Midsize SUVs are among the most practical and affordable family haulers, but the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport stands out for being one of the largest in the segment. This empowers it with hard-to-beat passenger and cargo capacities. It also gets a new engine this year in the form of a 269-horsepower turbo-four - but the loss of the V6 is a blow when going up against the likes of the Honda Passport. It's other rival, the Hyundai Santa Fe gives buyers a frugal hybrid option. VW has seen fit to give the Atlas Cross Sport more standard tech this year, which makes it feel worth the higher asking price versus the competition. Still, for families on a budget, does it offer enough value in return for this hefty investment, especially considering that it can't seat more than five?
The new Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV has received a significant refresh, which includes a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that develops 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. There are also a few new standard features, such as heated and ventilated front seats and IQ Drive, which includes forward collision avoidance tech.
The price of the 2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport is a bit above the competition, which reflects its slightly more premium status. The base-level SE has an MSRP of $36,715, while the SE with Technology crosses the $40k mark by $655. The SEL and its R-Line variant will cost you $47,435 and $48,885, respectively. Topping the range is the SEL Premium R-Line at $51,445. Since they come with front-wheel drive as standard, the SE trims require an extra investment of $1,900 to gain access to all-wheel drive. These prices do not include the $1,350 destination charge.
If we had to recommend a model, it would be the regular SE. The 2024 Atlas Cross Sport is already expensive in comparison to the competition, so keeping things as simple as possible gets you the most value for your money. At this trim level, you still get a good helping of driver-assistance tech, like forward collision avoidance and lane-keep assist, as well some comforts you'd normally have to spend extra for, such as a power-adjustable driver's seat and heated and ventilated front seats.
The mid-cycle refresh has seen the interior get a modern makeover with more premium materials visible throughout and more standard tech on offer.
The interior of the Atlas Cross Sport boasts a good deal of space, with enough room for five and a certain level of class with high-grade materials. Highlights this year include far more standard features, like heated and ventilated front seats, as well as an available Discover Pro infotainment system. Almost everything is accessed through the central display, which dominates most of the dashboard. Physical buttons and knobs are almost non-existent. However, it is worth noting that despite the more premium materials, the Volkswagen is not without some flaws, although it's solidly put together.
There is space for up to five passengers inside the midsize SUV, with a third-row bench reserved for the regular Atlas. This may be for the best since this setup ensures that there is sufficient head- and legroom for all occupants. That being said, rear headroom is not quite as generous as what you'll find up front, especially with the sunroof equipped, so taller passengers may have to crouch down a bit when entering. The step-in is otherwise at a comfortable height, and visibility is good in every direction. A standard power-adjustable driver's seat helps in this regard, allowing you to find the perfect sitting position with ease.
Unlike many other mid-size crossovers, the Atlas Cross Sport doesn't try to seat more passengers than it should, and this has the added benefit of not cluttering up the trunk. As such, there is an impressive 40.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and accessing the area is made super easy by a power-operated liftgate and a high cargo floor. If you need even more space, the rear seats can be folded down in a 60/40 split, expanding the trunk to 77.8 cubic feet.
There are plenty of storage spots for smaller items, too. These include a center armrest cubby, a glove compartment, and two cupholders in the front. In the back, there is another set of cupholders in the fold-down armrest, and each of the four doors has a sizable pocket. Finally, each of the front seats has a map pocket that can be used for other items.
|Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport||Hyundai Santa Fe||Honda Passport|
|5 Seater||5 Seater||5 Seater|
|39.4 in. front|
37.8 in. rear
|41.2 in. front|
39 in. rear
|39.5 in. front |
40 in. rear
|41.7 in. front|
40.4 in. rear
|44.1 in. front|
41.7 in. rear
|40.9 in. front |
39.6 in. rear
|40.3 - 77.8 cu-ft||36.4 - 72.1 cu-ft||41.2 - 77.7 cu-ft|
While there are some hard plastics around the cabin, the majority of the surfaces are coated in soft-touch materials like the V-Tex leatherette that comes standard in the SE trims. This is presented in a choice of two colors: Titan Black and Dark Beige/Titan Black. The SEL and SEL R-Line upgrade from synthetic to genuine leather and switch up the interior colors to Titan Black, Crystal Gray/Titan Black, and Cinnamon Brown/Titan Black. Reserved for the top-most trim, perforated Vienna leather is available in Titan Black and Chalk/Titan Black
Volkswagen equips its midsize SUV with a healthy smattering of features, even in its most basic trim. These include keyless access, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and ventilated front seats, and a multi-color digital cockpit.
There is a 12-inch touchscreen for the infotainment, which grants access to AM/FM/HD Radio and SiriusXM, with playback through a six-speaker sound system. You also get a wireless charging pad for your smart devices. Four USB ports allow you to connect said devices, and there is also a 12-volt power outlet. These are bolstered by a 115-volt outlet in the SE with Technology. Higher trims also add a remote start function and manual sunshades.
The first of the SEL trims installs a panoramic sunroof, along with an eight-way power passenger seat to complement the standard eight-way driver's seat, and a head-up display. Furthermore, the rear seats are now heated, and the infotainment is upgraded to a Discover Pro system with navigation. The only notable addition to the SEL Premium R-Line is a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.
|2.0T SE||2.0T SEL R-Line||2.0T SEL Premium R-Line|
|Dual-zone climate control|
|Eight-way power driver's seat|
|12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system|
Despite its name, the Atlas Cross Sport is far from a performance vehicle, with a middling turbo-four engine and just 2,000 lbs of trailering capacity on offer.
There is only a single engine for the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport this year, and that is the new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. This power plant develops 269 hp and 273 lb-ft, which is directed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is then sent to a front-wheel drivetrain in the SE trims, though buyers can choose the 4Motion all-wheel drivetrain here that is standard in the remaining trims. Independent testing has shown that this new block can launch the VW Atlas Cross Sport from 0-60 mph in around 7.5 seconds. This isn't particularly quick, with even the Honda Passport beating it by close to two seconds when equipped with a V6. The automaker has not provided a top speed figure as yet.
Considering this lackluster acceleration, it comes as no surprise that the Atlas Cross Sport is not particularly fun to drive. It is one of the largest models in the segment, and as such, it is also very hefty. On the plus side, the steering is light enough to hide this fact around town, so long as you don't try any high-speed antics. Feedback is barely present, even in Sport mode, which otherwise tightens up responses a little. Body roll is kept under control, at least. Ride comfort is good, but you have to sacrifice some if you opt to drive in Sport mode. Wind and road noise is nicely dampened, though. Sadly, the VW can only tow 2,000 pounds, which is way below the towing capacity of direct rivals.
A turbocharged four-pot should get good gas mileage in comparison to a V6, but the mpg figures of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are far from impressive. It achieves just 20/27/23 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles with FWD and only 19/26/22 mpg with AWD. This is on par with the likes of the Kia Telluride, although the latter is an even heavier seven-seater.
The VW's fuel tank capacity of 18.6 gallons means that it can travel for around 400 to 425 miles between refills.
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas|
|2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas |
|269 hp||269 hp|
|20/27/23 mpg||19/26/22 mpg|
|7.5 seconds||7.5 seconds|
An overall five star safety rating is marred by slightly less impressive frontal crash test and mitigation systems.
The NHTSA's safety review of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport returned an overall rating of five stars, though it had only four stars for frontal crash tests and rollover tests. The IIHS gave the SUV a score of Good in every category, though it noted that the forward collision mitigation measures were subpar.
Standard safety features include six airbags, ABS, and electronic stability control, along with IQ Drive forward collision warning and emergency braking, lane change assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and exit warning. The SE with Technology adds park distance control front and rear, while the SEL supplies high beam light assist. The final additions come with the SEL Premium R-Line in the form of park assist and an overhead-view camera.
|2.0T SE||2.0T SEL R-Line||2.0T SEL Premium R-Line|
|Blind-spot with rear cross-traffic|
|Park distance control front and rear|
There is no official reliability rating for the VW Atlas Cross Sport, and there have been no recalls for the refreshed model. However, there were four recalls issued for the 2023 model. Reasons included improperly tightened trailing arm bolts, damaged connecting rod bearings, leaking brake lines, and delayed deployment of the front side airbag.
Every new 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport gets a warranty for four years/50,000 miles, covering limited new vehicle issues. The powertrain is covered for the same period, and you get complimentary maintenance for two years/20,000 miles.
The majority of the updates for the new Atlas Cross Sport were made to the interior and the features list, but the car got updated front and rear fascias, too. It has LED headlights with daytime running lights around the edge, which continue on to an integrated lightbar from the SE with Technology onwards. The grille runs wider at the top, slimming down closer to the bumper. The latter looks slightly different on R-Line trims, as it includes air intakes connected by a solid black bar. At the rear, the LED taillights are similarly connected by a solid brake bar that runs the length of the trunk. There are two exhaust outlets, which are upgraded to quad exhaust outlets on R-Line trims. These also get a rear diffuser.
The midsize SUV segment is one of the most competitive in the USA, especially considering that many are available with seating for up to. The Atlas Cross Sport isn't one of these ambitious models, and that actually works in its favor. Thanks to its size, it offers some of the best passenger and cargo capacities in the segment, and it also has an excellent base specification, with many advanced features coming standard. However, it is also one of the more expensive options, and you don't get a very powerful engine, especially now that the V6 is no longer offered. It also suffers from a very low towing capacity compared to similar family SUVs. If you're looking for something a little more premium, the VW is a solid choice, but there are cheaper options that are more capable all-rounders.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport: