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I hope this post is not just a rant against VW. I hope it may actually help someone else in our situation, or maybe even prevent someone from making a mistake.
We purchased a 2019 Atlas SEL 4-Motion at the end of January, 2020. It immediately exhibited two problems/issues: 1) a grinding noise at low gears, especially when coming to a rolling stop and then accelerating (and up steep hills), and 2) a very jumpy, hesitating shifting pattern in the lower 5 gears. Both issues seemed to be getting slightly worse each month. We contacted VW Customer Care within the first 3 weeks of purchase, and after numerous trips to the dealer, we were told "there is nothing wrong with the vehicle". 30 days later, I established a second Case Number with VW Customer Care, and went through the same process with the same result. VW Customer Care was very responsive and pleasant, but they could not do much for us since there was "nothing technically wrong". They offered a small voucher towards the purchase of another VW, but at this point, my wife and I did not want another VW. We had only owned the car for 5 months and only put 5100 miles on it, but we decided – enough was enough. We did our research, and purchased a wonderful 2020 Hyundai Palisade! We took a hit on the trade-in, but not an awful hit. It was worth it! I won't go into all of the details of out new vehicle, but suffice it to say – it drives like a dream (with more power and way-better mpg's!!). My message to would-be Atlas owners is – pay attention during the test drive. Drive it for 50-100 miles (dealers should let you do this), and make sure you follow your intuition if the car doesn't feel right. I've owned many Volkswagon's, but they haven't produced a top-notch product with the Atlas. The South Korean car companies are doing something (actually A LOT of things) right.
 

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I hope you enjoy your Palisade. They are v. nice looking and I have heard good things about them. With that said, also understand that when you join those online communities, there will be folks just like you here, that had a terrible experience, want a buy back, and generally complain about all sorts of things. They are there. And if you have no issues, which is most likely, you will read posts like this and think "ok?".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I understand your very valid point KarsGeo, and I do realize Forums in general are populated by people who are (for the most part) having some sort of issue. But at the end of the day, in my humble opinion, a German engineered $40K+ vehicle should drive, well... like a Volkswagon! It's not a BMW, Mercedes or Audi, but it is a very close cousin, and the VWs I've driven in the past drove circles around anything else out there (in their respective price-range). I've been tempted to stop and ask Atlas owners if they are happy with it. But your point, what good would that do :)
 

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I'm happy with mine and have no serious issues in 2.5 years/25k of ownership. The tranny shifts smoothly in mine albeit v. eco-focused w/r to shift points. Again I get not everyone's experience is the same and the complaints you've expressed aren't isolated for sure. They've sold a ton of these; there are 3 on my street. Never heard any of neighbor's complain.
 

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I hope this post is not just a rant against VW. I hope it may actually help someone else in our situation, or maybe even prevent someone from making a mistake.
We purchased a 2019 Atlas SEL 4-Motion at the end of January, 2020. It immediately exhibited two problems/issues: 1) a grinding noise at low gears, especially when coming to a rolling stop and then accelerating (and up steep hills), and 2) a very jumpy, hesitating shifting pattern in the lower 5 gears. Both issues seemed to be getting slightly worse each month. We contacted VW Customer Care within the first 3 weeks of purchase, and after numerous trips to the dealer, we were told "there is nothing wrong with the vehicle". 30 days later, I established a second Case Number with VW Customer Care, and went through the same process with the same result. VW Customer Care was very responsive and pleasant, but they could not do much for us since there was "nothing technically wrong". They offered a small voucher towards the purchase of another VW, but at this point, my wife and I did not want another VW. We had only owned the car for 5 months and only put 5100 miles on it, but we decided – enough was enough. We did our research, and purchased a wonderful 2020 Hyundai Palisade! We took a hit on the trade-in, but not an awful hit. It was worth it! I won't go into all of the details of out new vehicle, but suffice it to say – it drives like a dream (with more power and way-better mpg's!!). My message to would-be Atlas owners is – pay attention during the test drive. Drive it for 50-100 miles (dealers should let you do this), and make sure you follow your intuition if the car doesn't feel right. I've owned many Volkswagon's, but they haven't produced a top-notch product with the Atlas. The South Korean car companies are doing something (actually A LOT of things) right.
I'm thankful for this post. I've had my 2019 Atlas since Oct 2019. I have never owned a VW. In fact, I'm 44 yes old and this is my first brand new vehicle. I did a lot of research and contemplating, before purchasing. I have the same issues as you, and after reading in this forum, many others. I started hearing the grinding noise after a week of driving and started noticing the shifting issue shortly thereafter. I never took it in for it to be looked at because I dont like to be "that person". I figured I had to learn what I was doing wrong and correct it to solve the problem. Of course, I wasn't doing anything wrong to cause the grinding or irregular low gear shifting patterns to happen. I received an ECM recall on my vehicle in March. I thought it would fix the issue, but it didnt.
I had the recall completed, I took an 800 mile round trip, to MD, in June. The grinding is still the same but the shifting problem is slightly worse. A little late in the game, but I now know it is a problem, because its worse.

I'm relieved to know that I'm not alone and others are experiencing the same issues. So rant or not, I'm glad I stumbled across your post and this site. Yes, new cars will have quirks or characteristics but when someone purches their 1st brand new vehicle, and at $40k, the quirks shouldn't cause dissappointment, worry, or question if you made the right purchase. I've made an appointment with the dealership, and I expect to hear the same as what my fellow Atlas owners have heard. At least my voice will now be on the record, as well.
 

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I'm thankful for this post. I've had my 2019 Atlas since Oct 2019. I have never owned a VW. In fact, I'm 44 yes old and this is my first brand new vehicle. I did a lot of research and contemplating, before purchasing. I have the same issues as you, and after reading in this forum, many others. I started hearing the grinding noise after a week of driving and started noticing the shifting issue shortly thereafter. I never took it in for it to be looked at because I dont like to be "that person". I figured I had to learn what I was doing wrong and correct it to solve the problem. Of course, I wasn't doing anything wrong to cause the grinding or irregular low gear shifting patterns to happen. I received an ECM recall on my vehicle in March. I thought it would fix the issue, but it didnt.
I had the recall completed, I took an 800 mile round trip, to MD, in June. The grinding is still the same but the shifting problem is slightly worse. A little late in the game, but I now know it is a problem, because its worse.

I'm relieved to know that I'm not alone and others are experiencing the same issues. So rant or not, I'm glad I stumbled across your post and this site. Yes, new cars will have quirks or characteristics but when someone purches their 1st brand new vehicle, and at $40k, the quirks shouldn't cause dissappointment, worry, or question if you made the right purchase. I've made an appointment with the dealership, and I expect to hear the same as what my fellow Atlas owners have heard. At least my voice will now be on the record, as well.
On the noise - have you spent some time reading through this?


In the end, there is just nothing VW will do about the noise nor is it causing issues. If it bothers you, the truth is you will have to either 1) live with it or 2) sell it.

On the shifting though, this is a separate issue and many have complained about it. What specifically is going on? The Atlas's Aisin 8-speed auto is v. eco-focused in it's shift points which can cause some strange low speed shifting. Have you driven it in sport mode? Just pull the shifter back when you are in drive next time you drive you it and see if that improves things.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Italia — A couple of points. Accelerating at a very low speed (under 10 mph) in THIRD gear will eventually do some damage to the transmission / torque converter. I'm no engineer, but this has to put tremendous stress on the transmission. And VW has some explaining to do, in that their ECO mode isn't very eco. If I babied the accelerator on the highway, I got 26.4 mpg at best in the new Atlas. Our new Hyundai Palisade this past weekend? — 29.8 mpg on a 300 mile trip to the mountains... and 32.0 mpg on the way back. AND this was with a tranny that shifts when it is supposed to.
 

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Italia — A couple of points. Accelerating at a very low speed (under 10 mph) in THIRD gear will eventually do some damage to the transmission / torque converter. I'm no engineer, but this has to put tremendous stress on the transmission. And VW has some explaining to do, in that their ECO mode isn't very eco. If I babied the accelerator on the highway, I got 26.4 mpg at best in the new Atlas. Our new Hyundai Palisade this past weekend? — 29.8 mpg on a 300 mile trip to the mountains... and 32.0 mpg on the way back. AND this was with a tranny that shifts when it is supposed to.
VW states the mpgs for the 4Mo 3.6 is 17-23. So you got 26.4 and are complaining? Have you verified what gear the Palisade is in under 10 mph when slowing form higher speeds? What about when slowing below 10 and then accelerating? Interested in knowing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
KarstGeo — I have not yet checked the Palisade for the gear selection at 10 mph. I will do that and let you know. The shifting in 1st, 2nd and 3rd uses much more of each gear in the Palisade.
 

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palisade and telluride even more so are in such heavy demand these days that its difficult to find one let alone get one under msrp. i've had my eyes on the palisade when it was first announced couple years ago then floated over to the telluride. i was seriously considering the telluride but its even rarer than a palisade and ordering one means months of wait. not to mention, some dealers were even marking them up above msrp.

as far as finances go, you took a triple whammy there. initial depreciation hit on the atlas + initial hit in depreciation on the palisade + trade in loss. combined with near zero discount on the new palisade i'm pretty sure financial hit was significant. noise issue has been beaten to death and for the most part is a given on these cars. it definitely makes its presence known but i've since gotten used to it and not something that would force me to take such a hit. i've had some jerky shifting but again not something i can't live with. i would have stuck with it at least until the warranty ran out then get into a 2nd gen model of these duo when there is more supply in the market and can get reasonable discount.
 

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I looked at the Palisade too, but I remember my Kia Optima that I bought in 2012 for $35K and traded it in for $9K in 2015. Trade in value is terrible!
 

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lol that must have been the sx turbo....i also have a 12 optima ex (now handed down to daughter) bought new for $25k. mostly trouble free so far over 100k (ac is starting to act up). as far as resale/trade values, i'm pretty sure those will eventually go up if its not already up there given the high reliability of kia/hyundai.
 

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Why I don't buy new cars unless I'm keeping it for 10 years, noise or not. Never taking a hit like that ever. If the Palisade was out when we bought our Atlas, I would have definately test driven it. I hear that noise exactly once when I drive it, stop sign I roll coming onto to my court, it hangs in third and you hear it. I just don't care, it's such a minor thing to me. You can throw it in manual mode and downshift to second or sport mode sometimes will do that for you.
 

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I previously owned a 2007 Linkoln MKX,bought it in june 2011, I am the 2nd owner and drove it up till I bought the Atlas, my kid got her license and now drives it. So, I bought the brand new VW with the intention on keeping it for a long time. As I mentioned in my other comment, I'm not a complainer.
I looked to the web for advice and in hope's of shedding some light on the issues, being new to VW.
I did read the comment you linked to. It was just like all your others really..."its a characteristic- move on, suck it up or sell it, ignore it, it doesn't bother you so it shouldn't bother anyone else", etc...very discouraging and dismissive.

I do drive with the start/stop deactivated. Started doing that shortly after purchase, and right around the time I started hearing the noise and having the shifting issues. I'll do some more research, test my theory and keep everyone posted
 

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I previously owned a 2007 Linkoln MKX,bought it in june 2011, I am the 2nd owner and drove it up till I bought the Atlas, my kid got her license and now drives it. So, I bought the brand new VW with the intention on keeping it for a long time. As I mentioned in my other comment, I'm not a complainer.
I looked to the web for advice and in hope's of shedding some light on the issues, being new to VW.
I did read the comment you linked to. It was just like all your others really..."its a characteristic- move on, suck it up or sell it, ignore it, it doesn't bother you so it shouldn't bother anyone else", etc...very discouraging and dismissive.

I do drive with the start/stop deactivated. Started doing that shortly after purchase, and right around the time I started hearing the noise and having the shifting issues. I'll do some more research, test my theory and keep everyone posted
Have you joined the Atlas Facebook group(s)? The Atlas forum over on vwvortex? Some good info there. At some point, life throws you things w/r to vehicles that really are "accept it or move on" and the noise is 100% in that bucket. The shifting is not and as I've said before here, that is something different and others have had some rough shifting issues with the Aisin 8-speed. I have found that driving it more aggressively helps, I use sport mode almost entirely when I drive it around town. My wife has never complained about the shifting and she is not an aggressive driver and uses drive 100% of the time. There is also some info regarding the adaptation of the shift map. I have never believed that the transmission "learns" your driving habits like some sort of AI but maybe this is also at play here? There are some thoughts that maybe clearing the transmission's adaptation may also help you out (dealer). Good luck.
 

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I hope this post is not just a rant against VW. I hope it may actually help someone else in our situation, or maybe even prevent someone from making a mistake.
We purchased a 2019 Atlas SEL 4-Motion at the end of January, 2020. It immediately exhibited two problems/issues: 1) a grinding noise at low gears, especially when coming to a rolling stop and then accelerating (and up steep hills), and 2) a very jumpy, hesitating shifting pattern in the lower 5 gears. Both issues seemed to be getting slightly worse each month. We contacted VW Customer Care within the first 3 weeks of purchase, and after numerous trips to the dealer, we were told "there is nothing wrong with the vehicle". 30 days later, I established a second Case Number with VW Customer Care, and went through the same process with the same result. VW Customer Care was very responsive and pleasant, but they could not do much for us since there was "nothing technically wrong". They offered a small voucher towards the purchase of another VW, but at this point, my wife and I did not want another VW. We had only owned the car for 5 months and only put 5100 miles on it, but we decided – enough was enough. We did our research, and purchased a wonderful 2020 Hyundai Palisade! We took a hit on the trade-in, but not an awful hit. It was worth it! I won't go into all of the details of out new vehicle, but suffice it to say – it drives like a dream (with more power and way-better mpg's!!). My message to would-be Atlas owners is – pay attention during the test drive. Drive it for 50-100 miles (dealers should let you do this), and make sure you follow your intuition if the car doesn't feel right. I've owned many Volkswagon's, but they haven't produced a top-notch product with the Atlas. The South Korean car companies are doing something (actually A LOT of things) right.
Sounds like mine. Thank goodness I leased it. That noise seems pretty standard. Before we leased our 2019 SE V6 with 4Motion we rented one for two months. Had the same noise so we just figured that's one thing to live with. We LOVE driving it. It's a great road car.... then Covid hit. We have had the car since Jan 2019 and only have 12,500 miles but it's been in the shop five times. When the lease it up it goes back. Consumer Reports lists VW as next to the bottom, just above Cadillac, last time I checked. Did I say thank goodness we leased it. As far as tranny issues it seems pretty jerky to me. With all their gas mileage issues, can you say diesel Jetta, in Sport mode I'm in 4 gear by the time I cross the intersection. Comfy ride, lots of room, plenty of power. But that tranny just doesn't seem to find the right gear at low speed. It's almost worth just putting it in manual and shifting yourself. Good luck.
 

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Sounds like mine. Thank goodness I leased it. That noise seems pretty standard. Before we leased our 2019 SE V6 with 4Motion we rented one for two months. Had the same noise so we just figured that's one thing to live with. We LOVE driving it. It's a great road car.... then Covid hit. We have had the car since Jan 2019 and only have 12,500 miles but it's been in the shop five times. When the lease it up it goes back. Consumer Reports lists VW as next to the bottom, just above Cadillac, last time I checked. Did I say thank goodness we leased it. As far as tranny issues it seems pretty jerky to me. With all their gas mileage issues, can you say diesel Jetta, in Sport mode I'm in 4 gear by the time I cross the intersection. Comfy ride, lots of room, plenty of power. But that tranny just doesn't seem to find the right gear at low speed. It's almost worth just putting it in manual and shifting yourself. Good luck.
If APR can come out with a trans tune for this vehicle it would be a winner. I think so much of the complaints are just related to the shift mapping. What has your Atlas been in 5 times for?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I tend to agree – the shift mapping is a huge issue / problem. I did some research, and there are actually 3 versions of the Asian (sp?) transmission – low torque, medium torque and high torque. I wonder which version the Atlas has??

KarstGeo — the Palisade has a slightly different manual mode. You never actually change into this mode... you simple paddle shift whenever you want to. The transmission then reverts back to regular Drive Mode whenever it is called for. With this being said, I think the transmission does shift down into 2nd gear at 8-9 mph.
 
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