive models with the base engine, which rate 21/25/23 mpg in EPA testing. Add all-wheel drive and the EPA says to expect 20/24/22 mpg.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review

The V-6 comes in at 18/24/20 mpg in front-wheel-drive form or 18/23/20 mpg with all-wheel drive. Competitors with hybrid powertrains are far more frugal.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 Rating: 5

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