2021 VW Atlas 17

2021 VW Atlas: Quick But Detailed Overview

  • 2021 VW Atlas seats seven and has a long list of available features.
  • The on-board Wi-FI hotspot will accommodate up to four devices.
  • When properly equipped, the new Atlas can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

Volkswagen unveiled the face-lifted 2021 Atlas SUV at the Chicago Auto Show this week. The refreshed seven-seater presents a number of interior upgrades, advanced technologies, and new driver-assistance features. And now both the V6 and four-cylinder engines are available with 4Motion all-wheel drive.

What Is The 2021 VW Atlas?

A little while back, I wrote about the VW Atlas Cross Sport. The SUV we have here is essentially the “normal” version of that. It has no leaning towards sportiness (other than what they could squeeze out of the drivetrain), and is all about everyday practicality. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is what it is: big, boxy, but very user friendly.

Under all that sheet metal, the Atlas is largely the same as the outgoing model, but thanks to new front and rear bumper designs, it’s nearly three inches longer for 2021. It also gets the same grille and headlights as the Atlas Cross Sport as well as standard LED lighting. Opting for the R-line trim will get you unique bumpers, side skirts, and big 20- or 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels along with signature R-line badging.

2021 VW Atlas
2021 VW Atlas. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

What Engine Does The 2021 VW Atlas Have?

There are two powertrains on offer for the 2021 Atlas. There’s a 276-horsepower V6 and a 235-horsepower turbo four-cylinder with direct injection. Either engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic and both are available with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system. Pairing the little 2.0-liter with 4Motion is new for the 2021 model year. It’s not a bad engine choice, if what you’re aiming to do is drive around town and not haul a lot of people and stuff. Plus, the all-wheel drive will give you extra security when winter comes around.

If you are aiming to haul more stuff around, the V6 version can tow up to 5,000 lbs. when properly equipped.

Premium Audio & Wi-Fi Hotspots

Of course the interior gets a refresh and upgrades over the outgoing model. There’s a new steering wheel, available contrast-stitching for the leather seats and door trim, and an eight-inch Composition Media infotainment system. There is also the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit; a Fender (as in the guitars) Premium Audio System; trick ambient lighting; a three-zone Climatronic HVAC system; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; wireless charging; and remote start. And you thought only Japanese SUVs came with lots of bells and whistles.

And the 2021 Atlas doesn’t stop there. The big VW also has the Car-Net telematics system. It comes with a long list of services for five years. The Atlas also serves as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that will accommodate up to four devices.

2021 VW Atlas interior layout.
2021 VW Atlas interior layout. Photo: Volkswagen of America, Inc.

2021 VW Atlas: Safety Features Galore

Naturally, the Atlas has a truck-load of driver-assistance tech available. There’s Forward Collision Warning; Autonomous Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Monitoring; Blind Spot Monitor; and Rear Traffic Alert standard on all models. Traffic Jam Assist; Dynamic Road Sign Display; Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go; Lane Keeping System; Park Distance Control; Park Steering Assistant; and an Overhead View Camera are also available.

2021 VW Atlas: Pricing & Availability

If you’re in the market for a bigger family-hauler-type of SUV, the VW Atlas is worth investigating. It’s scheduled to arrive during the second quarter of this year. The table below shows the MSRP by trim level for the 2021 VW Atlas. Destination charges total $1,020 and are include in the figures below.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.

2021 VW Atlas: MSRP by Trim Level
Trim Level MSRP w/ Destination Standard Features
S $32,565 (FWD)
$34,456 (AWD)
*2.0-liter turbo only
18-inch wheels; LED headlights; daytime running lights; Bluetooth; rearview camera; Blind Spot Monitor.
SE $35,915 (FWD)
$37,815 (AWD)
*2.0-liter turbo only
10-way power driver’s seat; heated front seats; three-zone automatic climate control; SiriusXM; wireless charging; multiple USB ports; power liftgate.
SE w/ Technology $37,915 (FWD / 2.0-liter turbo)
$39,315 (FWD / V6)
*Add $1,900 for AWD.
20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels; remote start;115-volt power outlet in the second row. Driver-assistance features include front and rear Park Distance Control and Automatic Cruise Control with Stop and Go.
SE w/ Tech R-Line $40,715 (FWD V6)
$42,615 (AWD V6)
20-inch alloy wheels; black-accented R-Line bumpers; signature R-Line badging; stainless-steel pedal caps.
SEL $43,315 (FWD V6)
$43,415 (AWD 2.0-liter turbo)
Volkswagen Digital Cockpit and Discover Media with navigation; panoramic sunroof; V6 Towing Package.
SEL R-Line $45,015 (FWD V6)
$46,915 (AWD V6)
21-inch wheels; black-accented R-Line bumpers; signature R-Line badging; stainless steel pedal caps.
SEL Premium $48,215 (2.0-liter turbo)
$50,015 (V6)
All-wheel drive; 20-inch wheels; leather seats; ventilated/heated front seats and heated rear seats; ambient lighting; Fender Premium Audio system.
SEL Premium R-Line $51,715 (AWD V6) 21-inch wheels; black-accented R-Line bumpers; signature R-Line badging; stainless steel pedal caps.

2021 VW Atlas Gallery

Photos & Source: Volkswagen of America, Inc.