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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I fell in love with a rental 2021 Atlas and have been wanting to buy one for my family of 4 to use as a weekend/road trip car. I found a local private party 2018 3.6 4motion SE w/ Tech that has 45k miles and a clean Carfax for $28k. It does have 2 previous short-term owners (??) but the service history is all there and no active recalls per VW's website. The selling price is below all the usual KBB/Edmunds/etc pricing for private party sale so I'm anxious to jump on it.

All that said, is there anything I should ask about service or recall wise? Known issues I need to be aware of? Someone put some fear in my mind telling me that there is a big buyback going on for some sort of defect. I just found this forum so I'll look around but hoping this thread can help me gather some questions for the owner when I see him later this week.
 

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I bought my 2018 SEL-P a couple years ago after spending a few weeks with a rental Atlas. The vehicle has been an absolute pleasure with zero issues or problems.

The massive VW buyback is from the diesel fiasco, so totally unrelated to the gasoline powered Atlas.

The interior room is second to none in this class. The tech features - radar cruise, lane keeping assist - are very functional. The tech was one of the big selling features for me after experiencing the rental Atlas. In other rentals, I found the cruise and lane steering marginally useful. In the Atlas (especially after modification through OBDII) lane keeping is fabulous. Important for me was that I just find the car very comfortable to drive - seating, driving position, location of controls, handling, etc.

On this forum, you will find some problems that users have reported but nothing unusual I think. You should have the balance of the 6/72 warranty, so that will help with piece of mind on a used car. As long as maintenance has been done, no worries. At 45K, you may be nearing tire and brake replacement depending on how it was driven, but those are normal wear items. I changed my battery recently, but again that is fairly normal. At 3 years, I believe there is a service requirement to replace brake fluid and the Haldex fluid (if AWD)

As far as recalls and service campaigns, there are around a dozen but they are very specific based on manufacture date of the vehicle. If you have checked the VIN at VW's website and have found nothing open, you should be fine. For mine, it was just the headlight adjustment and the catalyst replacement.

Like I say, you will find some owners on here who have had problems like occur with any relatively new vehicle. I am a huge VW Atlas fan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The massive VW buyback is from the diesel fiasco, so totally unrelated to the gasoline powered Atlas.

In the Atlas (especially after modification through OBDII) lane keeping is fabulous.

At 3 years, I believe there is a service requirement to replace brake fluid and the Haldex fluid (if AWD)
Thank you so much for the detailed response!

Definitely hear you on the idea that reading online leads to many negative thoughts. I’m trying to take all those posts and information with a grain of salt. Glad to hear that many issues were diesel model related!

can you tell me more about the obdII adjustments? Is that through the infotainment? Vag com tweak?

I just test drove the car I’m looking at and the steering felt a little vague and loose. Is that tweakable?

Also the V6 felt pretty underpowered. Is that a known thing? It was warm out at 90 degrees but it was slow to respond and pickup. I know it’s a big car and not meant for speed but I don’t remember my 2021 rental feeling that sluggish
 

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Yes, the 2018 has sport mode. I rarely use that mode but the blurb in the owners manual says, "Gives vehicle a sporty feel. Power steering is reduced and effort required to turn the steering wheel increases. The vehicle's driving response becomes more direct." So, that may help a little with the steering feel and throttle performance.

The V6 being underpowered is one of the more common complaints you will find. I've never found that to be an issue for me but others may feel differently. Changing to sport mode may help some.

The OBD tweaks can be made through VAG COM or I use OBDeleven. If you look on the forum, you will find a lot of mods that people have made.
 

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We leased our 2018 SE+Tech brand new (50 miles at pick up) and are about to cross 60K. We had the catalytic converter recall which got taken care of but have not had to replace brakes or any other major items (outside of tires and wipers). When we bought the lease out with 54K miles we ended up spending $29K out the door.
Each car will be different with its issues and of course with how you drive it, but it has been a pretty solid family adventure vehicle for our family of 4. Sounds like you have done your research on this car and it should be a good one for you. Best of luck.
 

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If you have a trade in. I would look at new. I just purchased a 2021 Atlas Cross Sport Premium. Not really great on gas, but I knew that going in. Im a lead foot so I use the sport mod a lot. It has been in service twice for Audio issues and it is there now while they are talking with corporate, my appointment for this issue was set for yesterday. But coming home on I95 on Monday, The EPC light went on and I had no power. I was able to get it to the dealership and one of the fuel injectors is not working. So they had to replace it. Now I am waiting for them to figure out the Audio. No volume, connection issues.
I wish you a lot of luck with your Atlas. I love the car a lot and the roominess is amazing. The Exterior is beautiful too. But I am watching the forums and the FB groups for issues that I may experience. So far, two have happened. I am being told from the dealership Tech, the Atlas is know for issues. Mine only has 4 year 50K warranty. You need to look into that.
Best of luck.
 

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Hello everyone! I fell in love with a rental 2021 Atlas and have been wanting to buy one for my family of 4 to use as a weekend/road trip car. I found a local private party 2018 3.6 4motion SE w/ Tech that has 45k miles and a clean Carfax for $28k. It does have 2 previous short-term owners (??) but the service history is all there and no active recalls per VW's website. The selling price is below all the usual KBB/Edmunds/etc pricing for private party sale so I'm anxious to jump on it.

All that said, is there anything I should ask about service or recall wise? Known issues I need to be aware of? Someone put some fear in my mind telling me that there is a big buyback going on for some sort of defect. I just found this forum so I'll look around but hoping this thread can help me gather some questions for the owner when I see him later this week.
I bought a 2020 Atlas Cross Sport SEL in December, and the only issues is my breaks went out after 7K miles and I experienced a lot of steering wheel vibration. The dealership tried to get me to pay for them saying it was out of warranty, but I refused. That's a known issue so be on the lookout for it. Other than that, I love the car!!
 

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Hello everyone! I fell in love with a rental 2021 Atlas and have been wanting to buy one for my family of 4 to use as a weekend/road trip car. I found a local private party 2018 3.6 4motion SE w/ Tech that has 45k miles and a clean Carfax for $28k. It does have 2 previous short-term owners (??) but the service history is all there and no active recalls per VW's website. The selling price is below all the usual KBB/Edmunds/etc pricing for private party sale so I'm anxious to jump on it.

All that said, is there anything I should ask about service or recall wise? Known issues I need to be aware of? Someone put some fear in my mind telling me that there is a big buyback going on for some sort of defect. I just found this forum so I'll look around but hoping this thread can help me gather some questions for the owner when I see him later this week.
I own a 2021.5 and there's no recalls it buybacks that I'm aware of. It's an amazing vehicle, as you know. FYI Volkswagen offer's an extended warranty that is transferable, or the original purchaser has the option of not selling it with the vehicle, and receiving a proration for the remainder unused warranty. Check and see if one was purchased, It can't hurt to ask, and definitely worth getting seller to include. I only know about it because I purchased it, But most people don't transfer these warranties, and get the refund.
***Obviously all the above information is dependent on if an extended warranty was purchased.
Enjoy 🚙😊
 

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We have a 2018 4motion 3.6 SE w/ tech and close to reaching 30k miles. We have not had any issues whatsoever with this car and this past year we purchased a pop up trailer and our atlas, besides rear sag, handled it well.

Up until recently I exclusively only used the eco mode because to me normal and sport modes felt like there was too much torque and get up. Prior to the atlas I was coming from a Subaru Impreza. A few months ago I got installed a spring lift kid, smaller wheels, and larger tires. The extra weight from the new beefy tires made the car feel slow, but switching to normal mode fixed the issue for me.

Our family has enjoyed the massive space and comfort. We also have a 2017 VW alltrack, and that car has had issues, specifically water coming through the moon roof. Both cars has the 30k mile service last month whichis very similar. However, the service for the Atlas was $100 less than the smaller alltrack, this came down to labor cost difference. I point this out to show that maintenance cost for theAtlas is reasonable.
 
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