Volkswagen Atlas Now As Synonymous With Tennessee As… Jack Daniels?

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How many have rolled off the Chattanooga production line since 2017?

Several years ago, Volkswagen came to the understanding that if it wanted to make it in America, traditional sedans like the Jetta and Passat wouldn't be enough. It's also not like America has the same affection for the Golf hatchback as Europe does. No, the answer to winning the hearts and wallets of US car buyers would be a moderately priced mid-sized crossover with up to three rows.

The Volkswagen Atlas went on sale in 2017 as a 2018 model and it's been a huge sales success as the 100,000th example has just rolled off the production line at VW's sprawling production facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is also the same plant where the North American Passat is built.

The 100,000th Atlas (not pictured here) is a 2019 SEL premium trim with a Pacific Blue exterior and a Shetland V-Tex leatherette interior. Under its hood lies a 3.6-liter V6 with fuel injection producing 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, and paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

"Our objective for the Atlas has been to assemble an SUV in America for Americans and we have been very encouraged by the success of the vehicle so far," said Antonio Pinto, CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. "This is just the first of many production milestones we anticipate celebrating for the Atlas, and it would not have been possible without the world-class team here in Chattanooga."

With a starting price of $30,895, buyers will receive an Atlas with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 235 hp and 258 lb-ft. If you want the naturally aspirated V6, you'll need to increase your budget to at least $34,095. Neither price includes the $995 destination and handling fee. For 2019, the VW Atlas is available in seven trim levels: S, SE, SE w/ Technology, SE w/ Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium.

The SEL, in particular, is a solid value as it now comes standard with safety features like front assist, blind spot monitor, and rear traffic alert. For 2019, the Atlas SEL also gains another premium feature: the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, a high-tech configurable instrument cluster. Sales for the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas are now underway at dealerships across the US.


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