Thinking about getting a new SUV for the family? With the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, you get a comfy and stylish ride for your sedate lifestyle.
A few years ago, Volkswagen made a splash in the auto industry with their Atlas SUV. With its huge size and 3 rows of seats, it offered a lot of space for even the biggest families.
Now Volkswagen has made a smaller and more conventional version of the car, with just the regular 2 rows of seats in the Atlas Cross Sport. It’s not just a simple reduction of seats though. Volkswagen also changed up the looks to make it feel a bit more stylish.
Size and Looks
When you look at this from the side, there’s not really much to distinguish it from the rest of its counterparts in the mid-size 2-row crossover niche. Compared to the family-sized Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport is maybe 5 inches shorter from front to rear though it still has the same 117.3-inch wheel base.
The Atlas Cross Sport is also shorter in height, as it’s lower to the ground by 2.2 inches. This does make it “sportier”, in a way (plus the fact you don’t have a third row of seats).
Just because this is smaller doesn’t mean things are cramped inside, though. It’s still a crossover SUV with plenty of room for an average family. Adults will find the front seats large and spacious, with lots of room for generously proportioned frames.
The backseat offers a nice amount of legroom as well, so it’s not just for the kids, either. You can get in 3 adults at the back. They’ll even feel nice and comfy since the backseat reclines even farther than in the old Atlas.
As for the cargo space, you still get 40.3 cubic feet of it. You can always fold the rear seats back so you can expand the cargo space to 77.8 cubic-ft.
You’ll find that Volkswagen changed things up a bit with the front bumper and 3-bar chrome grille. The lighting is also different, as you now have full LED lights across the board.
This comes with the standard 18-inch wheels and the silver roof rails. However, you can always opt for the 21-inch wheels or the large panoramic roof. The steering wheel looks great, and you can also opt for the 2-tone interior theme for a bit more pizzazz.
The overall theme is actually about functionality and simplicity. Everything works without too many unnecessary flourishes. It’s all straightforward.
That’s also true with the gauges in the standard trim, which does its job with a no-nonsense flair when it offers you the information you need. However, the SEL trim offers a terrific digital cockpit that you’d expect in an Audi. This cockpit alone may be enough to convince to upgrade from the standard trim.
The Base S variant offers a 6.5-inch touchscreen for your infotainment system. But if you go with the other trims, the touchscreen is bigger at 8 inches.
Under the Hood
Just because it’s got “Sport” in the model name doesn’t really mean its performance is sporty. You have only 2 engine choices here, and these are rather sedate machines. All trims have the basic 235-horsepower 2.0-liter I4 turbo engine.
But if you opt for the SE or SEL trim, you can upgrade the engine to a 3.6-liter V6. That gives you 276 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. You may want to take a closer look at this engine, as the V6 operates very and it’s not all that noisy either. At the same time, it’s robust enough to tow up to 5,000 pounds.
This comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which really offers a very smooth ride. For the SE and SEL trims, you can also get the 4Motion all-wheel-drive option. This can come in handy as it offers programmed drive modes for off-road and snow driving conditions.
There’s actually a Sport Mode here, though. With the V6, you can stomp on the gas when the light turns green and it’s not as if you’re driving a lumbering slowpoke.
You can get from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 8.4 seconds. For the quarter-mile, it’s 16.3 seconds at 94 mph. That means you can probably still get home fast enough before the kids get fussy.
For a fairly big SUV, this Atlas Cross Sport feels agile around the winding roads. That’s probably because you have the same MQB architecture here that you’ll find in the Volkswagen Golf. The 4-wheel independent suspension is similar to the old Atlas, with just a bit of retuning.
The prices aren’t bad at all, starting from $31,565 up to the top SEL trim at $40,565. Add another $1,900 if you want the all-wheel-drive.
With the V6 and the all-wheel-drive, you still get an average of about 20.4 miles to the gallon. That’s 16 miles in the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway. That’s respectable for this type of vehicle.
If you don’t need the 3rd row of seats, then this is a comfy crossover with stylish looks. It’s a great choice for the family, especially at these prices.
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