The Volkswagen Atlas is one of the more underrated 3-row SUVs in the US market as it offers an abundance of space, technology, and creature comforts, yet it does not cost all that much considering the segment and some of its competitors. The 2023 Atlas is mostly a carryover model from the 2022 Atlas which means that it only gets subtle changes, nothing more, nothing less.
So, if you want to know all about 2023 VW Atlas, be sure to read this article as we are going to tell you everything you need to know. First of all, the changes with the 2023 model kick off with the disappearance of the entry-level S trim as the SE is now the entry-level model. This means all 2023 Atlas models get the 10.25-inch Cockpit display.
Besides that, the 2023 Atlas is the same as the 2022 Atlas. Engine-wise, you are getting two engine choices, a smaller 4-cylinder, and a larger 6-cylinder engine. FWD is offered with lower-end models while 4MOTION is standard with the 6-cylinder engine. Design-wise, the Atlas looks modern and in line with other VW models.
Reliability is a mixed bag as the Atlas is all over the place. The value prospect is surely enticing as the Atlas undercuts most of its rivals. Practicality is great because you can sit up to seven people in the Atlas without any problems whatsoever. The trunk space is also large and visibility is excellent.
2023 VW Atlas – The Powertrain
The Volkswagen Atlas engine range kicks off with the 2.0L 4-cylinder model which offers 235hp and 258lb-ft of torque. Efficiency-wise, you can expect to get up to 23MPG combined with the 2.0L 4-cylinder. If you want a more powerful engine, you will have to upgrade to the 3.6L V6 which offers 276hp and 266lb-ft of torque. This engine returns up to 20MPG combined.
As mentioned in the beginning, you get a FWD system with the entry-level 2.0L Atlas, but you can upgrade to 4MOTION if you pay a bit more money. The 3.6L also comes with FWD as standard, but we would highly recommend going for 4MOTION AWD as this is a large and heavy SUV that needs all the traction it can get.
You get an 8-speed torque converter automatic gearbox with all Atlas models. This gearbox is not the fastest in the world, but it fits the character of this car as it is smooth and seamless to shift gears.
2023 VW Atlas – Design and Driving
The 2023 VW Atlas looks like a colossal version of the VW Tiguan which means that it looks imposing and luxurious. If you want a bit more style and attention, go for the Cross Sport model which offers a coupe-ish sloping roofline that makes the Atlas look a lot cooler, yet it does sacrifice rear head space a bit. The interior is really nicely laid out with decent material quality and a lot of useful features.
The driving experience feels large and commanding which is what most people want from a large SUV. The Atlas is not an off-roader, but it can tackle mild off-roading without any issues. All in all, it rolls quite a lot which is why it prefers cruising as opposed to a more dynamic driving experience.
2023 VW Atlas – Reliability and Common Issues
The VW Atlas reliability is rated at 70/100 by J.D. Power which makes it average at best. The most common VW Atlas issues are faulty fuel injectors, a failing fuel pump, a whole host of issues with the steering wheel clockspring, loss of coolant, and weird engine noises and vibrations, especially while turning the car off.
These issues can be quite stressful and expensive to fix which is why some people stay clear of the Atlas. However, if you take proper care of it and you don’t abuse it, the Atlas can be a dependable and long-lasting SUV as is the case with most VW models these days.
2023 VW Atlas – Value and Practicality
The base SE-Trim Atlas starts at $34,600 while the higher-end SEL model starts at $44,390. The SEL R-Line Black model will set you back $48,090 while the top-end SEL Premium R-Line trim costs $51,790 and it gets pretty much everything you want from it. This price is good considering the size and what the Atlas offers, especially compared to similar models.
Practicality is as good as it can get as the Atlas sits up to seven people in a colossal cabin with a fairly large trunk space. Getting in and out of the Atlas is also really easy while mounting a child seat is a breeze thanks to wide-opening doors and easy-to-reach IsoFix mounting points.
Is the 2023 VW Atlas worth it?
If you want a large, spacious, safe, and comfortable SUV with three rows of seating, the 2023 Atlas is definitely worth it. It is an SUV that undercuts most similar European large SUVs by quite a margin while also offering an almost identical experience.
High running costs are somewhat of a necessity in this segment, so that is not something that is going to demotivate most buyers. The 2.0L 4-cylinder model is considerably cheaper to live with which is why it is the most popular model, especially with 4MOTION.
Is the 2023 VW Atlas safe?
The Volkswagen Atlas is a really safe car is got a perfect rating from all the credible crash testing organizations, including the IIHS. As such, you should not worry about safety with the Atlas because it gets an abundance of airbags, and a whole host of technology assistance features which will both keep you safe and comfortable no matter the environment.
Which cars rival the VW Atlas?
The Atlas compares with SUVs such as the Kia Telluride, the Hyundai Palisade, the Honda Pilot, the Grand Cherokee, the Ford Explorer, and the Chevy Tahoe. Out of all these, I’d say that the Atlas feels the most luxurious and most special, but many other SUVs in this segment do beat the Atlas when it comes to reliability.