HD VW Atlas Cross Sport | Review

VW Atlas Cross Sport | Review

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For the latest Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport pricing and information:

If you stopped the video right now “5-seat Atlas” would give you an essential understanding of the Cross Sport. By ditching the Atlas’s 3rd row, the Cross Sport loses 5.2 inches of overall length while retaining the same 117.3-inch wheelbase. What’s left is super spacious. Cargo space is a stellar 40.3 cubic feet aft of the second row and 77.8 cu.-ft. with the seats folded. For a 2-row midsize SUV, that’s stellar.

Another bragging point is the rear-seat legroom. With the front seat placed for me, the ultimate average human, I fit behind myself with room to spare.

Incidentally, VW is hugely proud that the Atlas has 11 cupholders. To me, 11 cupholders for 5 occupants feels like an unhealthy ratio but reach your own conlusion.

Material quality on our ornate SEL Premium R-Line subject is lovely up high. Though the lower you poke the harder the surface and the presence of actual stitching draws attention to the fake stitching embossed on the dash. Nonetheless, our car’s dark burgundy and black leather add a swanky touch to the commendably comfortable and supportive seats.

For the pilot in command, visibility is slightly inhibited but workable. One thing we’ve noticed driving the Atlas is its lively handling. Thankfully that quality has carried over to the Cross Sport. Compared to the larger Atlas the Cross Sport steers with a livelier feel.

As is now common, you can also activate Sport Mode for more emotive steering, throttle and transmission behaviors. There’s also an eco mode that we’ll just ignore along with off-road and snow modes. As for ride compliance, the Cross Sport dulls road imperfections with grace while shielding occupants in a serene cabin.

For engine choices you’ve got a base 2-liter 4-cylinder (235hp, 258 lb-ft) that other Blue Book testers have described as “course sounding but sprightly”. Good use of the word “sprightly”, team! There’s also a 3.6L V6 (276hp, 266 lb-ft) reserved for higher trims. With either engine all-wheel drive costs $1,900. Chose the V6 and you can tow up to 5,000 lbs. Fuel economy is underwhelming for the segment, peaking at 21city/24hwy with the front-drive 2.0L and dropping to 16city/22hwy in the all-wheel drive V6. Our tester is the V6 and while it pulls with reasonable enthusiasm when asked, the 8-speed automatic behaves displeasingly at a standard pace.

Off the line, the transmission holds onto to 2nd too long and its shifts are hardly transparent.

Another area of scrutiny is the price. With blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and a 6.5-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a base Cross Sport S trim costs less than $32,000 including destination charges. Luxuriate in Cross Sport options like keyless access, 21-inch wheels, a foot-activated liftgate, plus a 360-degree camera system offering a vast array of useful views shown on an 8-inch infotainment display, and you can spec an SEL Premium R-Line, like this exact model, to more than $51k; a sum unachievable by many of its competitors. I’ll also note that VW’s 6-year warranty has been ditched for 2020. It’s now a 4-year 50k warranty plus 2 years of free maintenance.

So, the powertrain could use some refining, it’s not particularly efficient, and a lack of buying restraint summons eye-popping MSRPs. But the Atlas Cross Sport is also roomy, rides nice, and wraps its buyer in a distinct style.If you like the Volkswagen Atlas but abhor the notion of traveling with more than 4 friends, the Cross Sport is your slightly coupier alternative. And now, everyone simultaneously shout how you feel about Cross Sport’s styling.