VW’s largest SUV in North America has been around for a while and after the 2021 refresh, it’s quite easy to predict that the current generation is about to remain in production for a few more years. Therefore, we don’t believe that the 2023 VW Atlas could bring any notable updates. This should be a typical carryover model, with familiar design characteristics and features. Still, minor changes to the list of standard equipment and similar tweaks are always possible.
In any case, the Atlas will continue with familiar pros and cons. What we like about this SUV is the amount of interior space, which is pretty impressive. There is plenty of room for the passengers, as well as in the cargo area. At the same time, this SUV offers pretty impressive maneuverability for its size. Unfortunately, its interior quality is subpar, while the powertrain is even worse. That’s why it lags behind class leaders.
As there are no significant changes to come, we presume that the 2023 VW Atlas will hit the market sometime in the last quarter of the year.
2023 VW Atlas Design
As we’ve just mentioned, this SUV was updated last year and we expect that the 2023 VW Atlas will continue in the same way, with familiar design characteristics. That update brought some pretty interesting novelties, particularly in terms of the styling. We saw a completely new front end, while a coupe version was introduced too.
On the other hand, mechanics remained the same. This SUV rides on the MQB platform and shares most of its parts with models like VW Passat. For that reason, it’s not as refined as similarly-sized Audi models, which was the case with the Touareg, which is no longer available in North America. Still, handling and maneuverability are surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size.
This aspect definitely won’t bring changes, so the 2023 VW Atlas will remain a kind of a mixed bag regarding interior design. On one hand, we like the amount of passenger space, which is generous in all three rows. Furthermore, we like the driving position, which ensures very good visibility in all directions. The cargo area is also pretty impressive for the class. You may count on around 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third-row seats, 55.5 cubic feet with these seats folded down, and 96.8 of the total cargo volume.
On the other hand, the interior quality is a little bit disappointing. The Atlas features subpar build quality and materials, not only when compared with rivals, but also by VW’s standards. Fortunately, the amount of tech features is pretty decent and makes the cabin feel a little bit more upscale.
We might see some novelties regarding the standard and available equipment, but we have no doubt that most of the things are about to remain the same. Therefore, the list of standard equipment should include goodies like keyless entry, push-button start, a 6.5-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a digital gauge cluster, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. Among upgrades, expect to find things like n 8-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 12-speaker stereo, wireless device charging, and three additional USB ports, as well as tri-zone automatic climate control, remote start, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting, and a 120-volt household-style power outlet.
The same thing is with safety features. So, we expect that all models will come standard with goodies like a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking etc. The list of upgrades should include automatic high beams, lane keep assist, road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, surround-view camera etc.
2023 VW Atlas Engines
The 2023 VW Atlas will carry on with two familiar engine options. Base models will continue with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, you can opt for a 3.6-liter V6, which puts out 276 horsepower. Both engines feel underpowered for a vehicle of this size and don’t feel particularly refined. On the other hand, the 8-speed automatic transmission does a decent job.
Another complaint goes to fuel economy. The base turbo-four returns around 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, which is on par with more powerful V6-powered rivals. On the other hand, the V6 returns just 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.
2023 VW Atlas Release Date and Price
We expect that the 2023 VW Atlas will hit the market sometime in the last quarter of the year, with a starting price of around 35.000 dollars. Models like Hyundai Palisade and Subaru Ascent are some of the key competitors.