After years of producing lackluster cars for the American market, Volkswagen seems to have finally listened to the feedback. The release of the Volkswagen Atlas in 2017 was a turning point for the company. The three-row SUV quickly became Volkswagen’s best-selling car in the United States. However, its stark interior design was a major drawback. With the comprehensive 2024 makeover, the Atlas has now addressed this issue and is coming into its own.
The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas maintains its classic broad-shouldered look but now features modern adaptive front lighting with LED headlights and an illuminated logo. The rear has also seen updates to its lighting. The interior has been transformed with the inclusion of soft-touch materials and better-quality finishes. There are also additional standard features such as automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and voice control for vehicle functions. Optional features include quilted leather seats and ambient lighting.
The instrument panel has been redesigned with a more sculptural feel and features a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, anchored by a 12-inch touchscreen. There is standard wireless charging, multiple USB-C ports, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink. However, traditional knobs and a transmission shifter are no longer present. The spacious cabin remains a key selling point, accommodating adults in all three rows. Even with all seats occupied, there is still a generous 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space, expanding to 96.6 cubic feet with both rows folded. The payload is rated at 1,091 pounds on front-wheel-drive models and 1,135 for all-wheel-drive models.
All Atlas models are equipped with a new turbocharged, intercooled, 16-valve 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 269 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Despite having less horsepower than the previous VR6, it offers 28% more torque and improved acceleration. All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels, with front-wheel drive offered on specific trims. Towing capacity is rated at 5,000 pounds for all models, with most trims featuring a standard tow hitch.
The four-cylinder engine delivers a smooth, quiet, and refined driving experience. It performs impressively while effectively reducing noise and vibration. The Atlas provides a stable and controlled ride, with ample space for passengers and cargo. The changes to the 2024 model have brought a much-needed refinement to the vehicle, making it an excellent choice for families in need of a spacious and reliable SUV.