Go ahead and rock on, Mom!
I’m a woman who’s vinyl records out-number her shoe collection, who’s favorite pair of jeans are bell-bottoms, and who has definitely been known to rock out to The Beatles on more than one occasion. Given the type of person that I am and the VW’s 1970’s icon status, you could probably guess that owning a Volkswagen has always been high on my dream board. Although, being a mom who also needs a larger vehicle, I’ve always been steered toward driving a family-friendly SUV.
When Volkswagen launched the Atlas in 2018, it took the lead as their best selling car to date. One year later, the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas was named “The Best Family Car” by KBB.com. Could this title have been earned because the Atlas is a 3 row family SUV with room for up to seven and plenty of cargo space? Or possibly it’s the family-centered features, like the color touchscreen entertainment center and nine different driver assist safety functions. We took a look to find out what exactly it was about the 2019 VW Atlas that made earn the title of a family-friendly SUV. Plus ,I wanted to find out if it had any traces of the vintage VW left in it. The one I’ve always dreamed of buying.
VW Atlas: A Nod to Vintage Style and Design
The first aspect of the Volkswagen Atlas that I noticed is how its design offers a slight nod to vintage style but still presents itself with luxury, innovation, and up-to-date features. The types of things that my family and I have learned to rely on daily. Plus, it has an astonishing seventeen cup holders!
The nod, however, can be found in the several attention grabbing color combinations and the way it rocks the wood-grain accents. To support this notion, the model I drove had a Tourmaline Blue Metallic exterior paired with a Golden Oak leather interior. This combination opened up the show for all of the other great features we found while driving around Motor City for the week.
A Family-Friendly SUV That Creates a Beat
In terms of music and connectivity, the 2019 Atlas v6 SEL Premium includes an 8″ touchscreen entertainment system with navigation. And on this trim line, much to my surprise, I found a 12-speaker Fender Audio System with a built in subwoofer! With a premium sound system in place, the only thing left to do is decide what to listen to. Although, with the vehicle’s Bluetooth or App-Connect, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, bringing your own playlist to this bumping speaker system is as easy (or easier) than finding a good 70’s station.
Drive Mode Selection with 4Motion All Wheel Drive
After adjusting the Fender speakers to play my favorite 1970’s rock-n-roll tunes, I noticed something else that brought a new rhythm to my heart. The Atlas includes different driving modes, and with the added 4Motion all wheel drive system it also has the ability to switch between different four different AWD modes! Having the option to switch between eco, normal, sport, or custom driving modes makes my driving experience more fun (or more practical). Plus, the added 4Motion system lets you have more control in different driving conditions such as rain, snow, and rough terrain.
The different drive modes allow you to dictate to your vehicle how you want it to perform. Sport mode, for instance, tells the vehicle that you want it to engage quicker and have more “pep” in its performance. While, on the other hand, if you plan on doing more long distance travel driving, setting it to eco mode may help with your overall fuel consumption because it won’t be as performance driven.
3 Row SUV: Comfort From the Command Seat
One of the most covered talking points about the Atlas is its size. With three rows of seating and 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space with both rows folded flat, it totally makes sense. And while, yes, it does have remarkable size in terms of space, what I’d like to focus on is how well that space is utilized!
From the drivers seat, I felt comfortably in command of the vehicle. The heated, leather wrapped steering wheel was as easy to touch as was all of the center command buttons. From my relaxed position in the heated, 10-way power drivers seat with lumbar support, I could reach just about everything. No leaning, looking, or struggling to change vehicle options or maneuver the vehicle safely. Plus, the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit made seeing navigation, speed, and other useful information quick and easy by displaying it in the high-resolution instrument cluster. And the overhead area view with the backup camera made going in reverse a much more confident move.
A Plugged In and Personalized Second Row
As other moms to tween might also tell you, the second row captains chairs were a dream come true. Why? Because separation between kids is key. But besides having their own space, second row passengers also had their own USB port and seat warmer buttons. Plus, control over the climate and vents for their section of the vehicle. Also included in the second row command center was a single household plug for charging gaming systems or things without USB connectivity.
Functional Third Row and Cargo Space
Although the third row lacks USB ports or seat warmers, it’s still a functional part of the vehicle. It simply took a slight move forward of the second row and the third row became comfortable for sitting. And, when more cargo space is needed, the second and third rows can fold flat and out of the way. My favorite spot in the cargo area, however, was the two pockets to either side of the cargo platform. These areas were perfect for storing smaller items that I didn’t want rolling around.
Safety Features That Rock
While the extra cargo space and comfort is a plus when road tripping as a family, safety features are a must! Luckily, the Volkswagen Atlas comes equipped with nine driver assistance safety features. These include features like lane keep assist, forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control, among many others. And in the arena of autonomous capabilities, the Atlas has autonomous emergency braking to further keep you and your family safe.
While driving the 2019 VW Atlas v6 SEL Premium for a week, I started to understand why families love this SUV, and I was overjoyed to find that it still had a touch of that vintage VW style that I fell in love with years ago.
What We Love
- Plenty of seating space with a comfortable 3rd row
- Plenty of cargo space with collapsible 2nd and 3rd rows
- Fender speakers included in the premium trim level
- Heated seats and USB access in both front seats and 2nd row
- Large, panoramic sunroof
- Different drive modes, including sport, eco, normal, and custom modes
- Ability to switch between driving conditions with 4Motion
- Fun interior and exterior colors with a vintage vibe
What Does It Cost?
The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas ranges in price from around $30,895 for the S trim line to $48,395 for the V6 SEL Premium with 4Motion. The higher level of this scale is what we drove. Although, with the added second row dual captains chairs, 20″ black triple 5-spoke wheels package, and delivery charge, the final price came closer to $50,320.
What We Listened To in the VW Atlas
Disclosure: The Volkswagen Atlas was provided for one week for the purpose of review.