2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

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2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Review: Stylish And Practical

The VW Atlas is already a very popular SUV thanks to its excellent practicality, but the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport takes that successful recipe and throws in some very attractive garnish, giving VW a two-pronged attack in the midsize SUV segment. It sacrifices the ability to seat up to seven passengers in the name of style, but second-row and trunk space remain excellent. The base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine won't wow shoppers with its 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, but there is an available 276-hp V6 - technically a VR6 - with more punch - and it caters to a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. The primary competitors to the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Nissan Murano, all of which are slightly smaller and bring less standard tech to the table. With the streamlined lineup and new standard features for 2022, it may just be a top contender in the midsize SUV market.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 9 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport?

Volkswagen has simplified the lineup for the 2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport by dropping the S and SE Tech R-Line. This means that the SE is the opening trim, so you get better standard tech but a higher base price. However, while the starting price of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV is higher, the SE trim is actually cheaper than it once was.

From the get-go, the VW digital cockpit is now standard, while the SE Tech gets third-row USB-C ports and a trailer hitch on V6 models, and the SEL gets all-wheel drive and 20-inch wheels. While there have been some deletions, there is also a new trim. The SEL R-Line Black slots in just below the top-tier trim and sports 20-inch wheels, R-Line styling, and blacked-out exterior accents.

Pros and Cons

  • Good selection of trim levels
  • Hard-to-beat passenger and cargo space
  • Great standard specifications
  • Comfortable and quiet cabin
  • Decent towing capacity with V6
  • Weak standard engine
  • Fuel economy is never great
  • Few options and packages
  • Top trims cost a a bundle

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2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0T SE
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T SE w/Technology
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
V6 SE w/Technology
3.6L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T SEL
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T SEL R-Line
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Trims and Specs

2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Handling and Driving Impressions

Despite its sporty appearance, the new Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is not an athletic SUV. Being one of the largest vehicles in its class has some benefits, but handling isn't one of them. The steering is light, which is a plus and makes the otherwise cumbersome car easier to handle around town or in packed parking lots. There isn't much feedback, although selecting Sport mode from the Eco, Normal, Custom, and Sport drive modes does tighten up the steering a little. Body roll isn't terrible, but it's definitely there. That being said, the ponderous SUV is not without its charms.

The suspension is far better tuned toward comfort, though it is a little on the stiff side. Most small bumps in the road will be smoothed over well enough, and if it's fully laden with people and luggage, it can even roll over slightly larger problems without a hitch. The sturdy construction of the cabin further helps to separate occupants from the outside world by dampening road, wind, and engine noise. In our review of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, we found the inside to be a great place to while away the time on those long family trips.

Verdict: Is The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport A Good SUV?

The midsize SUV market is one of the most popular in the USA, so competition is fierce. Many automakers try to stand out by adding unique gimmicks, like a third row of seats. This is what makes the standard Atlas so appealing. However, what happens when you remove that third row and let the roofline slope a little? Well, you still end up with a net gain in cargo capacity and second-row passengers get to enjoy excellent head- and legroom. And, in the case of the Atlas Cross Sport, the cabin is well put-together, resulting in high levels of comfort and very little exterior noise.

However, the weak base engine holds the SUV back, and even the available V6 doesn't improve matters markedly. On the plus side, towing capacity is quite good. Handling is another black mark. Sure, it's easy to park and drive at low speeds, but spirited driving is totally out of the question. But, when you are transporting the whole family and all their stuff, you'll want to keep things on the tame side. The excellent list of standard features only enhances the total offering. In conclusion, the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport has more going for it than against, so it's definitely worth considering if you want an upscale family cruiser.

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2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Popular Comparisons

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