2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Volkswagen found that consumers love the idea of a larger SUV available at the same place they bought their Golf GTI or Jetta. The Atlas has been praised as a solid combination of the brand and fulfilling the needs of American consumers.
In a matter a few years, Volkswagen customers had a choice of the three-row Atlas or the shorter two-row Atlas Cross Sport. The latter looked fun to drive compared to the family-focused three-row model.
For 2024, Volkswagen revised both Atlas models. They sent over the two-row Cross Sport to see how it has progressed with this very important update to their larger SUV lineup.
Compared to the three-row model, the Atlas Cross Sport looks more concentrated while exuding a larger-than-life profile. The roofline is a fastback-like, which makes the Cross Sport cooler than its larger sibling. It has large doors for greater access to the cabin, along with a large liftgate for easy loading into the cargo bay. The ride height is your standard eight inches off the ground to the bottom of chassis.
For 2024, both Atlas models wear a new front end with a larger grille and LED headlamps. Those, along with a new horizontal taillight arrangement updates the Atlas to compete in a growing segment. Our SEL Premium R-Line tester adds a set of 21-inch alloy wheels with specific R-Line touches from different bumper skins to the badging on the grille and illuminated logos.
The biggest change is on the inside with an all-new cabin. The new Digital Cockpit instrument cluster offers full customization for the driver. That includes four different screen types for instrumentation. The rest of the new dashboard featuring a tablet-like 12.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, tactile switches for all of the controls, and a new toggle-like transmission shifter. However, you will find some haptic-like switchgear just underneath the infotainment screen.
What will draw you in are the details. On the passenger side of the dashboard is a blue back-lit LED motif that includes the Cross Sport name. That along with other blue-toned details throughout the cabin.
Climbing inside of the large doors you’ll find an equally large cabin. The seats are sized well, wrapped in our SEL Premium R-Line tester’s perforated leather upholstery, which includes some blue accents on the inserts and light-colored piping. There is a lot of room in the rear seat area for adults. Behind the rear seats, you start off with 40.3 cubic feet. Fold down the second row of seats, and you have 77.6 cubic feet of usable space.
Our Atlas Cross Sport tester is powered by a 269-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, putting down 273 pound-feet of torque. It is coupled with the company’s 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This driveline is capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds.
Though there were concerns about powering a heavy SUV with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the Cross Sport punches above its 4,400-pound curb weight. Lane changes, cruises, and just shuttling around town are no problem for this mighty powerplant. You also have several drive modes available to choose from, including Sport, Offroad, and Snow.
In terms of fuel economy, we saw an average of 22.0 MPG in our care.
Ride quality is fantastic. It is what you expect for an SUV of its size and stature. With every seat occupied, no one will feel uneasy as it clocks the miles to your final destination, even if it is a cross-town jaunt. Handling is what you expect in a mid-size SUV, but with a bit more stability through the corners.
Braking was superb, with excellent feel from the pedal. In both normal and panic situations, stops were pretty good in terms of distance and response; however, the steering felt a bit light in response from the wheel. You will find a tight turning radius for its class and decent on-center feel with an assist from the lane-keeping feature.
The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport lineup starts at $36,715. You have five different trims to choose from. Our SEL Premium R-Line tester came with a sticker price of $50,320.
The Atlas Cross Sport has plenty of competition in the mid-sized two-row SUV market. Its competitors include the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Toyota Venza, Nissan Murano, and Honda Passport.
Although stylish and powerful, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a big two-row mid-size SUV that brings the fun back to your active lifestyle.
Credits: CarSoup Editors