2018
New 2022

Volkswagen Atlas

It's been a long time in the making, but Volkswagen is finally offering an SUV that was designed with the qualities that American buyers crave, putting size and functionality front and center. It may not possess Volkswagen's traditional premium air, but the Atlas proved thoroughly competitive against its established three-row SUV peers.
Alerts
There are 15 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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NA
2021
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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2021
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. FCW, AEB, BSW, and RCTW standard from 2019.
Road Test

It's been a long time in the making, but Volkswagen is finally offering an SUV that was designed with the qualities that American buyers crave, putting size and functionality front and center. It may not possess Volkswagen's traditional premium air, but the Atlas proved thoroughly competitive against its established three-row SUV peers. With its competent ride and handling, quiet cabin, easy-to-use controls, and generous interior accommodations, the Atlas is one SUV that shoppers shouldn't shrug at.

Of course, VW is no stranger to SUVs, but the original Tiguan and the larger Touareg were too small and too expensive. The Tennessee-built Atlas takes a different path. Volkswagen's big SUV trumps most of its competitors in second- and third-row room. It also offers a unique second row: By using a lever with just one hand, the row effortlessly pivots and slides out of the way, opening a large access path to the third-row seats. And the Atlas also eclipses its competitors in terms of cargo capacity when the second- and third-row seats are folded. Towing capacity is a generous 5,000 pounds.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD, Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (235 hp)
  • 3.6-liter V6 (276 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Volkswagen Atlas owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Moon roof leaked after heavy rains, the dealer said they could not reproduce it. Later there was a manufacturer recall for the same, the dealer fixed it at that time. Unfortunately the water dripped onto the large touch screen, which now occasionally becomes unresponsive. Again, dealer service can not reproduce it. J cam only hope it won't get worse with time."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Water dripped down from the headliner right over rear view mirror. Happened once, but it really ran into the car. Have since been notified of a recall that will fix the problem of sunroof drain easily clogging."

Anonymous, ME (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Sunroof water leak. Problem solved when they changed hoses and connector in pillar A."

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Leak in sunroof"

Anonymous, MA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Weather stripping was a problem that was annoying at highway speeds."

Ronald G., NC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Discovered water leaking in the interior around the hatch when parked pointing 'downhill" for the first time in the rain. Had owned the SUV for a little over a month. The interior sidewalls were soaked and it looked like the hatch seal was leaking. Took it to the local VW dealer who tried to claim problem looked like it had been repaired before and wasn't covered under warranty. They did some type of repair to the hatch gasket that seemed to work ......until it rained again. This time they removed headliner and sprayed water on the top. Found leak at antenna. Repaire. Replaced headliner, no problems since. There were a lot of comments about leaks around doors in on-line groups."

Anonymous, KY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"Noise in heat/air cond. system. Dash removed to correct problem. Worked fine for a while, noise has returned. System makes a pulsating sound at low speeds. Some rattles. Believe may be in the baffling system as 2007 Passat has a similar problem."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"The front-end noise was a result of the struts in the suspension system. It has been corrected. I believe this was a product defect during the manufacturing process. I understand this has been corrected in later models."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"The noise was a rattle on the front passenger side. The dealer resolved the issue by replacing the sway bar."

Scott R., IL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Replaced actuator in passenger window."

Lee M., CO (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"A low-pitch squeak audible whenever the vehicle was being driven at lower speeds and without climate control or audio turned on. Heard with every single tiny bump in the road, or when car would come to a stop. Turned out to be a part on the front driver's side that had dried out, according to the dealership. It was replaced and the problem solved."

Anonymous, ON (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"The car was recalled for knocking noise at front end."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"I had a rattle behind the dash. First dealer could not locate problem. Second dealer found loose wires that needed to be tied up."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"About one year into ownership I noticed when my vehicle was first driven I heard a creaking noise from the front suspension as the body shifted. It would subside when the car warmed up. The problem worsened over the past two years in volume and duration. Multiple repair attempts have been made at different dealerships and all have not been able to fix the problem. My vehicle has been at the dealership for 40 days at this point for the 7th attempt to repair the vehicle. Totally unacceptable after spending over $50K. Also, knowing there was a recall on Rear Coil Springs which could cause loss of control, and knowing my front spring was malformed and replaced in the location I have the noise is very concerning."

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Overhead console rattles near windshield"

Anonymous, MI (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Wind noise

"Wind noise at highway speed was annoying. Dealer could not resolve the problem."

Ronald G., NC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"minor wind noise on the front door leading edgef"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Occasional wind noise ( whistling type noise) from side mirrors at higher speeds"

Anonymous, MI (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"Dealer performed service based on service bulletin. Emission sensors indicated failure after the work (check engine light came on). Dealer ended up replacing most of the sensors in the system as well as replacing some exhaust pipes."

Anonymous, VA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Catalytic converter had to be replaced. Was done under warranty"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"broken sensor - replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"We kept getting an engine warning and it was a failed catalytic converter. Dealer paid for it as car was under warranty."

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas Unsure 3.6-L V6)
Fuel pump

"Took vehicle to the mountains parked in a hill facing down over night with over a 1/4 tank of fuel and did not start the following morning. The Volkswagen dealer did an excellent job diagnosis the problem."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"Check engine light kept coming on repeatedly. We were told it was a sensor issue and they also replaced a larger component as well. Would not allow the remote start to operate during the winter."

Anonymous, AB (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"EVAP P0456 problem: faulty sensor caused engine light to stay on"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Cruise control

"Automatic cruise control stopped working, required 3 days at dealership on a road-trip to repair. Also, automatic ignition off-on drained battery, had to leave car at dealer for a week and a half to get a new battery (apparently VW had put wrong batteries in initial models). Very frustrated with all electronics on car."

Anonymous, ON (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Gauges

"It's very hard to know if my headlights are on or off. There is no headlight indicator in automatic mode. The ETE for fuel range over-estimates range by a factor of 2."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"airflow decreased dramatically since purchase anemic at best"

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Remote engine starter

"The remote range is very short. You can remote start to the curb, but if you want to cool off or warm up the car and it's more than 10 yards away, it probably won't work."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Warning lights

"Check engine light came for no reason on again and again. After 3rd visit, fully solved, no more issues ever.. or before..."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Needed software update, inconvenient but nothing serious though."

Anonymous, ON (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"The passenger's seat sensor sometimes believes that someone is sitting there, when they are not. This causes the seat belt warning and air bag warning to go off nonstop which can be annoying, to say the least."

Anonymous, SC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Android Auto

"The screen will turn black and be unresponsive. Generally if I hold the power button for a long time it will reset eventually."

Baynazier A., AZ (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Android Auto intially worked but then stopped. Bluetooth does work. However, I am not able to listen to music on my phone either. Just talk on the cell phone. At one point Android Auto began to work again and then stopped. I talked to the dealer but they did not have any real ideas. I feel like VW want to just blame the cell phone people. I use Google Maps on my phone since I can't use the mapping in Android Auto and my Atlas SEL does not have built in mapping. At some point I will need to deal with VW but I haven't had the time or interest."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"It does not consistently work. It will discontent randomly."

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas Unsure Unsure)
Apple CarPlay

"Inexplicably, the system gets stuck on mute when in CarPlay mode - seemingly randomly. Other users have had the same problem. No solution."

Anonymous, ON (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Catalytic converter

"Engine light came on. Catalytic converter has to be replaced"

Ahmed K., VA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Recalled twice for catalytic converter system"

Anonymous, (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Other/unsure

"I believe the malfunctioning in the ACC was a product defect when the vehicle was manufactured. I understand that VW has correctly the issue."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Maneuver braking would engage at times when exiting a parking lot onto a street, especially if it was a steep angle. The system works, meaning it engages ABS and stops the car, but it engages at inappropriate times, stopping the car in the middle of the lane unexpectedly in the middle of traffic. VW was unable to isolate the problem or repair it. We have had to turn the feature off for safety."

William W., CA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Automatic climate control

"The air temperature at low settings, cold, have a very small range and do not appear to be temperature related. The control is just a dial, no temperature. To get into Max AC mode, I have to increase the fan speed and set control to max on dial."

Kathy H., TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Passenger side began blowing non stop very hot air."

Terry T., TX (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

"Fan became loud. Replaced under VW warranty."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Refrigerant leaks

"The car was also recalled for AC leak check."

Anonymous, FL (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

"Shift points can be erratic."

Bret F., NY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)
Slipping transmission

"Loud squealing noise coming from transmission, at low speed (10-20 km/h), when accelerating and under load. Feels like loss of power or slipping in gearing transition. Reported to Dealer and then to VW Canada, they say it is caused by bubbles in the transmission fluid and that it is a normal noise!"

Dale B., BC (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"Shifting issues caused engine RPM to race, intermittently caused acceleration from stops and or passing to be problematic and arguably posed a safety issue."

Anonymous, NY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"Check engine light - rough running - intermittent - multiple occurrences - dealer said I need to use Top Tier gas - switch in gas helped, but still happens occasionally"

Jay M., ME (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

"In cold weather, engine would run rough and/or not start at all.Check engine light and other messages would appear. This happen 5 or 6 times over the course of the first winter. At first dealer could not find problem. After third visit to dealer they said I needed to use different gas, Top Tier gas. I made the change and slowly, over the next few thousand miles, prob;em disappeared."

Anonymous, ME (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Battery (not hybrid or electric)

"battery died for no reason"

Anonymous, TN (2018 Volkswagen Atlas Unsure Unsure)
Electronic ignition

"could not start vehicle when it stopped running"

Anonymous, TN (2018 Volkswagen Atlas Unsure Unsure)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Noticed slow coolant loss once the car was about a year old. Head gaskets replaced under warranty because manufacturer felt this was the cause."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Bought new and it has a circle where the paint has a different texture. Dealer will fix."

Anonymous, MD (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"Battery had to be replaced, not well matched to the cars electrical system. Keyless starters battery failed had to be replaced."

Anonymous, MI (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Crack developed in windshield after a cold weather spell. Was not caused by rock or other object striking glass."

Anonymous, KY (2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 3.6-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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