2024 Volkswagen Atlas

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2024 Volkswagen Atlas First Look Review: Less VR6, More Turbo

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas has been around since the 2018 model year, but VW has kept it competitive with successive annual updates. Its powertrains were always a little behind the curve and that's now being addressed by dropping the low-output 235-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and the thirsty 276-hp VR6 and replacing them with a single 2.0-liter turbo option with 269 horsepower that should, in theory, offer VR6-like performance with four-cylinder-like economy. Standard tech is shored up, more driver assists are standard, and the interior gets a quality boost. The Atlas probably won't be long for this world in its current form and the 2024 updates will go a long toward seeing it through its twilight years with a strong final effort. Typical rivals in this class include the Honda Passport and more upper-class SUVs like the Kia Telluride and the new Mazda CX-90 - a class the Atlas is now aspiring to with its more premium finishes.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Models

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
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T Peak Edition SE TECH
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T SEL
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0T Peak Edition SEL
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

See all Trims and Specs

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When is the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Coming Out?

The exact release date for the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas in the USA has not been set, but the automaker has said it will be coming out sometime in the third quarter of 2023.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Price And Competition

The price of the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas has not been announced, and VW has said that the pricing will be made public ahead of the launch later in the year. It is likely to cost a little more than the current model, thanks to the substantial upgrades made to tech and interior comfort. Estimations are that the base MSRP will increase by at least $1,000, if not more. This means the base model should kick off at about $36k before destination and extras. The current Top-end model starts at over $52k, so expect to spend closer to $55k for a fully-loaded range topper.

For the sake of comparison, a price range of around $36,000 to $55,000 puts the Atlas in a pricing slot slightly above the Hyundai Santa Fe and right on par with the Kia Telluride and Honda Passport. Buyers may also want to look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but this starts at over $41,000 in base guise.

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New Volkswagen Atlas Exterior and Colors

The exterior has come in for a major refresh with new vertically stacked LED headlights with a standard Adaptive Front-lighting System. The main light units are set wider apart and framed by C-shaped daytime running lights that bear more than a passing resemblance to contemporary Fords. The grille has four chrome bars and is much larger than before, while the tops of the DRLs link to a full-width light bar that runs across the top of the grille and illuminated VW logo on all but the base trim. The entire front bumper is redesigned, with a more dynamic lower valance and air intake. New alloy-wheel designs range in size from 18 to 20 inches, depending on the trim, and 21-inch items can be had on R-Line trims. At the rear, a larger roof spoiler is fitted, visually lengthening the roofline and sharpening up the profile view. The rear sees the addition of a full-width red light bar with the VW logo mounted in its center, although only on top-end models.

The current exterior colors the Volkswagen Atlas can be ordered in comprise various grays and blacks, as well as the obligatory whites, but we're not sure which will carry over to the latest model. Moving up above the base level, the only exciting hue is Aurora Red Metallic. There are seven colors in total and not all of them are offered on all trims. VW has not divulged whether any of these are discontinued or whether we can expect any new colors for 2024, but given that this is a rather substantial model refresh, we hope to see a few new colors, hopefully in more extroverted shades.

Volkswagen Atlas Dimensions

The exterior dimensions of the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas are not expected to change unless the new front bumper treatment has a small effect on the overall length. The outgoing Atlas has a length of 200.7 inches, a width of 78.4 inches without the mirrors, a wheelbase of 117.3 inches, and a height of 70.1-70.4 inches - most of these won't change.

The weight of the current lightest VW Atlas is 4,261 pounds, and barring a few gained pounds due to the additional equipment fitted, this should be pretty close to the mark for the 2024 Atlas. The heaviest models should weigh around 4,450 lbs - less than the discontinued VR6 AWD models.

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Volkswagen Atlas Engine and Performance

The big news for 2024 is that the 3.6-liter VR6 engine currently doing duty in the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas range is dropped from the lineup. A new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder steps up to the plate, but it is more powerful than the four-cylinder on the older models, upping outputs from 235 hp and 258 lb-ft to 269 hp and 273 lb-ft. This will be the sole engine option and with a power output just seven hp short of the old VR6 and more torque delivered lower down in the rev range, the new power unit is said to feel more lively and responsive in everyday driving - and with far better fuel economy than the VR6.

In terms of sprinting ability, it is unlikely to be any faster than the old VR6 - which just barely scraped in below eight seconds for the sprint from 0-60 mph - but as least it should feel more relaxed and effortless thanks to the more muscular low-rev pulling power. As before, the power will be transmitted to your choice of the front or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Thankfully, the loss of the VR6 has not affected towing capacity and it remains at 5,000 pounds.

Gas Mileage

The previous VR6 engine returned combined EPA figures of just 20 mpg with either FWD or AWD, and with a renewed focus on efficiency, that is one of the reasons it had to go. VW has not released gas-mileage figures for the 2024 Atlas, but we can look at last year's 2.0-liter turbocharged model to give an indication of what to expect. That engine returned 21/25/23 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles in FWD guise and 20/24/22 mpg in AWD guise. In everyday driving and under EPA testing, the improved new engine should return very similar figures, despite the power boost.

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Volkswagen Atlas Interior and Cargo

The changes to the interior of the VW Atlas start with the seats, with the front ones now featuring heating and ventilation as standard across the range, as well as a height-adjustable front passenger seat. Leather upholstery is said to be available one trim line lower than on last year's Atlas and since it was standard only on the flagship Premium R-Line, we're assuming that it will now become available from SEL level. As before, the flagship gets standard leather upholstery, and it features a diamond-quilted pattern. The steering wheel is also now heated and comes with shift paddles.

Other upgrades inside include the adoption of more premium materials, such as a soft-touch leatherette-trimmed dashboard and center console, with said console being redesigned and featuring a storage cubby. The front-door decor and trim now flow into the dashboard to impart a cockpit feel - with similar door treatment in the second row. Additional standard features for the 2024 Atlas include voice controls and automatic climate control. Ambient interior lighting with no fewer than 30 color choices is newly available and complements backlit dash trim that shows the illuminated model name.

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In-car tech has been upgraded as well and there is a 12-inch floating infotainment touchscreen in the center of the dash - although reports aren't clear on whether this will actually be a standard fitment across the board. What will be standard on all trims is a 10.25-inch configurable Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro gauge cluster, six USB ports with 45-watt fast charging, and standard wireless App-Connect. The IQ.DRIVE semi-autonomous driver-assistance suite is now standard on all trims and comes with lane tracing, forward-collision warning, and capacitive steering. Optional are adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

The trunk space of the Volkswagen Atlas should be the same as last year's model, which is to say 20.6 cu-ft of cargo space behind the third row, 55.5 cubes behind the second row, and 96.8 cubes behind the first row. Interior space isn't affected by the changes either, and the Atlas still offers surprising space for seven passengers, with a fully usable third row that provides a full 38.3 inches of headroom and a decent 33.7 inches of legroom. This means it's not just good for small children but for medium-sized adults as well.

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