Most of the times you think of Volkswagen, you imagine a compact vehicle like the Beetle or Golf, but the Atlas Cross Sport changes all that. This is the smaller 5-seater sibling of the three-row Atlas, and is available in three core trim levels: S, SE, and SEL. However, this simple ladder becomes a complex matrix when crossed with package options of V6 engine, 4MOTION AWD, Technology Package, Premium Package, and R-Line design. The SEL Premium will be my focus.
The base engine is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that puts down 235 horsepower through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 in this SEL Premium is a 3.6L narrow-angle NA engine with FSI direct fuel injection, coupled to 4MOTION with Active Control drive mode selection.
Atlas Cross Sport delivers 16 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway for a combined 19 mpg.
The Atlas Cross Sport interior is spacious, and sitting tall provides great visibility through large front and back windows. The radio and climate control are controlled by knobs that were easily accessible.
The 8″ Discover Media touchscreen infotainment system was easy to read and operate thanks to the large knobs and accessible buttons.
Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control with 2nd-row air vents keeps everyone cool and comfortable. The heated, leather-wrapped 3-spoke R-Line steering wheel was loaded with controls. In fact, I was a little overwhelmed and sometimes confused at the amount of options on the wheel. Leather seating surfaces added to the overall good looks.
To accommodate the personal smart device life-style, there are a total of 5 USB ports: 2 data ports in the front, 1 charging port in the center, and two more charging ports for the back. The center console also provides two cup holders and a wide arm rest with abundant, deep storage. Ambient lighting and illuminated vanity mirrors add mood and practicality.
Atlas Cross Sport V6 SEL Premium rests on 21-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires.
My test vehicle had a Pure White exterior with Titan Black and Quartzite accent leather interior. The white exterior goes quite nicely with the full LED ensemble of headlights, Daytime Running Lights, and taillights.
The adaptive headlights on the SEL Premium are cornering lights that trace your steering to illuminate into the corner. It is complemented by power-folding heated side mirrors with position memory and integrated turn signal.
But the most impressive outside feature was the R-Line bumper and badging, along with silver roof rails and the trailer hitch that lets you tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The 2020 Atlas Cross Sport has every technology and passenger convenience imaginable. Several outstanding features give this compact SUV an edge against its competition: Overhead View Camera (Area View), Traffic Sign Detection, plus Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring. These increase safety and help avoiding bad surprises.
The ride was smooth and comfortable. Road noise is nearly nonexistent.
The MSRP for the Atlas Cross Sport V6 SEL Premium R-Line with 4MOTION is $49,795.
4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty
7-year/100,000-mile Corrosive Perforation Warranty
3-year/36,000-mile 24-hour Roadside Assistance
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or email@example.com.