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So I have a family large enough to warrant a 7 passenger vehicle. My options are thus limited, as a person who thoroughly enjoys the driving experience I have to ask you all, is the Atlas in any way an enthusiasts vehicle? I've read the V6 leaves a bit to be desired, is the handling responsive, for an SUV of course. I really appreciate any and all input. Thanks for reading.
 

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Best to just go test drive one and see for yourself. I'd hardly call it an enthusiast vehicle but I like the "VW-ness" of it. It's not an Audi.
 

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I'm not sure what an "enthusiast" wants but here's my take. I have previously owned Corvettes, BMW M3's and Miata.
Any three row is a bus. That's because it's a people hauler. The Atlas has a large interior, a large exterior and lots of space for stuff. The previously mentioned cars had none of these.
The Atlas is a great bus. It has enough power to get out it own way and corners fairly well. You might consider that it also comes with a bumper to bumper 6 year warranty.
I got the SE with Tech which as enough gadgets to be current but not all of the amenities. I was able to get a new one for $32,500. Made the choice easy
 

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Yeah, drive it. It's not fun or sporty. But neither is any REAL 7 seater. The VR6 is not responsive, but it's got a little more oomph in sport mode. The ascent is very nice but not remotely as roomy as the atlas. I felt that transmission/engine left alot to be desired too.
I never bothered with the Tahoe/Yukon. Bigger outside smaller inside. Same with expedition. I can't image calling any of those sporty. None of the other 3 row vehicles have real 3rd row capacity for actual humans and cargo in my opinion.
The Telluride and Palisade supposedly are very popular but I never tested those. Availability is reportedly very limited too.

I don't think any vehicle that has a 3rd row you'd use regularly for humans would be a 'drivers' vehicle. Most of the sporty 3 row options seem designed for occasionally transporting someone back there, not a daily passenger.
 

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I use sport mode nearly 100% of the time, the impact on mpgs is negligible/don't care....much better driving experience. The issue with the Atlas is more to do with the tranny programming than the VR6 output.
 

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I use sport mode nearly 100% of the time, the impact on mpgs is negligible/don't care....much better driving experience. The issue with the Atlas is more to do with the tranny programming than the VR6 output.
I agree.....I only wish I didn't have to Manually switch to sport driving mode with the shifter every time. I'd love to find some coding to change this but I'm guessing its hard coded in the ECU.

For those who aren't familiar, even if you set the infotainment mode on your profile to Sport, the actual drive/shift mode will revert to normal with each restart. You have to pull back on the shift lever to engage Sport driving mode every time you start the vehicle. I'm sure its an EPA fuel economy thing.
 

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Heh. Here's a bit of interesting perspective. We downsized from a 15 passenger Chevy Express 3500 to an Atlas (family members graduated and moved out). The Atlas is wonderful by comparison: nimble, tunable, better mileage, better seats, sound, amenities. The only thing it doesn't beat is the cargo and towing capacity, and the increased HP and torque of the 6.0L engine.

I don't think my driving style is particularly passive. I consider myself an aggressive-defensive driver (be in front of the bozos if you can; don't be the fastest driver on the road, but don't be the slowest either). That said, I've not really noticed a lot different between Normal, ECO, and Sport modes. Yes, I can tell the shift points are different with Sport, but the local driving conditions aren't really conducive to that making a difference, I guess. Flooring it to accelerate to 75mph up an incline to merge onto the interstate seems to take about the same amount of time in all 3 modes. I'm pretty satisfied with the performance, though I would not be opposed to re-chipping it after it's out of factory warranty and into extended warranty territory (should such a chip emerge—I haven't heard of any yet for the 3.6L in the Atlas, though there were some for older models).
 
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