2018 VW Atlas Review

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] How did VW’s all-new 7-passenger SUV perform? It's big but drives small.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 19, 2017

    [​IMG]

    2018 VW Atlas - $30,975 to start including the $925 D&H Charge and offers owners an 18/25 mpg city/highway rating in FWD trim.

    This week’s ride is the formidable 7-passenger, 18/25 mpg city/highway rated 2018 VW Atlas SE with Technology. It includes the aging but still competitive 276 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 w/ Start/Stop mated to an all-new 8-speed AT.

    There are six standouts from my short four days with it.

    Its first claim to fame is the passenger volume of 153.7 cu ft. and cargo volume of 20.6 cu ft. behind the 50-50 split third row, 55.5 cu ft. behind the 60-40 split 2nd row, and a monstrous 96.8 cu ft. behind the first row with the second and third row folded flat into the floor.

    2018 VW Atlas Cargo Capacity

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    There is a lot of cargo volume available in back.​

    The second is in a sea filled with 7-passenger SUVs, what makes the Atlas stand out on the road? The exterior character and feature lines are all close to 0-radius creases creating deep and attractive shadows along every line. Nobody except for but VW and its subsidiary Audi – BMW and MB as well, makes body panels with sharp edges and the Atlas has them in both the hood and profile. The rest of the exterior is std. fare including 18” alloys, lower cladding, short overhangs… I did notice fit and finish has improved tremendously from the prototypes we drove at the short lead a few months back.

    Another standout is the std. LED headlamps. The SE Technology trim does not include steerable or Auto High Beams unfortunately but they are bright and the fog lamps are slow speed cornering lamps that light up the left or right corner edges when cornering.

    The Start/Stop system is the best I have experienced in any vehicle to date. It shuts down even after short slow speed movements, is quick to restart, and is reasonably quiet. If there was one attribute that owners may find a shortfall with the system is the Hill Start Braking does not release as quickly as the engine off to on and transmission engaged transition when ready to move the Atlas.

    The Radar CC is the std. VW/Audi excellent. It provides soft accels and decels and looks out over 20 degrees to each corner. The LKA system barely touches the wheel to keep the Atlas centered. Another plus vs other OEMs more aggressive LKA systems that wait until the edge is being touched.

    And finally, the warranty. The Atlas arrives with a 6 yr/72k mile bumper to bumper warranty and 3-years of road side assistance. This is a long time coming and should have been included quite some time ago.

    Pricing? A full sized 7-passenger SUV with a starting price at just $30,975 incl, the $925. D&H charge means the pencils were sharpened. The FWD SE Technology we drove came in at $38,015 incl. the $925 D&H charge.

    Other impressions is that the Atlas moves away from the std. VW road feel. I applaud the very light steering to handle this large SUV. Especially in tight parking lots that is almost effortless in fact. The light steering and tight 38.1 ft turning circle makes the large SUV feel a lot smaller than it is.

    2018 VW Atlas Interior

    [​IMG]

    Moving inside, the std. heated and longer lower seat cushions plus 10-way adjustable driver seat incl. lumbar provides the long-distance comfort we have experienced within all VWs from the Golf on up to the Atlas. The taller seating position of the SUV is ok but the B and D-pillars are thick causing some view angle constraints into the blind spots.

    The sunglass holder and sun visors that extend to cover the entire side windows are always welcome. The leather wrapped 3-spoke wheel – I wish it were a four spoke unit as I could not comfortably hold the bottom at the 6 o’clock position, and shift knob is std. VW as well. I do wish the wheel was a bit softer.

    The plastic A-Pillar coverings, door inserts that look good but are very “plasticy”, and the large dash with molded stitch accents appears a bit low rent for a VW. The Golf has better std. interior looks imho.

    3-Zone auto climate seems to work fine but I only used the driver’s side. A/C cooled quickly and heat came up as soon as the coolant was near 120 degrees F. It happened quick as well.

    Within the SE Technology Trim, RCC with Auto braking and pedestrian detection, BSM with the excellent LKA mentioned above, and rear cross traffic alert are all std. Soon this will be standard on all cars but it is nice to see this included in the SE with Technology pkg.

    The power rear liftgate is also good although I wish it were a little faster opening. The proximity key system includes the "Reach into the door handle and it unlocks," This nice to see vs. many moving to the button on the handle. Remote start? I wish nobody offered this and you all know the reasons why.

    2018 VW Atlas Seating

    [​IMG]
    Second Row slid back.

    [​IMG]
    Second Row slid forward allowing some third row seat leg and knee room.

    [​IMG]
    From within with seats moved back and forward.​

    The second row seat slide forward and lift for access to the third row works similar to the Pathfinder’s system from back in 2014 although the third row like almost every 7-passenger SUV regardless of second row fore and aft adjustment is still tight to get into, not very comfortable while back there, and even harder to get out of. For kids under 12 maybe. For adults, it is just too tight imho. The second row on the other hand has good knee and leg room when slid back (see pics above) and tilts back for those of us that like the lean.

    On the infotainment front, the 8” central display audio screen is fast and the gesture control works well. While it includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay std. - I will use Android Auto tomorrow on the way to the airport, no embedded NAVI in a full-size SUV seems a bit cheap? I have made the same not with some of Lexus’s $40k + offerings as well so it is just a personal complaint with little merit given the well under $40k price point of this large SUV.

    Audio fills the cabin well and like many VWs, a CD-Player is still included. XM and HD Radio are std. It is not the powerful Fender system however.

    Now onto the aFCD Calibration Drive

    2018 VW Atlas

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    LAX Shell and the initial top off with aFCD, Trip and Garmin.​

    Even with a 6:15 pm launch thanks to over an hour to top off, the infamous 405 sucked! 1 hour to cover the first 15-miles on this SOB!!!

    [​IMG]

    Almost 2.5 hours later and 90.2 actual miles I arrived at my hometown Shell in Carlsbad, CA.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Another hour to top off and the first measured fill was complete.​

    35.8 mpg over 90.1 miles indicated was 35.6 mpg over 90.2 miles actual. I have never seen an odometer/Trip odometer that close. Ever! Great accuracy on the aFCD as well.

    The 90.2 miles on 2.537 gal = 35.6 mpg vs. 35.8 mpg actual for an aFCD*0.994 = Actual mpgUS. Not bad for ridiculous traffic and a very heavy 4,336 lb. 7-passenger SUV with a Cd of 0.34.

    With that out of the way, let’s knock out to those Steady States.

    The 18/25 mpgUS city/highway rated 2018 VW Atlas SE w/ Technology uses the aging 3.6L V6 described above. It is powerful enough to move the mass but on the efficiency front is going to cost you. Especially around town with stop light and sign to stop light and sign despite the excellent Stop/Start trying to save it.

    The steady state(s) were undertaken between 12:15 AM and 02:45 AM early this morning. Temperatures ranged from 59 to 64 degrees F with calm winds for the northbound and southbound measured segments.

    2018 VW Atlas with the 3.6L V6

    [​IMG]
    Just minutes after the data collection early this morning. Notice the hood and roof feature lines? Best in the industry.​

    The 25 mpg EPA highway crossover occurred at a calculated 70.38 mph. If we were generous, the Atlas should be provided another 1 mpg highway but in this day and age, VWs conservative rating is smart.

    The indicated speeds of 50 through 70 mph matched the actual mph through the entire range from 50 to 70 mph per the Garmin.

    RPM at 60 mph indicated 1,700 RPM vs. the calculated 1,643.

    [​IMG]

    2018 VW Atlas Conclusions

    While the 2018 VW Atlas SE with the Technology Pkg. is solidly rated, if you need a 7-passenger SUV, my recommendation is to wait for the less expensive and hopefully more efficient 2.0L TSI mated to the 8-speed AT. I will be driving the 2.0L TSI engine tomorrow and Wednesday in Denver while inside the all-new 2018 Tiguan.

    Looking further, this is a great platform from which to build a future full-sized VW pickup from. Talk about creating a rumor!
     
    TheFordFamily likes this.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    From the 2018 VW Atlas Preview, the first detailed VW produced vid on its Origins was embedded.


    Wayne
     
  3. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The second VW Produced vid detailed the 2018 Atlas’ Design.


    Wayne
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The third VW Produced vid detailed the 2018 Atlas’ Testing.


    Wayne
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The fourth VW Produced vid detailed the 2018 Atlas’ Engineering.


    Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And the thought provoking advert for its all new 2018 VW Atlas called America.


    I loved this advert. For the cinematography across the country, the morbid humor with Grandpa sitting between the two kids in the back seat, and the raw emotion shown by the young boy and Grandmother while next to the Pacific Ocean.

    At the short lead, I received more than a fair share of mixed messages on the advert I enjoyed. Some hated it as draconian and many just brushed it off as the implications of death in any advert never fly's.

    Your thoughts?

    Wayne
     
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    2018 VW Atlas Earns a 2017 Top Safety Pick Rating from the IIHS


    VW issued a release stating the all-new, 7-passenger 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, when equipped with the optional Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking (Front Assist), has just earned a 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

    The 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK award is issued to vehicles that have earned “Good” ratings in IIHS crash tests evaluated in five categories: frontal impact moderate overlap; frontal impact small overlap; side impact; roof strength; and head restraints. It must also offer an autonomous emergency braking system (AEB) that earns at least an advanced rating for front crash prevention. The 2018 Atlas earned a “Superior” rating on the AEB test.

    Becasue the Atlas only achieved a marginal score on the headlamp test, it was not able to achieve the coveted Top Safety Pick Plus rating.

    2018 VW Atlas IIHS Top Safety Pick

    [​IMG]

    The Atlas is the only vehicle in its class to offer the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which is standard across all trims. This system builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System addresses this by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus helping reduce residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.

    Other driver assist systems available in the Atlas include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC); Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning (Lane Assist), front and rear Park Distance Control (ParkPilot), Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist); High Beam Control (Light Assist) and Overhead View Camera (Area View).
     
    BillLin likes this.
  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The fifth VW Produced vid detailing the 2018 Atlas’ "User Experience".


    Wayne
     
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas was named “Best Family SUV” by the Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) at the 2018 Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year competition. For more than 20 years, NWAPA has held the event to evaluate the best SUVs, crossovers, and pickups available to consumers. Vehicles are tested on closed courses that replicate conditions active buyers in the Northwest might encounter in their daily and weekend travels and adventures.

    2018 VW Atlas

    [​IMG]

    The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas was introduced in 2017 as the brand’s first three-row SUV. Designed for the American family, the 2018 Atlas is available with either a 235 hp and 258 lb-ft. of torque 2.0L I4 or a 276 hp and 266 lb-ft. of torque 3.6L V6. EPA ratings show only average results with the 2.0L FWD, 3.6L FWD, and 3.6L AWD arriving with 22/26, 18/25, and 17/23 mpgUS city/highway respectively.

    It is available in S, SE, SE w/ Technology, SEL, and SEL Premium trims. The 4Motion AWD system is available on all 3.6L V6 equipped trims. The Atlas is assembled in Volkswagen’s state-of-the-art and award-winning LEED Platinum plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the Atlas starts at $30,750.

    Wayne
     
    BillLin likes this.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The VW Chattanooga manufacturing facility reached a significant milestone with the completion of the 100,000th Volkswagen Atlas.

    2018 VW Atlas

    [​IMG]

    Assembled in the LEED Platinum-certified production facility in Chattanooga Tennessee, the 100,000th SUV is a 2019 Atlas SEL premium, finished in Pacific Blue, with Shetland V-Tex leatherette interior. The Atlas has a 3.6L V6 mated to an 8-speed AT.

    For the 2019 model year, the Atlas is available in seven trims levels —S, SE, SE w/ Technology, SE w/ Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium. The Atlas family receives a modest value alignment, with driver-assistance and innovation features moving to lower trims. Front Assist, Blind Spot Monitor, and Rear Traffic Alert are now standard on all models. Volkswagen Digital Cockpit—the high-tech configurable instrument cluster—is now standard on SEL models.

    MSRP for the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0L starts at $30,895 for the S model; 3.6L models start at $34,095 for the S 4Motion. The destination charge for all Atlas models is an additional $995.

    Wayne
     

Share This Page