Vehicle Spotlight: The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

A Fresh Look

Picture a Volkswagen. Words like “sleek,” “efficient,” or “hip” might come to mind. “Spacious” likely wouldn’t make the top of the list. Yes, the early 2000’s gave us the tepid sales of the Tiguan and Touareg. But these were merely semi-pricey attempts by VW to snag its share of the burgeoning American SUV market. In fact, to recall a spacious Volkswagen, one might need to time-travel all the way back to a pale green VW Microbus, hauling shirtless, beaded hippies and their acoustic guitars all the way to San Francisco. However, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is poised to challenge that perception.

The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas carries more “every man” appeal and pricing in comparison to the company’s most recent SUV output. Third row seating seems promising to actually accommodate adults comfortably. Far more stylish than a minivan with ample storage room in the back, the Atlas hopes to carve out room for itself in the three-row crossover market, where the Ford Explorer reigns and models like the Honda CR-V have been consistently flourishing.

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal of 2015 remains a point of contention among consumers; the company’s approach to damage control appears to be a healthy combination of undeniable value and performance. With reasonable gas prices fueling a rebirth of the stateside SUV frenzy, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the great hope for the brand’s future.

Fully Loaded Under 50K

As for its specs, a 3.6L V6 making 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque is mated to an automatic 8-speed transmission (and a soon-to-come turbocharged 4-cylinder available with lesser trim packages) that keeps the mpg around 20. Far from class leading, but respectable. At nearly 200 inches long, it is big, yet still possesses that crisp Volkswagen silhouette. But with reasonable base pricing around $32,000 and fully loaded models just below $50,000, consumers will sing “Kumbaya.”

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