Thursday, April 25, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas?

Should You Buy a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas?


The Volkswagen Atlas has evolved since its debut in 2017, establishing itself as one of the favorite choices among large-midsize family SUVs. With its spacious interior and distinctive styling, the Atlas has made a name for itself in a competitive segment. In fact, it has become the 2nd best-selling import-nameplated vehicle in the category. What’s more, 70% of sales go to customers who are new to the brand.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Over the years, it has undergone various updates, the most recent being for the 2024 model year. These changes are skin-deep and for the better however the Atlas is still not quite perfect and there are pros and cons to consider.

 

So, should the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas be your next family vehicle?

 


Why You Should Buy a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas

2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  1. Handsome and Distinct Design: The 2024 Atlas continues Volkswagen’s tradition of clean, purposeful design with a touch of European flair. Its distinct appearance, combined with an updated front grille and lighting elements, which could be considered obnoxious by some, ensure that the Atlas will never be mistaken for anything else than a Volkswagen.

 

  1. Extremely Spacious and Well-Thought-Out Cabin: Volkswagen is quite good at making practical, user-friendly interiors, and the Atlas is no exception. The cabin is not just spacious but intelligently designed, offering ample room for passengers, random items, and cargo alike. VW’s improved cabin materials and sharpened the dashboard’s design. As always, the interior environment is both comfortable and accommodating.
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  1. Updated 4-Cylinder Offers Decent Torque: The dropping of the VR6 engine and focusing on the more efficient 4-cylinder engine in the 2024 Atlas brings a more generous torque output at 273 lb-ft (up from 266), making everyday driving and acceleration more than adequate for a vehicle of its size. This update addresses some of the previous powertrain concerns however it’s not perfect.

 


Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas

 

  1. Driving Experience Lacks Refinement: Despite improvements, the Atlas still falls short in delivering the driving comfort that some rivals offer. The driving experience can sometimes feel disconnected, with feedback from the road and overall handling not as sharp as one might expect from a Volkswagen. Ride quality suffers in part from the 21-inch wheels fitted to the tested Execline model, an issue that would likely be rectified in the lower trims with smaller wheels.
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
  1. Disappointing Fuel Economy: The 2024 Atlas, particularly when driven with but an ounce of enthusiasm, doesn’t live up to its promised fuel efficiency. Real-world driving conditions and usage can lead to consumption figures that are higher than Volkswagen’s estimates, or about 40% more in my case. Even with restraint, in mixed driving conditions, I have difficulty in believing the estimated 10.8L/100km.

 

  1. Poor Forward ¾ Visibility: The design, while attractive, contributes to some visibility issues, particularly around the A-pillars and rear quarters. This can make maneuvering in tight spaces or changing lanes a bit more challenging than in some competitors. In fact, the forward ¾ blind spot is one of the worse in modern vehicles. As a driver and owner, and until one gets used to the Atlas’ dimensions, some turns will have to be negotiated with caution.

 


Conclusion

2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas presents itself as an enticing option for families in need of space, comfort, and style. Its well-designed interior and improved powertrain make it a practical choice for daily use. However, potential buyers should weigh these strengths against the less-than-ideal driving comfort, expect higher-than-advertised fuel consumption, and visibility issues.

 

Viable alternatives to the big VW are the Honda Pilot (pricey though, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, and for a long-term lease, a Kia Telluride. Ultimately, if your priorities lean towards interior space and design over driving experience, the Atlas remains a worthy contender in the large SUV category.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre
2024 Volkswagen Atlas | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

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Matt St-Pierre
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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