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The New Volkswagen Atlas Is A Shockingly Good Bargain

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Could this be a segment game changer?

Back in January, Volkswagen told us its new three-row Atlas crossover would be priced from around the $30,000 mark, and the German automaker has remained true to its word. VW has officially announced the Chattanooga, Tennessee-built 2018 Atlas will have a starting price of $30,500. This is, obviously, the base model, powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and front-wheel-drive. However, even the 276 hp, 266 lb-ft V6 FWD Atlas has a shockingly good base price of $31,900.

VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system is optional only on V6 models, and that configuration is priced from $33,700. To put these figures into perspective, the average new car in the US costs around $33,000. Even opting for the base turbo four still gives buyers a ton of standard features, such as 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, LED headlights, 6.5-inch color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A total of five trims are being offered and, of course, each comes with standard seating for up to seven passengers. A fully-loaded Atlas R-Line (a $1,960 option available for the top-end SEL and SEL Premium trims) combined with the $625 captain's chairs and $235 20-inch black wheels, will come to around $52,000.

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We saw the new Atlas at Detroit last January and were impressed by its bigger than expected third row. It can actually seat children and (shorter) adults comfortably. Clearly VW has done its homework on the US market here, and the newly announced pricing has confirmed the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas will be a serious threat to the likes of the Mazda CX-9, Ford Flex and Chevrolet Traverse. Now, how about that potential Atlas-based pickup truck?