2020 Volkswagen Atlas

The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas is technically a midsize crossover SUV.  But one could argue it belongs in the full-size category as it has three rows of seating.

Additionally, it’s the largest crossover SUV that VW offers.  And it’s big and roomy inside with room for adults in each row of seating.  Plus Atlas offers plenty of cargo space and impressive tech.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Top-3:

  1. Exterior design
  2. Interior space
  3. Fuel economy

Personally, I’ve been a big fan of Atlas since it’s debut in 20180.  It’s great for families without being too big.  So I recently picked-up an Atlas from my friends at Ontario VW for this review.

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driver profile

198.3″ Length and 117.3″ wheelbase

2020 VW Atlas 3-Row Midsize Crossover SUV

In Volkswagen’s line-up of 2020 crossover SUV’s Atlas is the biggest.  And the line-up is officially growing this year.

2020 VW Crossover SUV Line-up:

  • Atlas – midsize/full-size 3-row
  • Atlas Cross Sport – midsize 2-row
  • Tiguan – compact optional 3rd row

Because of the introduction of the Atlas Cross Sport, VW will have three crossover SUVs.

Where is Volkwagen Atlas made?

Chattanooga, Tennessee
2020 Volkswagen Atlas cargo area with 2nd and 3rd rows partial down

Up to 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space

Trim Configurations & Prices

So, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas is available in a total of seven different trim levels.  And those are derived from 4 primary trim configurations.

2020 VW Atlas Trims & MSRPs:

  • S $31,545
  • SE $34,695
  • SE w/ Technology $37,045
  • SEL $40,795

*All starting MSPRs

Additionally, the pricing shared above is only for reference.  Your best deal and buying experience is with my friends at Ontario Volkswagen in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.

Engines, Transmissions & MPG

The 2020 VW Atlas is offered in two different powerful engines.  There’s a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a V6.

So the turbocharged 4-cylinder is a 2.0-liter.  It delivers 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

And the V6 is a 3.6-liter.  It provides 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas wheel

Atlas SE trim 18″ alloy wheel – up to 21″ wheels available

Having driven Atlas’s with both engines I’m surprised to report the following.  The turbo-4 seems to have a little more spirit from dead stops and quickly accelerating from low speeds.

Regardless of the engine you go with, all trim levels of the 2020 VW Atlas come with the same transmission.  And that’s a smooth-shifting well-geared 8-speed automatic transmission.

2020 VW Atlas Fuel Economy:

  • 20/24 2.0L Turbo-4
  • 17/23 3.6L V6


Plus the Atlas offers optional 4MOTION all-wheel drive.  But if you skip all-wheel-drive, the two-wheel-drive option is front-wheel-drive.

And the 2020 Atlas has a 2,000-pound towing capacity with the turbo-4.  But when you bump up to the V6 you can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Exterior

The 2020 VW Atlas is a great-looking crossover SUV.  Because it blends European styling and rugged American-sized utility vehicle profiles.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas passenger rear

2020 VW Atlas SE Trim

Plus a muscular stance from rearview even in the lower trimmed SE 2020 Atlas I test drove for this review.

2020 VW Atlas Rear

Automatic tailgate available

And the head-on front view is equally as imposing.

Exterior Measurements:

  • Wheelbase 117.3
  • Length 198.3
  • Track:
    • Front: 67.2
    • Rear: 67.8
  • Width: 78.3
  • Height: 70.0
  • Ground Clearance: 8.0

*All inches 

With standard LED headlights and available foglights.

2020 VW Atlas front

Wide muscular stance

Because the Atlas Cross Sport will soon be on the road you might find it tough to tell it apart from the Atlas.  Especially when viewing them from the front.

2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport front

Atlas Cross Sport – 3-chrome cars

But here’s an easy way to tell.  The 2020 Atlas has two horizontal chrome bars across the length of the grille.  Whereas the smaller sibling, the Atlas Cross Sport, pictured above has three.

2020 VW Atlas Exterior Colors:

  • Pure White
  • Platinum Gray Metallic
  • Deep Black Peral
  • Tourmaline Blue Metallic
  • Pacific Blue Metallic

While I test drove a SE trim Atlas it looked good.  But, when you upgrade to the Atlas with SEL or sporty R-Line trims it really becomes a sexy-looking crossover SUV that’s fantastic for families.

Inside 3-Rows of 2020 VW Atlas

The interior of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas is what all critics agree on – it’s big and spacious.  Because many midsized crossover SUVs have 3-rows of seating.  But many also provide only enough room for very small adults or children in that last row.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas 3rd row with legs extended

Seated in 3rd-row w/ legs extended

So, sorry for the picture of my sneakers.  But, the above picture gives you an idea of the spaciousness inside the 2020 Atlas.  And in that pic, I’m sitting in the third-row with my legs fully extended. – I’m 5’10”.

2020 VW Atlas Interior Measurements:

  • Passenger volume 153.7 cubic feet
  • Cargo volume behind:
    • 3rd row: 20.6 cu ft
    • 2nd  row: 55.5 cu ft
    • 1st row: 96.8 cu ft
  • Legroom:
    • 1st row: 41.5 inches
    • 2nd row: 37.6″
    • 3rd row: 33.7″

Additionally, the 2020 Atlas offers a bench or captain’s seating for the second-row.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas 2nd row backseat

2nd-row captain’s chairs

And while the bench in the second row allows for seating up to seven adults.  The captain’s chairs in the second row are super-comfortable.

front seats and dash from backseat

41.5″ legroom in 1st-row

Plus one final note about the seating options.  Adding the bench to the 2nd-row of seating allows for up to three child safety seats in that row.  And that puts Atlas in rarified territory for its class.

2020 VW Atlas Infotainment & Technology

Volkswagen packs the 2020 Atlas with both creature comfort technology and infotainment tech.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas cockpit

SE Trim Atlas

Topping the list is Volkswagen’s Car-Net telematics system.  So, that’s basically a smartphone app that keeps you connected to your Volkswagen – in many ways.

And Car-Net does many things, depending on how your VW is equipped.  For example, it can lock and unlock your doors and start and stop your engine remotely.

Atlas can be equipped with plenty of connectivity and charging ports throughout its cabin.  Plus a Fender brand premium sound system and Wi-fi hotspot – subscription required of course..

infotainment touchscreen

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay available

Also available is Volkswagen’s digital cockpit.  While the SE trimmed Atlas I test drove for this review didn’t have it I’ve driven many VW’s with the digital cockpit.

And, it’s a great feature that completely replaces the instrument cluster with a customizable digital screen.  Perhaps my favorite new info-tech feature of the past few years is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.  Those are also available on the 2020 VW Atlas.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas 2nd row climate control

2nd and 3rd-row climate control available

Additionally, you can equip your Atlas with heated 1st and 2nd-row seats.  And, my personal favorite, ventilated front seats.

With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that Volkswagen offers climate controls for all 3-rows of seating as well.

Driver Assistance Tech & Safety Features

As you’d expect the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas can come equipped with all the latest driver assistance and safety features.

Available Driver Assistance Features:

  • Park distance control w/ maneuver braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blindspot monitor
  • Rear traffic alert
  • Light assist
  • Lane assist
  • Park assist
  • Front assist
  • Area view

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Top 3-Things

So let’s circle back to the Top-3 Things I like about the 2020 VW Atlas.

  1. Exterior design – Atlas is a family-minded crossover SUV.  But it’s sexy!  It’s a comfortable 3-row vehicle that doesn’t look like it from the outside.
  2. Interior space – And speaking of 3-rows, Atlas is huge inside with ample space for people and whatever stuff we need to bring with us.
  3. Fuel economy – While I didn’t hammer this point home the fuel-economy Atlas delivers is impressive for a vehicle of its capabilities.
rear badge and plate

Ontario VW – Official Partner

And if you’re shopping for a 2020 Atlas, or any other Volkswagen – remember to see my friends at Ontario VW.  Email me and I’ll connect you: tom [at] idrivesocal [dot] com.