2019 Volkswagen Atlas

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is the newest and bigger member of the lineup.  This is VW’s entry into a growing segment, the three-row family SUV.  Built in Tennessee, the seven-passenger Altas represents VW’s commitment to becoming more of a major player in the US car market.  Bigger is what Americans want, and the German automaker is trying to fulfill those desires.

When most people think of Volkswagen, the first thought is usually the iconic Beetle, that tiny, rear-engine, two-door car that will forever be tied to the 1960s hippy culture.  To those who owned one, it represented a definite shift away from the big, chrome-laden gas guzzlers coming out of Detroit.  But now, the latest version of the Beetle is about to be discontinued at the same time that the Altas is gaining in popularity, especially since price of gasoline is so low.

The new Altas has a clean, utilitarian and yet a muscular exterior.  It’s not flashy, but it is handsome.  The interior design is all Volkswagen, strictly clean and functional, very Teutonic.  German engineers believe that driving is serious business, and the Altas reflects that with very driver-centric displays that are designed to enhance the driving experience, not distract from it. There are three rows, but the last row is really only roomy enough for smaller members of your crew.

With a starting MSRP of $30,895, the Altas comes standard with a 235 hp, 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.  Mated to the standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the EPA estimated fuel economy is 22 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. If you’re planning on using your Atlas to haul the family on most trips, then you might seriously consider opting for the 276 hp, 3.6 liter V6 engine, which delivers 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.  There’s also an all-wheel drive version available with both engines. But that combo is mostly for customers who have to contend with snow and ice.

Yes, the Atlas is a Volkswagen that’s remarkably roomy inside. This SUV features European styling with an emphasis on an enhanced driving experience. It’s a departure for an automaker that wants to capture the American spirit by offering a vehicle for the family that needs the room but just will never commit to owning a minivan. Don’t pass up the opportunity to test drive a family hauler priced to attract your attention.