2018 Volkswagen Atlas For Sale - Cardinale VW on the Monterey Peninsula

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the German automaker’s third SUV offering, following the Touareg and Tiguan. This time around, Volkswagen keeps its eye squarely on the American market. To that end, the new Atlas is designed and built in the United States to appeal to Americans, with ample space for seven passengers and room to stow and haul cargo. This three-row midsize crossover has what it takes to make it a winner at dealers like the Monterey Peninsula VW dealer. Volkswagen sweetens the pot with a low starting price and an outstanding warranty.

The ride is refined and the cabin is quiet. Inside, you’ll find a simple sophistication with user-friendly controls, gauges that are easy to read and high-quality materials. The upper SEL and SEL Premium trims come packed with tech goodies, but they don’t add complexity to the cabin’s aesthetic.

You might imagine that another Volkswagen SUV might be met by the automotive press with some skepticism, but the reverse is the case. Autoweek wrote: "A roomy SUV with VW pricing is something Volkswagen has needed for a long time, and the Atlas ticks all the right boxes and more. ... We've yet to experience the Atlas in all weather and road conditions, from twisty back roads to miles and miles of sun-baked interstates. But this SUV already feels like one of the most promising Volkswagens in years."

The midsize Volkswagen Atlas is positioned between the smaller Tiguan and the top-of-the-line Touareg. Somewhat surprisingly, the Atlas is larger than its Touareg sibling, but the Touareg provides a higher level of features and options.

The Atlas is offered in five trim levels: S, SE, SE with Technology, SEL and SEL Premium. All trims other than the latter can choose between a base 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque and an available 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 276 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. The V6 is standard on the SEL Premium. Both engines are mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all models other than the SEL Premium. Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive is standard on the SEL Premium and available on the other trims.

Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive is more advanced than Audi’s older Quattro technology. The system uses front-wheel drive to save gasoline. When it needs to engage the all-wheel drive-system, it employs clutches that activate the rear axles. The system was first used in the Volkswagen Golf. The Atlas is the second Volkswagen model to include it.

The Atlas features four driving modes: onroad, snow, offroad and custom. The onroad mode allows drivers to select eco, normal, sport and individual modes.

The base Atlas S trim gets standard features that include power mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo system, Bluetooth and a 6.5-inch touchscreen. Also standard on the S are 18-inch aluminum wheels, cloth-covered seats and front LED lighting. Standard safety gear includes six airbags, a rearview camera, an automatic post-collision braking system and Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System.