Car Review: 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport loses third row seat, gains flashy style

In the span of only a few years, Volkswagen has gone from looking in on the competition to actually competing in the mid-size crossover market. The new VW Atlas Cross Sport comes with boxy style and a large interior with three usable rows. It’s a serious player. For 2020, the stylish new Atlas Cross Sport hits the market.

While just as large, a sloping roofline and angled rear hatch make it seem smaller than it is. The SEL R-Line trim I drove looks like a big dollar ride with flashy 21-inch wheels, stylish grill, bumpers and small trim pieces that help the big Atlas Cross Sport stand out.

While you lose the third row of seats due to the sporty roofline, space is still ample. Front and back seat riders will find it spacious. The cargo area is huge, so long trips with all your gear shouldn’t be an issue. Thankfully, Volkswagen has upped its technology inside with a digital cockpit with high-res screens, replacing the standard analog gauges and allowing the NAV screen to be in front of you.

Driving the Atlas Cross Sport with the available V6 engine is the way to go if you usually fill all the seats or want to tow 5,000 lbs. I found the ride decent, even with larger wheels with lower-profile tires. The interior is hushed, and the enormous panoramic sunroof lets in light that the smaller side windows may not.

Cost: $44,945; as tested $46,200
MPG: 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway; I managed 20 mpg in 197 miles of mixed driving.
Safety: Dynamic road sign assist; adaptive cruise control stop & go; park distance control front & rear; forward collision warning & autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian monitor; lane-keep assist & traffic jam assist; active blind spot monitor & rear cross traffic alert; high beam control; automatic post-collision braking system.
Options: $235 Monster Mats, set of 4 with heavy duty trunk liner.
Things to know: The Atlas Cross Sport is a new sporty version of the three-row Atlas. With more style and packed with technology, the latest crossover from VW moves the needle in the mid-size class.

Pros:

  • Improved style with more car like roofline
  • Ample space for front and back seat riders
  • Improved technology with new Traffic Jam Assist

Cons:

  • You lose the third row from the regular Atlas model
  • Fuel economy isn’t very good with the V6
  • Not the most power in its class

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