They say America doesn’t like the hatchback, but what is a VW Atlas Cross Sport but a VW hatchback at 1. 50 magnification?
Do you remember the TV show
Eureka I do, and we came across what must have been one of its prop vehicles when my codriver and I stopped to take photos at a boat yard just north of Vancouver.
People call cars as large as this one “boats,” but I took this photo to show that, as large as the Atlas Cross Sport is, it’s still smaller than an actual boat.
Those brushed aluminum bits that look like exhaust pipes aren’t actually exhaust pipes.
The interior of the Atlas Cross Sport I drove was dark, like this one.
But it also apparently comes in other shades and tones.
This is where SUVs return to the water before spawning season. Later in the year, you may see little hatchbacks leaping upriver and trying to avoid bears.
I wonder how much trouble we’d have gotten in if we’d accidentally driven this Atlas Cross Sport into the water?
Excising the third row of seats means much more room for people in the back.
I’m not exactly tall, but look how much legroom there is. If you’re shopping for a new airport car-service vehicle, this could be a much better choice than a town car.
The cargo space is similarly voluminous.
LED headlights are standard across the range.
You’ll need to go for the SEL or SEL Premium trims if you want the digital main instrument display though.
This is the 8-inch MIB touchscreen.
You have two choices of engine: either this 2.0L four, or a V6. You can get either with AWD or FWD, but all of them use an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The V6 should probably only be on your list if you need to tow between 2, – 5, lbs.
In February, back before the (coronavirus) came for our trade shows, I lamented the current desire among the car-buying public for (ever more massive SUVs) . By month’s end, I found myself behind the wheel of one — usually something we task Managing Editor Bangeman with, for he likes his vehicles on the larger side. It’s Volkswagen’s New Atlas Cross Sport, a five-seater that is mechanically identical to the three-row Atlas, though it sports a more rakish look above the belt line. It proved to be quite a thought-provoking drive, not for any clever new technology or radically different driving experience but because of what it reveals about Americans and their attitudes toward cars — some of which you may find unpalatable.
A couple of years ago, I called the VW Jetta a “ quintessentially American Volkswagen . I’d like to retract that old headline now, because although the Jetta was responsible for much of VW’s growth in pre – (dieselgate) times, I was completely off-base. It’s true, adding a trunk to the globally popular Golf hatchback was the missing step to selling smaller cars in the United States. But contrary to popular belief, Americans don’t dislike the hatchback per-se — they just don’t want ’em small. But if you were to take that small hatchback and subject it to a growth ray or whatever the CAD tool equivalent is, it turns out they fly off the shelves. VW’s sales have been up for the past three years, and that’s all down to two models, the Tiguan and the Atlas, which made up (percent of its sales in
So, the Atlas Cross Sport ( and the Atlas before it
is a much truer example of an American people wagon. despite their wildly different sizes and automotive niches, the Jetta and Atlas Cross Sport are much more closely related than you might think. They’re both products of VW’s MQB (
, or Modular Transverse Toolkit) architecture, which lets it build a wide range of machines with transverse-mounted engines and lots of common components. MQB vehicles have a fixed dash-to-axle ratio, but the designers have a lot of freedom in almost every other dimension, and in the Atlas and now the Atlas Cross Sport, they hit the supersize button.
Using MQB also means that the end product is much more affordable than the similarly sized Touareg SUV. That one shares a different, longitudinally mounted engine architecture with Audi and Porsche, and a combination of production costs and import duties means VW no longer imports it to the United States. Which is why we won’t see the (hp) 442 kW) plug-in hybrid Touareg R this side of the Atlantic. (This is the (st-century answer to the full-size sedan of the ‘
During the product presentation, VW explained why the Atlas Cross Sport exists at a time when it can sell as many regular Atlases as Chattanooga can churn out. The answer is as simple as “we’re leaving money on the table.” The Atlas is a three-row SUV, and those are all the rage with families, just like the minivan used to be and the station wagon before it. But people age and their kids move out, and that third row becomes surplus to requirements. And some people never needed seven seats in the first place but still want to drive something big and imposing. In the old days, they would buy a full-size sedan; now, here, in the future, they’ll buy this . 70 – foot (4). m) gigantohatch instead.
It’s hard to deny there’s logic behind that desire. Crash tests reinforce the fact that bigger cars are safer than smaller ones. A hatchback cargo area is easier to load and unload than the trunk of a sedan, and it’s more extensible since you can fold either or both of the seats flat. The older you get, the easier it is to climb into an upright SUV rather than a low-riding sedan. And there is something to be said about the commanding view you get from the driver’s seat, even if it does mask a child-swallowing blindspot up front.
So the Atlas Cross Sport exists for those people who, in the past, might have gone for a Passat. Or more likely, people who wouldn’t have considered a VW in the past, when it was better known for selling efficient little cars — much of VW’s growth over the past three years has been from people new to the brand.
Americans don’t care about dieselgate
In , Volkswagen got caught lying to the US government about the contents of its diesel exhaust , at which point Uncle Sam made an example of the carmaker with billions of dollars in fines. And if you were tasked with estimating VW’s sales prowess based on comments to online articles, you might think the company was at the doors of bankruptcy. Internet commenters may still vow never to darken the brand’s doors again, but as previously mentioned, VW sales have increased year on year for the past three years. 10936 ‘s performance is more notable since it occurred when the rest of the car market was contracting. It turns out, most Americans just don’t care about dieselgate. Either they forgave VW for what turned out to be an industry-wide practice, or they never even noticed in the first place.
If you are a car-buyer who cares about the environment, the Atlas Cross Sport probably should not be on your shopping list. A FWD 2.0L Atlas Cross Sport ( (hp / (kW and) lb- ft / (Nm) manages just
(mpg combined) 7l / (km), and both FWD and AWD V6es (hp /