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  • G. David Felt
    G. David Felt

    2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport Debut at the Chicago Auto Show

      Volkswagen of America, Inc. has unveiled the new 2024 Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport at the Chicago Auto Show!

    The Chicago Auto show has started off on a busy streak of reveals and announcements and Volkswagen is no exception. VW was proud to announce their refreshed seven and five-seater SUVs, offering enhanced technology, upgraded interiors designs and materials and a livelier powertrain.

    President and CEO of Volkswagen of America, Pablo Di Si had this to say:

    “The Atlas was the first modern Volkswagen designed, engineered and produced specifically for American buyers, and since its debut, it has become a major player in the U.S. market,” “The refreshed Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport continue to build on that success, with an elegant new interior and a sophisticated turbocharged engine that improves both performance and the driving experience.”

    Lets clearly state the 4 key points in this release by VW:

    • Major refresh of Atlas family boasts significant interior upgrade with premium materials and standard high-end comfort features, including three-zone Climatronic®, ventilated front seats, and heated steering wheel
    • Enhanced technology with standard 12-inch display, Volkswagen Digital Cockpit Pro, IQ. DRIVE® driver assistance, wireless charging and App-Connect
    • Front and rear treatment benefits from premium lighting on most trims
    • New 2.0-liter turbo powertrain replaces previous four-cylinder and VR6®, brings better performance and improved fuel economy

    VW made it clear that while the underpinning of these autos are the same as the outgoing models, they did focus on a spacious interior as a major upgrade to compete in the American market. As such, the rather long press release is best summed up with a bullet list of all the changes and new additions to this SUV family.

    • Premium materials throughout with a leatherette-trimmed soft-touch dash and center console
    • An upscale cockpit for the driver and all passengers from door trim to the dash panels with 30 color choices paired with innovative backlit dash specific to each model
    • Quilted leather seats with diamond pattern on top-of-range models
      • Leather seating surfaces and heated rear seats available on lower trim models.
    • Heated steering wheel with paddle shifters
    • Ventilated front seats and Height-adjustable passenger seats are now standard
    • Automatic climate control and Voice control
    • 12" floating infotainment display & 10.25 customizable VW Digital Cockpit Pro Display
      • Atlas CrossSport interior
      • Atlas interior
    • Standard Wireless App-Connect, wireless charging, six USB-C ports with 45-watt fast charging (eight total)
    • IQ DRIVE driver assistance technology is standard
      • Hands on semi-automatic capable
      • Lane centering
      • Capacitive steering wheel
      • Heads up display
      • Predictive Adaptive Cruise control
      • 360 alert monitoring for surprise obstacles
    • Standard New Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS) LED Headlights
    • Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)
    • New front fascia
    • New wheel designs for all trims
      • 18" to 20" machined alloy rims
      • Black finish available
    • R-line trims
      • Gloss-black grille
      • 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
      • R-line badging
    • All trims are now powered by a all-new four-cylinder turbocharged, direct-injection TSI engine with 269 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque. Power is simular to the outgoing VR6, but has a bump in torque that is available over a broader rev range, improving drivability and acceleration and VW is anticipating improved fuel economy.
    • Towing capacity of 5,000 lbs
    • 8-speed automatic transmission
    • FWD is standard, 4Motion AWD system is available across the model lineup 

     

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    On 2/11/2023 at 9:11 PM, smk4565 said:

    Yawn.   

    Why Yawn, these are on par with what the Germans have been selling for the last few decades here. If they truly have adjusted the interior for us bigger Americans, these should do well in selling to the mass.

    The interiors are nice.

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    Everything looks pretty dang good outside of dropping the V6. One of my best friends recently bought one of these and they originally went to drive the 4 cylinder and he said it just wasn't enough. For spending ~40k, the 4 cylinder didn't impress enough, especially because they anticipate towing small things eventually. 

    I know this new 4 cylinder has more power and torque, but I'm not sure if it'll be enough for the asking price of these things. 

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    The Highlander is 4 cylinder only and the best seller in the segment.  

    9 hours ago, David said:

    Why Yawn, these are on par with what the Germans have been selling for the last few decades here. If they truly have adjusted the interior for us bigger Americans, these should do well in selling to the mass.

    The interiors are nice.

    It looks like all the other interiors.  Fake wood, touch screen on top of the dash, bland exterior, kind of wimpy engine.  Better off with a Palisade, Telluride, Highlander or Pilot.

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    48 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    The Highlander is 4 cylinder only and the best seller in the segment.  

    It looks like all the other interiors.  Fake wood, touch screen on top of the dash, bland exterior, kind of wimpy engine.  Better off with a Palisade, Telluride, Highlander or Pilot.

    Other than luxury or high-end models of full line products have real wood. It seems on par with everyone else selling in this category. 

    Turbo 4 banger motor

    Fake wood dash or the metal dash with colored interior lighting to taste.

    VW seems to have delivered a People's SUV, not luxury level, but not entry level. Somewhere in the middle and yes, I agree with you there are a few better options as you pointed out more to each individual's taste.

    I think VW fans will like this.

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    9 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The Highlander is 4 cylinder only and the best seller in the segment.

    True but the 4 cylinder only Highlander has been in existence for all of one year. It had a V6 option until the 2023 model came out.

     

    BTW, the Jeep Grand Cherokee outsold the Highlander in 2022, while the Toyota was the top seller in 2021.

     

     

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    12 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    The Highlander is 4 cylinder only and the best seller in the segment.

    Highlander also has a hybrid version for more power, and the Highlander Turbo 4 has almost half a liter on the VW.  It may not sound like a lot, but there is a significant power delivery difference between a 2.0T and a 2.4T, even if max output is similar.

    The problem for the Atlas is that drivers will constantly be in the boost to keep this thing moving.  This is a refresh of the model on the existing platform, and the current Atlas is a heavy crossover.  It will likely post an EPA increase over the V6, but I'm betting real-world fuel economy will be poor, just like the Kia SUVs with the 4-cylinder turbo and the older Acura RDX.

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    57 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Highlander also has a hybrid version for more power, and the Highlander Turbo 4 has almost half a liter on the VW.  It may not sound like a lot, but there is a significant power delivery difference between a 2.0T and a 2.4T, even if max output is similar.

    The problem for the Atlas is that drivers will constantly be in the boost to keep this thing moving.  This is a refresh of the model on the existing platform, and the current Atlas is a heavy crossover.  It will likely post an EPA increase over the V6, but I'm betting real-world fuel economy will be poor, just like the Kia SUVs with the 4-cylinder turbo and the older Acura RDX.

    Kind of random but I feel it's relevant here (and also a pretty spot on comparison). Did you ever get to drive the Explorer with the 2.0T and then when they ditched that for the 2.3T? If you did get to drive them both, how was the difference there? 

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    Agree with all about the Highlander and the VW 2.0T.  But VW could have got more power from that engine or done a hybrid or mild hybrid or something.   Obviously they must see how well the Highlander and Pilot sell and there wasn’t a 3 row Grand Cherokee until last year, there is a Grand Highlander coming too.  Mazda CX-90 is another.  Loads of choices in this segment.

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    4 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    Kind of random but I feel it's relevant here (and also a pretty spot on comparison). Did you ever get to drive the Explorer with the 2.0T and then when they ditched that for the 2.3T? If you did get to drive them both, how was the difference there? 

     I've done an Edge 2.0T v an Explorer 2.3T... so pretty close.  And yes, there was a difference. I felt like I was spinning the hell out of the 2.0T to keep up with Texas traffic.  The 2.0T is a lot smoother though, so Ford could get away with it.

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    6 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Agree with all about the Highlander and the VW 2.0T.  But VW could have got more power from that engine or done a hybrid or mild hybrid or something.   Obviously they must see how well the Highlander and Pilot sell and there wasn’t a 3 row Grand Cherokee until last year, there is a Grand Highlander coming too.  Mazda CX-90 is another.  Loads of choices in this segment.

    They are upping the 2.0T's output from 235hp/258tq to 269hp/273tq. I think it'll just have to work harder to move this big things. 

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    3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    They are upping the 2.0T's output from 235hp/258tq to 269hp/273tq. I think it'll just have to work harder to move this big things. 

    They already have a 280hp/258lb-ft version of this engine in the Arteon.  They're just fiddling with the peak numbers from that for the Atlas; giving it more torque at a lower RPM is good for a heavy vehicle like this, but moving the peak torque down the curve cuts off the max horsepower number.

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    I think both of these will sell based on a nicer interior and the price. VW current prices are likely to rise but they are cheap for the 2023 model year. The 2024 model year should be higher.

    2023 Atlas starting price - $35,150

    2023Atlas Crossover starting price - $34,460

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