There seems to be no limit to the American thirst for sport-utes, and with so many options from so many carmakers, it can be overwhelming to find the utility that suits all of your needs. Recently Volkswagen invited us to upstate New York to see the latest that they are bringing to the table, with the updated 2024 Atlas, and Atlas Cross Sport. So let’s take a first drive, and see what they’re all about.

The 3-row 7-passenger Atlas and 2-row 5-passenger Atlas Cross Sport stand tall at the top of V-dub’s SUV lineup, and are the brand’s best selling utilities. They provide the space and amenities suitable for most buyers looking for a family oriented vehicle.

Volkswagen touts the Atlas pair as their first modern vehicle design intended specifically for American buyers. And the cherry on top, they’re built right here in America in Chattanooga, Tennessee! There is one big difference however…

“So if you’re looking at a new Atlas and looking to get a 6-cylinder, I am sorry to report that the days of the VR6 in this vehicle are over. However, the 4-cylinder here is very good. The power is up over 30 horsepower, there is quite a bit more torque. Overall, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all. Power is definitely plentiful, and the shifts through this 8-speed automatic are crisp and precise.”

At 269 horsepower, this new 2-liter turbo sees a nice increase of 34 ponies compared to the outgoing 4-cylinder. As mentioned, torque is up as well by an impressive 28% compared to the VR6, coming in at a punchy 273 pound feet.

While this Atlas lineup is refreshed rather than an all new generation, the exterior sees some nicely updated styling. When looking at the 3-row Atlas, you’ll notice a more boxed off profile to accommodate passengers. While the Cross Sport sees a more tapered off roof line, making for a sportier, more streamline design. Lighting the road ahead are new LED headlights with standard adaptive front lighting. Connecting those lights is a front light bar as well as illuminated logos that can be had on most trims. The rear also sees a new light strip design. And I must say, the lighting is visually striking, especially in the evening.

On the inside, the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport see plenty of upgrades and more standard features. Premium materials are found throughout, like quilted leather seats with an available diamond pattern. Climatronic climate control, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, height adjustable passenger seat, and voice control are standard across the board, making for optimal comfort, and the center console is redesigned to maximize storage.

New screens are also standard, a 10 inch digital gauge cluster and 12 inch floating infotainment screen grab your attention, paired with trim that flows from the doors into the optional innovative backlit dash. If you like a little bit of color to brighten up your interior, you are in luck; ambient lighting is available with 30 colors to choose from.

Pricing for the 2-row 2024 Atlas Cross Sport starts at $36,715, and the 3-row Atlas starts at $37,725 before destination for the SE trim. Both variants can top out in the low $50,000 range if you seek the luxuries of the SEL-Premium R-Line.

We wish we had more seat time in both 2024 Volkswagen Atlas variants, and expect to get behind the wheel again soon for future road tests. So check back in on us soon, right here on MotorWeek.


  • Engine: 2.0L Turbo-4
  • Horsepower: 269
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Torque: 273 lb-ft