Debuted for the 2018 model year, Atlas built on the latest Volkswagen design DNA to create a bold new look in the SUV segment. Its modern and muscular design retains classic proportions and clean lines, while still offering a low coefficient of drag of 0.34.
Engineered from Volkswagen’s award-winning Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture, Atlas sits 198.3 inches long, 78.3 inches wide, and 70.0 inches high—larger than any other Volkswagen model on sale in the U.S.
All 2019 Volkswagen Atlas models feature full LED front lighting, including low beams, high beams, turn signal indicators, Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), and side marker lights. LED taillights are standard on SEL and SEL Premium models. Overhead, a large panoramic sunroof measuring 4.46 feet by 2.85 feet, with a two-part glass opening system and powered sunshade, is available on SE w/ Technology models and standard on SEL and SEL Premium models.
SE w/ Technology trims offer a standard power tailgate, while SEL and SEL Premium models add the Easy Open feature. Easy Open works in conjunction with KESSY keyless access on all doors to enable opening of the tailgate with just a kick of the foot below the rear bumper, providing the key is in range.
All 2019 Volkswagen Atlas models feature standard 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped in 245/60 all-season tires, except the R-Line models and SEL Premium models, which boast 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and 255/50 all-season tires. SE w/ Technology and higher models can be outfitted with available 20-inch wheels (silver on SE w/ Technology and SEL, and black on SEL and SEL Premium) and SEL Premium models can also be outfitted with available 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 265/45 all-season tires (late availability). All Atlas models feature 8.0 inches of ground clearance and departure angles of 20.4 and 22.2 degrees (front/rear).
R-Line models include R-Line badging; unique front and rear bumpers that incorporate stylish air intakes at the front and a diffusor in glossy black paint at the rear; and side skirts. SEL models also include a heated leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel.
The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas interior design is classic Volkswagen—clean and functional, with a premium feel. Driver controls are positioned for optimal ergonomics and usability, and simple, driver-centric displays enhance involvement behind the wheel rather than distracting from it. The seat position, shifter height, and the spacing between the pedals are fine-tuned for driver comfort. Ambient lighting, standard on the Atlas SEL Premium, further highlights this upscale character, as does the use of premium materials throughout.
Inside, 2019 Volkswagen Atlas makes maximum use of its three-row seating layout to offer space for up to seven adults, boasting a cavernous 153.7 cu-ft of total passenger volume. Headroom is 41.3/40.4/38.3 inches (first/second/third rows), while legroom is 41.5/37.6/33.7 inches, respectively. Standard second-row bench seating offers a 60/40 split, a 14-degree backrest recline function, and a 7.7-inch sliding range (each side sliding separately). An innovative folding mechanism for the second row offers improved entry and exit room on both sides by enabling the second-row bench to tilt and slide forward, even with child seats in place.
While the base Atlas S is equipped with cloth seating surfaces in a quilt-like design, Atlas SE models come with leatherette seating surfaces and include a second-row middle armrest with integrated cup holders. SEL models come with a three-profile driver seat memory function. SEL Premium models boast leather seating surfaces and heated outboard seats for the second row.
Captain’s Chairs are available on SE models and above. This replaces the three-passenger, second-row bench seat with two individual seats for even greater comfort and adjustability. The two-passenger third-row bench seat offers a 50/50 split, and both second- and third-row seats feature fold-flat functionality.
Across all three rows, an array of available inputs (12V, USB, auxiliary), cup holders, bottle holders, storage nets, and cargo containers provide convenience for all passengers. Atlas has a maximum cargo volume of 96.8 cu-ft behind the front-row seats. With just the third-row folded, cargo capacity is 55.5 cu-ft, and with all seats up, cargo capacity is 20.6 cu-ft.
Dual-zone (first row and second/third row) climate control is standard on Atlas S, along with a second-row control panel for rear passengers. All other models come with tri-zone Climatronic automatic climate control. KESSY keyless access on all five doors, along with push-button start, is standard equipment on SE trim levels and above. R-Line models include an R-Line logo on the MIB II start screen as well as an R-Line steering wheel clip and stainless steel pedal caps.
Exclusive to Atlas SEL and SEL Premium models, the advanced Volkswagen Digital Cockpit system presents drivers with a fully-digital instrument cluster. Using a 12.3-inch TFT display, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit offers a customizable presentation of important vehicle information.
Every 2019 Volkswagen Atlas model offers the ability to customize up to four driver settings. Dependent on trim, customizable features include: driver seat memory, mirror settings, driver assistance system preferences, temperature, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit arrangement, and navigation view. There are three speaker configurations for Atlas, dependent on trim level—the S model includes six speakers, mid-level trims offer eight speakers and the SEL Premium model features the Fender® Premium Audio System with 12 speakers.
2019 Volkswagen Atlas is offered with a choice of two powerful and efficient engines — a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or an available 3.6-liter VR6® engine. Both units feature Start/Stop technology; Remote Start is available as an accessory on S and SE models and is standard on SE w/ Technology trims and above.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit is a member of the latest EA888 engine family, utilizing turbocharged induction, and direct fuel injection to achieve excellent efficiency while still delivering impressive power. Output is rated at 235 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque from 1,600 rpm (achieved with premium fuel).
Augmenting the EA888’s 16-valve, dual-overhead-camshaft layout is Volkswagen’s latest variable cam phasing system, which controls both intake and exhaust valves, as well as a variable lift system for the valves themselves. The single-scroll turbocharger feeds intercooled air through the aluminum-alloy crossflow cylinder head. The cast-iron engine block uses a wall thickness of just 0.12 inches to reduce its weight to 72 pounds, while a lightweight polymer oil pan and aluminum-alloy screws and fasteners also reduce mass. Another change that helps the engine to shed pounds is a reduction from eight to four crankshaft counterweights. Internal friction is reduced due to measures such as roller bearings for the engine’s balancer shafts and a reduction in the size of the engine’s main bearings.
The engine is also compact. The exhaust headers have been integrated directly into the cylinder head, not only optimizing the system coolant operation (aiding rapid warm-up, which helps improve efficiency), but also allowing greater thermal management of the exhaust stream. The turbocharger can withstand extremely high exhaust temperatures, so the forced-induction system doesn’t require complex fuel enrichments under high load, which helps improve efficiency.
All 2019 Volkswagen Atlas trims are available with a 3.6-liter VR6 engine. This powerful direct-injection engine delivers 276 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 266 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm. The engine utilizes a crossflow aluminum-alloy cylinder head design, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and variable valve timing.
With either engine, power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to help maximize efficiency. This transmission then sends the power to either the front wheels, or—if equipped with 4Motion® with Active Control all-wheel drive (V6 models only) — all four wheels as needed. Atlas models equipped with the VR6 engine and a factory-installed trailer hitch (SEL and SEL Premium) offer a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs., while all other models require dealer- or port-installed trailer hitch, and then allow for a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs.
All 2019 Volkswagen Atlas models are outfitted with an 18.6-gallon fuel tank. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6 front-wheel-drive models is 17 mpg in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. V6 models with 4Motion all-wheel drive are rated at 17 mpg in city driving, 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in combined driving. The EPA-estimated fuel economy for Atlas models with the 2.0-liter engine is 20 mpg in city driving, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in combined driving.
4MOTION ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE SYSTEM
2019 Volkswagen Atlas can be equipped with the 4Motion with Active Control all-wheel-drive system. The latest-generation 4Motion system is designed to activate before wheelspin occurs, helping eliminate traction losses. The system achieves this by using an advanced control function based on specific driving conditions. When operating under a relatively low load or when coasting, the front wheels are driven and the rear wheels are decoupled, helping to save fuel. However, the rear wheels can be engaged in fractions of a second whenever necessary via the center differential, which is activated by an electro-hydraulic oil pump.
A control unit continually calculates the ideal drive torque for the rear wheels and controls how much the multi-plate clutch should be closed by activating the oil pump. The oil pressure increases the contact pressure at the clutch plates in proportion to the torque desired at the rear axle. So, the amount of pressure applied to the clutch plates can be used to continuously vary the amount of torque going between the front and rear wheels, up to a maximum of 50 percent at the rear axle.
In addition to the center differential that acts longitudinally, electronic differential locks that are a function of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system act laterally. The system can briefly brake a wheel that is slipping, enabling uninterrupted and stable transfer of drive power to the wheel on the opposite side.
To help protect occupants, the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard (front and side airbags for front passengers and side curtain airbags for outboard seating positions), along with a number of electronic safety systems, such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
A standard feature on the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas is Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This builds on the premise that a collision is rarely a single, instantaneous action, but rather a series of events that follow the initial impact—the most significant of which can cause additional collisions. The Automatic Post-Collision Braking System helps address this, in certain crash scenarios, by applying the brakes when a primary collision is detected by the airbag sensors, thus potentially reducing residual kinetic energy and, in turn, the chance of additional damage.
The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas also includes Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System that shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard lights if the car is involved in certain types of collisions. All Atlas models feature a standard rearview camera. Atlas S is equipped with a basic rearview camera, while all other models feature a system that incorporates dynamic guidelines.