2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

If you like the Volkswagen Atlas and do not need its three rows of seats, there is another choice. Meet the newest member of the Volkswagen SUV lineup – the Atlas Cross Sport.

You might think that they look the same. Not entirely. There are plenty of differences between the two Atlas models that should be considered when comparing the two.

First of all, the Atlas Cross Sport shares the same wheelbase as the three-row Atlas at 117.3 inches. However, it loses less than three inches in the overall length. The roofline is lower by a bit over two inches, with a sleeker profile in the back.

Another big change is up front. The grille and lighting are massively updated to give the Atlas Cross Sport more personality. However, the keen eye will see the new thinner and sleeker Volkswagen logo up front, on the tailgate and in the wheel hubs. The result is a handsome vehicle that offers more sport than any SUV in its class.

Compared to the three-row Atlas, there is almost three more inches of legroom in the Cross Sport. These rear seats also offer plenty of headroom and comfort along with the huge legroom. Up front, big seats make driving easier, with power adjustments for the rake, recline, height, and lumbar support. Taller drivers may want to watch their heads on the lower roofline and climbing out.

The cargo space offers a lot of room. With the rear seats up, you can stow up to 40.3 cubic feet of luggage or the day’s shopping. For more, fold the rear seats down to accommodate up to 77.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Our SEL tester had the Digital Cockpit, which is a customizable full screen for the instrumentation and information readouts. We also like where the 8-inch Discover Media infotainment screen falls in our control and eyesight. Every control works very well, as expected in a Volkswagen. That includes the revised switches on the new steering wheel.

Atlas Cross Sport customers have a choice of two engines. Our tester had the standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 235-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. An optional V6 is available on select models. Either engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with the choice of 4MOTION all-wheel-drive. Our tester had the latter driveline, which offered solid traction in various conditions.

We liked the power coming from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It is suitable for city, suburban, and even highway driving. As for fuel economy, we saw an average of 23.7 MPG.

Having experienced the three-row Atlas previously, we expected nothing less from the Cross Sport in terms of driving manners. We stated before that both Atlas models ride on the same wheelbase. Therefore, we experienced a smooth ride and an absorbent suspension system taking on rougher surfaces. Handling is pretty good, with solid response on the curves and in evasive maneuvers.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s steering system offered a wider turning radius than we expected. We were challenged by the upright fenders of the Cross Sport when gauging some tight maneuvers in front of us. On-center feel is fine, but a switch to Sport mode with tighten things up and weigh down the wheel. A solid pedal feel is welcomed in the Atlas Cross Sport’s braking system. This system offered good stopping power in normal and panic situations.

Overall, we found that the Atlas Cross Sport actually drives like a “smaller” SUV – somewhere between the three-row Atlas and the compact Tiguan, to be exact.

Pricing for the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport starts at $30,545 – a $1,000 less than a comparable 2021 Atlas three-row model. Our SEL 4MOTION tester came with a sticker price of $42,700. You have ten different configurations to choose from, depending on engine choice, two- or all-wheel-drive, and package.

Volkswagen developed the Atlas Cross Sport to compete against other mid-size two-row SUVs. These competitors include the Honda Passport, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Blazer, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Edge, and Nissan Murano. Consumers have also compared the Atlas Cross Sport with the GMC Acadia, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda CX-9, and Kia Sorento.

In all, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a two-row mid-size SUV that is roomy, comfortable, and fits your everyday life. It is worth looking at for those who truly do not need a third row in their next vehicle.

Story Credits: CarSoup Editors

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