2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Review

The 2-row, 2020 VW Cross Sport slots between the smaller Tiguan and larger Atlas.

But, to be clear the Cross Sport also shares the Atlas name.  So, technically it’s called the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Since the brand new model is the newest entrant into VW’s crossover SUV lineup it arrives with considerable anticipation.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport Top-3:

  1. Styling
  2. Handling
  3. Visibility

And that goes for me too.  So, I was excited to pick one up from my friends at Ontario Volkswagen for this review.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport driver profile

117.3-inch wheelbase & 195.5-in overall length

2020 VW Cross Sport Midsize Crossover SUV

In the evergrowing world of crossover SUVs, it can be hard to keep track of all the sizes and seating arrangement options.

So, before diving into the Cross Sport review I’ll clarify Volkswagen’s lineup.

 2020 VW Crossover SUV Lineup:

  • Atlas: 3-row, 7-seat, midsize/full-size
  • Atlas Cross Sport: 2-row, 5-seat midsize
  • Tiguan: Optional 3-row, 7-seat compact

And I like to note a couple of things about Volkswagen’s overall lineup.

First, Atlas Cross Sports’ bigger sibling,  the Atlas is huge inside.  And it’s third-row of seating is definitely suitable for adults.

Second about, Atlas Cross Sports’ smaller sibling, the Tiguan.  It has an optional third-row of seating.  And the Tiguan’s third row is more designed for kids than adults.

So again, Atlas Cross Sport fits between the Atlas and Tiguan.  And now that we have that clear – on with the review of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Trim Configurations And Prices

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is offered in 8-different trim configuration levels.

But when it comes to VW crossover SUVs, there trim options can at first appear confusing but here’s what to remember.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport SEL V6 badge

Eight trim options

There are really three primary trim categories.  And that’s the S, SE, and SEL.  Then you can have the top-tier Premium option.  And the R-Line sporty aesthetic package.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport 4MOTION badge

VW’s AWD – 4MOTION

Other than that you’re left with the engine and front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive options.  And in VW’s world all-wheel drive is called 4MOTION.

 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport Trims & MSRPs:

  • $30,545
  • SE $33,945
    • w/ Technology $35,945
    • w/ Tech & R-Line $37,345
  • SEL $39,545
    • R-Line $41,245
    • Premium $46,295
    • Premium & R-Line $47,995

*Starting MSRPs

So, with all those different trim options, the decisions you’re left with are largely interior and exterior colors and accessories.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport front2

Atlas Cross Sport is 78.4 inches wide

But no matter what, go see my friends at Ontario Volkswagen.  Because there you’ll get the best of everything – price, selection, and overall deal and buying experience.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport curb weight?

Between approximately 4,103 and 4,411 lbs.

Engines, Transmissions, And MPG

When it comes to engines, you have two options.

First, there’s the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder.  And it puts out 235-horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  Plus towing capacity with the turbo-4 is 2,000-pounds.

Then you also have the bigger 3.6-liter V6 engine.  This one delivers 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.  And towing capacity with the V6 bumps up to 5,000 lbs.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport MPG:

  • 2.0L Turbo-4
    • FWD: 21/24
    • AWD: 18/23
  • 3.6L V6
    • FWD: 17/23
    • AWD: 16/22

*City/highway 

All 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sports come with the same 8-speed automatic transmission.  And that’s both smooth-shifting plus delivers solid fuel economy.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport shifter console

4-different drive modes

Additionally, changing drive modes is intuitive and simple.  Options include snow, on-road, off-road and off-road custom – allowing you to personalize your settings.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Exterior

So the all-new VW Atlas Cross Sport looks a lot like its bigger sibling that it shares a name with – the Atlas.   At first glance, they’re quite similar from the front and rear views.

Rear Atlas badge

Rear Atlas badge

So, it can take a bit of an educated eye to differentiate between the Atlas Cross Sport and Atlas.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport Exterior Colors:

  • Aurora red chroma metallic*
  • Tourmaline blue metallic
  • Platinum gray metallic
  • Pyrite silver metallic
  • Pacific blue metallic
  • Deep black pearl
  • Pure white
  • Pure gray* (pics w/in this article)

*Additional charge

Because even from the rear, the Atlas Cross Sport has a badge that only states ‘Atlas.’

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport passenger profile

Raked Cross Sport roof-line

However, the Cross Sport’s profile is where you can really tell the difference.  First, by the ‘raked’ (downward sloping) roof-line in the rear.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport badge

Cross Sport side-badges

But also from the subtle ‘Cross Sport’ badging on both the driver and front passenger doors.

LED headlights

Standard LED headlights DRLs

LED headlights and daytime running lights (DRLs) are standard.  Additionally, LED taillights are also standard.

LED taillights standard

Standard LED taillights

Also, roof rails come standard on Atlas Cross Sport.  And, depending on your trim level, Atlas Cross Sport comes with handsome 18, 20 or 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

2020 Cross Sport Exterior Dimensions:

  • Wheelbase: 117.3
  • Length: 195.5
  • Track:
    • Front: 67.0
    • Rear: 67.6
  • Width: 78.4
  • Height: 67.8
  • Ground clearance: 8.0

*All inches 

How Long Is The Atlas Cross Sport In Comparison To Atlas?

So, to answer the common question; the 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport is 195.5 inches long.  And that’s shorter than the 2020 VW Atlas at 198.3 inches.

But the Atlas and the Atlas Cross Sport share the same wheelbase at 117.3 inches long.

What other dimension does Atlas & Cross Sport share?

Ground clearance at 8-inches each.

Inside the 2020 VW Cross Sport

And one of my favorite features inside (arguably outside too) the 2020 VW Cross Sport is the ginormous panoramic sunroof.

panoramic sunroof

Panoramic sunroof  4′ x  3.5′

Because this sunroof is so big it seems to define the term panoramic.  In fact, the optional feature is approximately 4-feet-long and 3-and-a-half feet wide.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport front seats and dash

5-passenger Cross Sport

The Atlas Cross Sport’s interior, like the Atlas itself, is very spacious.  And that, of course, holds true even though Cross Sport is a slightly smaller vehicle.

Because again, the Cross Sport seats up to 5 whereas the Atlas seats up to 7.

 Atlas Cross Sport Interior Volume:

  • Passenger volume: 112 cubic feet
  • Cargo volume:
    • Behind 2nd row: 40.3 cu-ft
    • Behind 1st row: 77.8 cu-ft
  • Headroom:
    • Front: 39.4 inches
    • Rear: 37.8 in
  • Shoulder room:
    • Front: 61.5 in
    • Rear: 60.6 in
  • Legroom:
    • Front: 41.6 in
    • Rear: 40.4 in
Cavernous backseat

Cavernous backseat

There’s just over an inch difference between front-seat and backseat legroom.  So, at 5’10”, I was tremendously comfortable in the backseat.

cargo area 60/40 partial down

Standard 60/40 split backseat

And even with the Atlas Cross Sport’s shorter overall length and raked rear roof-line it still delivers up to 77.8 cu-ft of cargo space.

Infotainment And Convenience Technology

Volkswagen’s digital cockpit is available on the 2020 Cros Sport.  And it replaces the traditional instrument cluster with a customizable digital screen.

digital cockpit

VW’s digital cockpit

Plus, a top feature within the digital cockpit is the ability to customize and save multiple driver profiles.

Vehicle status screen

6.5 and 8″ touchscreen availability

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport offers two infotainment touchscreens.  Both are very user-friendly.  Depending on the trim level, there are 6.5-inch or 8-inch options.

VW Car-Net Standard On Atlas Cross Sport: Car-Net is Volkswagen’s telematics system.  It’s an app for your phone that connects you to your car.  And for new 2020 vehicles, VW is including 5-years of free subscription for some of the app’s most valuable services.

Additionally, there’s an optional upgrade to a 12-speaker Fender brand premium sound system from the standard 6-speaker system.

Volkswagen App-Connect

Optional wireless smartphone charging

And through VW’s App-Connect select applications can be run directly from your smartphone including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Driver Assistance Tech And Safety

All the latest driver assistance and safety tech is either standard or available on the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Driver Assistance Technology

Standard:

  • Forward collision warning and front assist
  • Blindspot monitor
  • Rear traffic alert

Available:

  • Adaptive cruise control w/ stop & go
  • Dynamic road sign display
  • Parking steering assistant
  • Overhead view camera
  • Park distance control
  • High beam control
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Lane keep assist

Plus another standard safety feature that VW includes on Atlas Cross Sport.  And this is one that I think all carmakers should include – automatic post-collision braking system.

So, it does what it sounds like.  In the event of a collision, and the vehicle continues to move, it will stop itself automatically.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Top-3

Finally, circling back on my Top-3 Things I like about the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

  1. Styling: Volkswagen took the already great looking Atlas and shrunk it in all the right places to make the Atlas Cross Sport.  And the result is an even sexier looking vehicle.
  2. Handling: If you’re a regular reader or podcast listener then this doesn’t surprise you.  Because I love VW’s sure-footedness and Cross Sport 100% delivers that.  It’s a feeling of safety and confidence behind the wheel.
  3. Visibility: Even without the optional panoramic sunroof that I love.  The Cross Sport provides great views of the road from all angles.
2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport rear

Courtesy of Ontario Volkswagen

And if a 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a vehicle that has you interested.  Or, any other Volkswagen for that matter.  Then be sure to connect with my friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.  Or email me and I’ll personally connect you: tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.