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2018 Volkswagen Atlas Was Designed For North America

3107 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  northstar

And TractionLife (TL) plans to put that claim to the test in their latest drive review.

In light of their Dieselgate scandal, Volkswagen is trying to win back some of their family oriented customers by “moving from a small-car brand towards a more family-friendly lineup.” Ironic given that the gasoline V6 powered mid-size SUV is released following said scandal.

Company reputation aside, the Atlas is a car one takes “to a National Park or the lake house on the weekend…a car that delivers freedom”.

The family hauler didn’t disappoint when TL editor Graham Heeps tested it on a dry and dusty off-road course. Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine and equipped with 4Motion AWD, nothing really stumped the Atlas when in off-road mode. Though he does note that the hill descent control is overactive and something he fought with.

Other than that, the seven seater in Execline trim comes with a plethora of creature comforts to make those long road trips all the more enjoyable. There’s plenty of USB charge points along with a 115V power socket, more than enough power to keep those electronic bound passengers occupied. Look up, they can even gaze at the sky through a panoramic sunroof.

“The Atlas is the car that VW-loving families with more than two children, or older kids, have been waiting for.”
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Reviewers say that this vehicle is for families, but I like it for different reasons:
First, I like it because getting into and out of it will be a breeze. I am at a point in my life where getting down and into a car makes me utter sounds that are best associated with people in my age group and older (i.e., 40s). So I like being able to just side step and be in.
Next, since I am middle aged and so is my wife, we are dealing with being a bit too big for the seats in a sedan. I always wondered why older people like bench seats. Now I understand. My wife's and my larger posterior and our middle-aged predisposition for aches and pains mean a vehicle with big seats wins out. The Atlas has bigger seats that are more accommodating than the bucket seats in the Kia Sorento.
Next is Smart Cruise. I love not having to set it and re-set it whenever some idiot ahead of me slows down and speeds up again. I just maintain a distance until I get tired of such people.
Also, the lane keeping thing is a major upgrade. I can set the cruise and pretty much let the car do its job. It greatly reduces fatigue on long drives!
As for the size of this beast, I like it because a longer wheelbase means a smoother ride. The cargo capacity means I can go to Home Depot more easily and make dump runs with less fuss. And when my stepson visits, he can comfortably sit his 6-foot, 260 pounds in the back and be comfortable. In the Sportwagen, he has to squish himself in and it looks painful.
So yeah, this new Atlas will be a great upgrade from my beloved Sportwagen, and I can look forward to learning what this thing can do that a car could never accomplish.
By the way, I have been a VW owner since 1998: 1st, 1993 Jetta GL; 2nd, 2002 Golf GL; 3rd, 2006 Golf GL; 4th, 2013 Jetta Sportwagen TDI; and my current 2014 Sportwagen TDI.
Hoping to make this Atlas the one I own for ten or more years!
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Probably the most interesting will be seeing how well the R-Line models sell in America since it has been proven to sell well with other VW products. S-Line for Audi does similarly well in NA.
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