Volkswagen unveiled its all-new Atlas on October 27, a family-centric SUV sporting a spacious cabin with room for seven.
VW promises a family-affordable price tag when the Atlas launches next year as a 2018 model-year offering, though official pricing and availability has yet to be announced.
Available in five trim levels, the Atlas will offer a wide variety of interior, technology, and mechanical features to please nearly any household. In typical VW fashion, pricing will vary just as widely as buyers option-up their vehicle.
The Atlas will arrive with two engine options: the base engine will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 238 horsepower; while an optional 3.6-liter “VR6” V6 engine will be available with 280 horsepower. Both engines will send power to the wheels through an 8-speed transmission geared to maximize engine efficiency.
Buyers can option their Atlas with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, but it will only be available when partnered with the more powerful V6 engine offering.
VW will use the Atlas to target the American market and take on the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander as direct competitors. The Atlas matches the Explorer in length, while eclipsing both the Pilot and Highlander in size.
In a likely bid to spur on U.S. sales, the Atlas is set to be built in America’s heartland at VW’s Chattanooga plant in Tennessee.
The Atlas will be built on VW’s scalable MQB architecture and will stretch the tent-pins further than any VW vehicle before it, making it the largest vehicle to be sold by the brand in the U.S. market.
Flush with technologies, VW’s latest SUV will arrive with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a first-in-class automatic post-collision braking system among its many safety features.
Fuel economy figures have yet to be announced, but VW expects official EPA fuel economy estimates to be released in the spring of 2017, shortly before the vehicle goes on sale.
Whether or not the 2018 VW Atlas will be sold in Canada remains to be seen; VW Canada has not commented on the new vehicle as of this writing.