Thursday, September 16, 2021
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport?

Should You Buy a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport?

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport blends styling and premium touches in a convincing package

  • Pricing for the Atlas Cross Sport starts at $38,995 in Canada, $30,855 in the US.

  • The Cross Sport is the 5-seater version of the Volkswagen Atlas SUV.

Midsize SUVs have become North America’s aspirational vehicle segment. Countless consumers start their automotive adventure in small SUVs and many look forward to graduating to something a little larger that will better meet their needs. This is what’s encouraged automakers like Volkswagen to launch SUVs in all segments. The Atlas Cross Sport is the offering in the midsize 5-seater category.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This same category is loaded with offerings from nearly all mainstream automakers, from Chevrolet all the way to Volkswagen. The most important buying considerations here are versatility, capability, space, safety, and styling. On the final point, Volkswagen has made great strides to develop a design language that is all its own, and to a certain extent, has premium flair.

Competitors like the Chevrolet Blazer, GMC Acadia, Honda Passport, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Venza, and a few others all have an element or two that helps them standout, from unmatched off-roading abilities to class-crushing fuel economy. Others like the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport carry themselves with a little more panache.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

All of the mentioned SUVs have a history (one in particular’s is a little more obscure …) while this Volkswagen is the newest nameplate on the block. Should the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport’s relatively unproven track record keep you away from it? Or is it inconsequential as it looks great? Read on:

Why you should buy a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport:

  • From a purely aesthetic point of view, the Atlas Cross Sport blends elegance with beefy lines for a suggestively upscale look.
  • The cabin is extremely airy and provides some of the most accessible and useful space in the segment. The second is especially welcoming with generous legroom. Speaking of room, the trunk is enormous and accommodating.
  • Accessing the second row is a breeze thanks to the huge doors.
  • The dashboard’s layout and ergonomics are simple and functional.
  • Its ride quality is surprisingly good even with the larger 21-inch wheels as included with the R-Line package. The SUV is surefooted and inspires confidence.
  • When moving up to the Execline trim, the Atlas Cross Sport becomes truly premium thanks to its features including a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, perforated leather seats which can be specified in cinnamon or dark burgundy hues.
  • The 3.6-litre V6 engine delivers more than adequate levels of power and the accompanying 8-speed automatic transmission was flawless under mild or hard acceleration.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre 

Why you should not buy a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport:

  • The Atlas range of SUVs is turning out to be less than reliable. Issues range from mechanical failures to annoying electrical glitches of all kinds.
  • In the tested unit, Apple CarPlay suffered repeated hiccups.
  • The turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine will not provide any fuel consumption savings.
  • In fact, fuel economy, in real-world mixed driving, will never drop below 12L/100km. This makes it one of the thirstier vehicles in its segment.


The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is very good at being a large 2-row midsize SUV. It ranks at or near the top for interior versatility and space. It’s easy to live thanks to its ample storage areas, decently comfortable seats, and, one more, the spacious 2nd row.

In my opinion, it also happens to be one of the more attractive specimens in the segment, as I write these lines. Its premium demeanour is very enticing, but the bottom line is that various dependability issues are to be expected.

In the segment, despite the clear warnings, I still enjoy this SUV. The Honda Passport and Toyota Venza are the safest bets.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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