2022 Volkswagen Atlas
V 6 Cylinder
Apple Car play
The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas is solid alternative to a minivan. With an expansive cargo area and three-row seating that accommodates adults—comfortably—in the Wayback, the Atlas is better at family transport than many other mid-size utes. VW also fits it with popular driver assists and desirable standard equipment, especially in the middle models of the lineup, that improve its value proposition.
Power comes from a standard turbo-four engine or a stout V-6; both offered with front- or all-wheel drive. While the sizable SUV isn’t at all engaging to drive, its road manners are reassuring. Unfortunately, its uninspired interior aesthetic and rough ride on broken surfaces keep it from looking or feeling as refined as rivals.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas comes with one of two engines—a 235-hp four-cylinder or a 276-hp V-6. Both pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The V-6 feels and sounds refined, transmitting nary a shiver into the cabin. Though the last four-cylinder and V-6 models we tested had ordinary acceleration, out on the road, they rarely felt underpowered. While it’s not as much fun to drive as the Mazda CX-9, the Atlas responds obediently to steering inputs and never feels clumsy. It is composed on the highway and nimble in the city. The ride is smooth, and all but the harshest potholes are absorbed.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas‘s fuel-economy ratings aren’t groundbreaking for this class of big-box family haulers, but its real-world performance isn’t far off from the segment’s fuel sippers. The four-cylinder model is the most efficient with the front-wheel-drive variant scoring ratings of 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The thirstier V-6 model is rated at 18 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway with all-wheel drive. We ran both variants on our 75-mph real-world route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, and the V-6 Atlas returned 24 mpg; the four-cylinder model delivered 27 mpg. For more information about Atlas’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Family-friendly interior space, a straightforward control layout, and an overabundance of cupholders make the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas a practical choice, even among other highly practical rivals. Plus, the third row of seats that can comfortably accommodate full-size adults is a definite win. The interior design of the Atlas is uncomplicated and utilitarian—perfect for families but less so for style mavens. The cabin should accommodate just about anything a suburban family can throw at it, and there are plenty of thoughtfully placed storage nooks to stash small items. In our luggage testing, the Atlas impressed us by fitting four carry-on suitcases behind the third row and 38 behind the first, same as the enormous Honda Pilot.
Infotainment and Connectivity
No matter which trim you choose, the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas comes well connected and ready to entertain. The touchscreen interface is intuitive and about as responsive as an average smartphone. The SE has a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, a six-speaker sound system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and two USB ports. Starting on SE trims with the Technology Package, the touchscreen grows to 8.0 inches, the back seats share three USB ports, SiriusXM 360L satellite radio (subscription required) joins the party, and there’s a wireless phone charging pad.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas comes with a bevy of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. For more information about Atlas’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas
front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon
S, $32,565; SE, $35,915; V6 SE, $39,315; V6 SE R-Line, $40,715; V6 SEL, $43,315; SEL 4Motion, $43,415; V6 SEL R-Line, $40,015
Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 235 hp, 258 lb-ft; DOHC 24-valve V-6, 276 hp, 266 lb-ft
Wheelbase: 117.3 in
Length: 200.7 in
Width: 78.3 in
Height: 70.1 in
Passenger volume: 155 ft3
Cargo volume: 21 ft3
Curb weight (C/D est): 4300–4750 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 7.1–7.8 sec
¼-mile: 15.5–16.0 sec
Top speed: 115 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 18–22/16–21/22–24 mpg