2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion

This family-size SUV fits all family sizes
April 10, 2018 Updated: April 10, 2018

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the German carmaker’s all-new three-row SUV with ample room and features to carry families in comfort and style.

The vehicle is available in two engine choices: a 2.0 L TSI turbo inline-four engine and a 3.6 L FSI narrow angle V6. The 2.0 L TSI turbo. with intercooler and direct fuel injection, outputs 235 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque (with premium fuel), and is available only with the base S model.

Beyond the base S model, there is the V6 S, V6 SE, and V6 SEL models, each with numerous feature groups.

My test vehicle, a V6 SEL, was equipped with the 3.6 L FSI narrow angle V6 with direct fuel injection., Using premium fuel, it is capable of producing 276 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. This V6 model is also equipped with 4Motion all-wheel drive, drive-mode selection, and four-wheel independent suspension.

Regardless of engine choice, all models have variable assistance electromechanical power steering and eight-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic and Sport mode.

The V6 AWD powertrain earns a fuel economy rating of 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway for a combined 19 mpg.

The two trims are basically the same in terms of safety and technology features, interior amenities, and dimensions—only price and performance set them apart. The Volkswagen Atlas comes standard with seven seats and a third-row kid’s seat, which kids love to sit in. And the vehicle comes with enough room, amenities, and technology to make everyone happy.

Get ready to travel in style with the Atlas. No matter how many folks are on board, the Atlas has plenty of cargo space. With a full van of seven passengers, there is still a storage space of 20.6 cubic feet. The cargo volume expands to 55.5 cubic feet when the third row is folded down, and with the second and third rows both folded away, you have 96.8 cubic feet of storage space.

Epoch Times Photo
The interior of the 2018 VW Atlas. (Courtesy of Volkswagen)

Mom and dad will feel contented in the front seats, while the kids in the back will be comfy in the 60/40 split-folding second-row seats with third-row easy entry, and a 50/50 split-folding third row. All seats are upholstered with V-Tex leatherette.

The driver will appreciate the self-dimming rear-view mirror. The 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires provide the sure footing needed to keep the Atlas balanced and on the road.

Heated, foldable power side mirrors—with position memory and integrated turn signals— along with the passenger’s side mirror with reverse-gear auto-tilt function, give the driver clear and good peripheral vision. The power tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof provides a relaxing temperature on the inside and a great view to the outside world.

Go ahead, hook up a trailer! The trailer hitch has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds (when properly equipped).

The most precious thing you have is your family. Well, just what kind of safety does VW provide when the family is riding in an Atlas?

The Atlas SEL spares little in the way of advanced safety. Available standard driver assist items include front assist, rear-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, rear-traffic alert, and lane-departure warning. Front assist includes forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, plus pedestrian monitoring.

Passive safety features including three-point seatbelt for all seats, side-curtain head-protection airbags that cover all three rows, and reinforced safety-cage construction.

From front to back, all these devices work together to help you and your family stay safe.

For entertainment, the Composition Media touchscreen sound system features an 8-inch color display, proximity sensor, AM/FM radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, CD player, and voice control. Great entertainment flows out from the eight speakers. The remote power liftgate helps get both people and cargo loaded quickly and safely.

Volkswagen Car-Net connected car suite is also found on the Atlas SEL. It includes App-Connect smartphone integration a plus security service that includes location tracking, remote access, and emergency assistance. As a key emergency assistance feature, automatic crash notification adds another layer of assurance by automatically contacting a VW agent in a time of need.

The Atlas is a big, powerful, and strong SUV. Its strength not only lies in its size and durability, but also in the safety measures that are an intrinsic part of the vehicle.

The Atlas handles and performs well, with better-than-average gas mileage potential. Inside, the  temperature is left to your personal comfort.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas provides superb visibility, sitting at 69.7 inches tall with 8 inches of ground clearance. The wheelbase, 117.3 inches long and 78.3 inches wide, provides stability and presence. The Atlas is a compelling example of a strong vehicle, especially when considering safety.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is $42,940.

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net.