2021 Volkswagen Atlas: Just Another Three-Row Midsize SUV?

Anyone looking for a new three-row midsize SUV has a lot of models to choose from, starting with the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride duo, to the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and the Volkswagen Atlas, to name but a few.

Updated for the 2021 model year, the German SUV brings a few modest styling changes, a 2.0-liter four-pot making 235 HP and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque with AWD offered alongside the 3.6-liter VR6, and several technological revisions such as the introduction of the new MIB3 infotainment system in all grades, save for the base S.

Available with standard seating for up to seven or with optional second-row captain’s chairs, the 2021 Atlas is offered in the S, SE, SEL and SEL Premium trim levels, which can be specced, depending on the chosen variant, with the 4Motion all-wheel drive system, Technology and Technology R-Line packages. Pricing starts at $31,545 (excluding destination) for the S, $34,895 for the SE, $42,295 for the SEL and $47,195 for the SEL Premium.

The entry-level boasts LED headlights, App-Connect, Blind Spot Monitor and Front Assist, with the SE adding the 8-inch touchscreen display and three-zone climate control. The SEL has digital dials, panoramic sunroof and Traffic Jam Assist, and the SEL Premium sports the 360-degree camera system, Park Assist and leather upholstery.

KBB drove the top-spec variant of the 2021 Atlas and found it very spacious, with decent overall build quality and comfortable ride. Other things, such as the numb steering, was not to their liking, but would they recommend it?


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