The mid-size VW Atlas is a handy family hauler with plenty of room for passengers and cargo and good road manners as well. The model is a relatively new addition in the brand’s lineup and designed specifically for the US market. The model debuted for the 2018 model year and VW added two new trims for the 2019 version. For the 2020 model year, the three-row SUV got a smaller, coupe-like-profile Atlas Cross Sport version with two rows of seating. The 2021 VW Atlas will receive the mid-cycle update but there shouldn’t be major changes rather subtle styling and interior tweaks.
The 2021 version will likely continue with the same powertrain options. There should be more features available in the lower grades combined with the updated infotainment system. There are also rumors in the industry that the Atlas derived pickup truck version previewed by the Atlas Tanoak Concept could appear in the US but there haven’t been precise details or potential release date of this model.
2021 VW Atlas: Design
The VW Atlas is based on the brand’s ubiquitous MQB platform designed to underpin a wide range of models from superminis to large family vehicles. All models based on this platform share the traverse, front-engine positioning, front axle and pedal box while the wheelbase size is varying depending on the model. The Atlas rides on the 117.3-inch wheelbase as the Atlas Cross Sport but the two-row version is 5.7 inches shorter.
The 2021 VW Atlas won’t, of course, change its dimensions or platform and the styling update will also be subtle. The current version adopted the brand’s familiar styling scheme seen on many other models with horizontal front-end design and sharp character line on the profile panels.
The sheet metal shaping will remain the same after the mid-cycle update and there will be just a few styling tweaks on the front and rear fascias.
The refreshed model will come with a slightly larger grille version with the same, horizontal slats orientation and the brand’s badge in the middle. The headlights will also appear with the tweaked design and the front section gets also vertical-oriented driving lights pushed toward the lower corners. The changes on the rear side will be limited to the updated taillights.
The cabin of the refreshed Atlas is expected to continue largely unchanged to the new model year. VW will likely upgrade the features of the Car-Net infotainment system and offer more standard features. The model will again come equipped with several standard active safety systems.
There will be up to 96,8 cubic feet of the cargo space in the Atlas and 20.6 cubes with all seats up. With the third row folded, the cargo room will measure 55.5 cubes.
The base version will include a large center display with Apple Car Play and Android Auto support and there will be cloth seating. All versions will have LED headlights, automatic climate control, and safety systems such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
The upper grades will add an upgraded infotainment system with navigation, upgraded upholstery, premium sound system and more. Available will be VW’s Digital Cockpit setup with the large digital instrument panel and features like surround-vision cameras, heated and ventilated front seats, 21-inch wheel, etc.
2021 VW Atlas: Powertrains
VW hasn’t, of course, commented yet on the 2021 VW Atlas as well as the powertrain options the model will use. All chances are, based on several sources, that refreshed Atlas would use the same engines as the current version. The coupe-like Atlas Cross Sport get also the power from the same engines as the three-row version.
So, the base powering unit should remain a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine capable of producing 238 hp and torque of 258 pound-feet. The three-row, family SUV will be able to tow more with the 3.6-liter V-6 engine under the hood. This engine produces 276 hp and torque of 266 pound-feet.
The transmission of choice in both cases will be an 8-speed automatic while the front- and all-wheel drive will be available. With no performance upgrades, the Atlas should again tow up to 5, 00 pounds.
The fuel economy should also stay around 24 mpg combined with the turbo-4 engine employed. The V-6 powered Atlas should earn 20 mpg combined.
2021 VW Atlas: Release, Price
The updated 2021 VW Atlas should appear around the mid-2020. The price of the model should stay close to the current range which starts from $31, 000.