2024 Volkswagen Atlas
An Extensive Update For VW’s Roomy 3-Row Crossover
While Atlas has been holding the heavens in place for all of eternity according to Greek mythology, for a brief period of time the word has also used to describe a collection of paper road maps back when they were a thing. Of course, it’s a Volkswagen too, and for ’24 this 3-row SUV truly has the weight of VW on its shoulders.
While Volkswagen has certainly been making a splash with their Battery Electric Vehicles, the Internal Combustion Engine is still king, especially when it comes to large people movers. The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas is not the biggest SUV on the market, but it is the largest Volkswagen you can buy here and competes in the highly competitive and highly relevant 3-row family utility segment.
It’s not all-new for ’24, but its refresh is pretty extensive compared to many mid-cycle updates we’ve tested recently.
It all starts inside with nicer materials and a revised layout that adds more dimension to the dash, while moving the infotainment screen to on top of it. That screen grows of course, from 8 to 12-inches, and more routine tasks now are controlled through it. Most other manual knobs and buttons are now also sometimes fussy touch sensitive switches.
The true upside of this change are the added luxury-style features, including 3-zone climate control, ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel, all of which are now standard.
Wireless phone charging, and as many as 8 USB charging ports mean folks in all 3 rows can keep their devices fully charged.
Most models come with wood trim and accent lighting, SEL Premium R-Line adds 12-speaker Harmon/Kardon audio, stainless steel accents, Vienna leather seating, and a unique steering wheel.
Digital Cockpit pro 10-inch display is also standard on all, SELs also get a Head Up display.
One thing unchanged is the very roomy feeling inside, especially for a midsize 7-passenger utility, 6-passengers if you opt for 2nd row captain’s chairs; and the 3rd row space is usable by adults.
A redesigned center console adds to the already plentiful small item storage, while rear cargo capacity at 20.6 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 55.5 behind the 2nd, and a generous max of 96.6 cubic-ft. with all seatbacks folded.
Mechanically, there’s a new 2.0-liter turbo under the hood for ‘24, with 34 more horsepower than before, enough for Volkswagen to do away with the V6 option. So, all Atlas’ will now come with this 269-horsepower 4-cylinder with 273 lb-ft. of torque.
Front-wheel-drive remains standard with 4Motion all-wheel-drive available; all equipped with an 8-speed automatic. Max tow rating is 5,000-lbs.
At the test track, our all-wheel-drive Atlas leapt off the line eagerly enough, but then settled down just as quickly to a 7.5-second 0-60. Once the turbo was feeding power in full, things stayed pretty consistent down the track. It’s not overly powerful feeling, but that is almost half a second quicker than the original Atlas V6; which makes sense as this 4-banger puts out more torque than the 6.
Shifts in the 8-speed are quick if not super smooth, but they kept the revs high and the power flowing throughout the 15.6-second ¼-mile ending at 92 miles-per-hour.
In our slalom course, there was a lot of weight transfer and a tendency to oversteer; but light steering allowed us to easily stay on top of it, and the aggressive stability control reigns things in well before they get out of sorts.
Stomping on the very firm brake pedal initiated an immediate response, with the Atlas coming to a halt from 60 miles-per-hour in a fine 116-feet.
While still more boxy and classy than flashy, styling has been nicely updated with a new front end that separates it from the Atlas Cross Sport; with a much larger grille, new LED lighting, and less of a defined bumper with a different pattern to the lower grille.
Rear lighting has also been updated, and the roof spoiler extended to portray a bit of additional length.
R-Line adds glossy black trim, a large panoramic roof, silver roof rails, and 21-inch alloy wheels. Even with those big rims, Atlas’ ride remains smooth.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel-drive are 19-City, 25-Highway, and 21-Combined; we averaged a fine 23.6 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Still, that’s a slightly below average Energy Impact Score with 14.2-barrels of annual oil consumption and yearly emissions of 7.0-tons of CO2.
Pricing starts at $39,075 for SE trim; all-wheel-drive an additional $1,900. SEL and above come with AWD and start at $49,795.
While an Atlas used to be a tool to help get you where you needed to go, it was also a picture of possibilities, and places you could go and adventures that awaited. Most things below the surface have stayed the same here, but VW has redrawn the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and made it more appealing than ever as your go everywhere travel companion.
- Engine: 2.0-liter I-4 Turbo
- Horsepower: 269
- 0-60 mph: 7.5 seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 116 feet
- MW Fuel Economy: 23.6 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 273 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 92 mph
- EPA: 19 City / 25 Highway / 21 Combined
- Max Towing: 5,000 lbs