Volkswagen off-road is a phrase we haven’t heard much of for years. Not since the Meyers Manx dune buggies were created from Beetles has VW really been associated with off-roading.
But that’s changing thanks to Americans’ love affair with crossover SUVs. Because of that Volkswagen has recently spruced up and added to its crossover SUV lineup.
So, 2020 brings three Volkswagen off-road / crossover SUV options.
There’s the compact Tiguan which is in its second generation. It has an optional 3rd row of seating. But it’s mainly for smaller humans. :0)
Plus, the Atlas Cross Sport which is a 5-seat midsize new entry to the lineup. It will soon be available at Southern California Volkswagen Dealers.
And the Volkswagen Atlas, which arguably bumps up to full-size status with the entry of the Atlas Cross Sport. Because it’s a 3-row 7-plus seater that VW just added to its lineup in 2018.
Now, are all of these Volkswagen’s off-road-ready? While not in a dedicated off-highway vehicle sense (OHV), it really depends on your degree of off-road-mindedness.
And following Volkswagen’s off-road trend, my friends at Ontario VW recently danced-up this Atlas.
Volkswagen Off-Road – Customized Atlas
So, Ontario VW customized this Volkswagen Atlas for off-road use. And they did so both on the interior and exterior. I’ll walk you through those details but first wanted to share the above wide-shot.
First, because it shows off the exterior customization nicely. But also because I was able to get a cool shot with a big jet landing at Ontario Airport in the background. :0)
Sparco Terra Wheels
Since the wheels are where the rubber hits the road – figuratively and literally – we’ll start there.
This 2019 VW off-road-ready Atlas was upgraded with Sparco 10-spoke performance wheels and Continental off-road-ready tires.
And what I loved about test driving this VW is that it was still quiet while cruising at 65 mph. In fact, the loudest sound I heard was from the boxes on the Thule roof rack.
So the exterior off-road accessories, including the off-road tires, didn’t create a bunch of road noise at highway speeds. That’s a big plus when it comes to Volkswagen off-roading.
VW Off-Road Roof Rack by Thule
And what’s arguably the perfect off-road roof rack, Ontario VW added Thule’s to this Atlas.
And that’s complete with Thule cargo basket and netting. As you can see the fit is perfect. Plus taking this VW off-road with the basket and netting probably safer than a roof box.
Because a mounted box could catch a tree branch and cause lots of damage. While clipping that same tree branch would just mean you have the gear to get back on the roof!
Off-Road Hood Deflector
Another helpful off-road addition to this Atlas is the hood deflector.
Not only will a good hood deflector help protect from bugs but also small debris as well. Yes, of course, they can look great too.
But do hood deflectors work overall? Well, as someone who tends to go through windshields like tanks of gas I can say this.
Nothing is failsafe and anything that lends a hand in protecting the vehicle is worth it. Especially if you’re heading off-road!
Sidestep Convenience & Off-Road Protection
Perhaps you’re tall enough to not require sidesteps/running boards like the ones on this off-road-ready Volkswagen Atlas.
However, even if you step over them to get into the vehicle they can still serve a great purpose. And that’s to keep debris from flying up and scratching the sides of your vehicle.
Again, unless you’re dedicating you’re Volkwagen for off-road use as a true OHV, you might as well keep it presentable when on-road.
VW Off-Road-Ready Interior
When heading off-road you want the inside of your vehicle to be ready for the elements too. Because after all, we go off-road for the enjoyment of being outdoors.
And, when we do, that means we’re highly likely to bring some of the outdoors back into the vehicle. So Ontario VW added stainless steel pedal covers to this Volkswagen off-roader.
Plus all-season floor mats are an essential add-on for tracking the outdoors into any off-road vehicle.
Custom VW Off-Road Backseat Accessories
Another essential for off-roading is the backseat cover that’s ready for anything.
And the backseat cover on this Atlas customized by Ontario Volkswagen is versatile. Because it even allows the armrest to deploy and includes the ability for child safety seats to be installed over the cover!
Plus, perfect for every backseat navigator is the tablet holder.
And the tablet holder is a handy backseat accessory regardless of if you’re off-roading or not. (My son asks for his tablet every time we put him in his seat!)
Additionally, when you need to contain stuff to the rear cargo area the custom cargo divider is a key piece of equipment.
So, this cargo divider sits behind the 2nd row of backseats and is shown above with the 3rd-row of seats down. Notice how they lie flat – a great Volkswagen feature for sure.
And cargo dividers are great for containing stuff when you’re really bouncing around. But also, if you have a really dirty dog, and you want to keep its mess in one area of your ride.
Volkswagen Off-Road In Southern California
So, while Volkswagen and all the other carmakers continue putting more crossover SUVs on the road. Innovative automotive retailers like Ontario Volkswagen will continue customizing those for Southern Californian’s off-road fun.
If you want to customize a VW for off-roading contact my friend Randy Halcomb @ Ontario Volkswagen: RHalcomb [at] OntarioVW [dot] com. Or email me and I’ll connect you directly. And maybe we’ll even cover a story on you and your new rig hitting the SoCal off-road trails!
2020 VW Vehicle Reviews:
VW Telematics Connectivity Application:
2019 Volkswagen Reviews: