Check Drive: 2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL | The Each day Drive

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL in Opal White (a $395 colour choice)

Consumer Guide Test Drive

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL 4Motion

Class: Midsize Crossover

Shade: Opal White

Miles pushed: 140

CG Report Card
Room and Consolation A
Energy and Efficiency B+
Match and End A
Gas Economic system B+
Worth A-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus different automobiles in the identical class. Worth grade is for particular trim degree evaluated, and should not mirror Shopper Information’s impressions of your complete mannequin lineup.
Large & Tall Consolation
Large Man A
Tall Man A
Large & Tall consolation scores are for entrance seats solely. “Large” ranking primarily based on male tester weighing roughly 350 kilos, “Tall” ranking primarily based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Engine Specs 269-horsepower 2.0-liter
Engine Kind Turbocharged 4
Transmission 8-speed automated
Drive Wheels AWD

Noticed gas financial system: 21.3 mpg

Driving combine: 60% metropolis, 40% freeway

EPA-estimated gas financial system: 19/26/22 (mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed)

Snow Efficiency: N/A

Base worth: $48,445 (not together with $1350 vacation spot cost)

Choices on take a look at automobile: Particular paint ($395)

Value as examined: $50,190


Fast Hits

The good: Spacious and premium-feeling cabin, wonderful highway manners

The great: Moderately straightforward on the gasoline, loads of energy

The not so good: Gradual and glitchy digital interface, an excessive amount of engine noise


Tom Appel:

For those who discovered the final episode of “Higher Name Saul” irritating, then you definitely probably respect my emotions concerning the up to date for 2024 Volkswagen Atlas. A lot as “Saul” was a superb TV present, the newly freshened midsize Atlas crossover is a standout automobile in some ways, although it’s removed from excellent. And, it’s kind of that final episode that will get you.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

For 2024 the Atlas underwent minor beauty surgical procedure, all for the higher we’d argue, and had its two-drivetrain invoice of fare trimmed to a single providing. Probably the most important replace nevertheless, comes contained in the Atlas, nevertheless. The cabin has been retrimmed as a part of a luxury-themed makeover, and the brand new Atlas comes off as legitimately premium, particularly for the worth.

The perfect information is that Atlas stays one of many roomiest and most space-efficient choices within the midsize crossover class. Additionally it is among the many most rewarding of its friends to drive. Rating one for conventional VW sportiness, a factor we oldtimers started to fret was misplaced.

2024 North American Auto Present Schedule

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

For 2024 Atlas is obtainable in 4 trim ranges, base SE ($37,725), SE with Know-how ($41,665), SEL ($48,445), and SEL Premium R-Line ($52,466). Additionally out there is the mechanically related fastback-bodied Atlas Cross Spot which we’ll evaluation shortly.

Shopper Information lately spent per week behind the wheel of a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL with no choices in extra-cost Opal White. And, as famous above, we had been usually impressed, although there are two sticking factors, each of which we’ll handle presently.

Check Drive: 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Altitude

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

Let’s begin with the excellent news: The Atlas cabin is nothing wanting fabulous. The cool, elegant, and fashionable Atlas cabin is each ethereal and spacious, and lined with high-end materials and accented with premium-looking wooden accents. We’d not be disillusioned to search out décor of this grade in a automobile itemizing for half once more as a lot cash.

Getting into and exiting the entrance two seating rows is simple, as all 4 doorways open extensive, and Atlas’s trip top accommodates easy ingress. The third row, too, is comparatively straightforward to entry, particularly for the younger and lithe folks more likely to be headed to again that means.

Our sole cabin grievance facilities on the infotainment system, and the baffling and largely ineffective touchscreen interface. Not solely is the system sluggish to answer contact inputs, its format and menu system is gorgeous counterintuitive and unusually out of sync with the methods present in different automobiles on this class—or any class. What passes for a house display is confusingly segmented into a number of parts, a few of which—for no apparently motive—to not function hyperlinks to a deeper menu.

However, worst of all—at the least for this writer–is that the media display can’t be reached instantly, however should be accessed through a secondary display which—for no good motive—all the time shows each track loaded onto the related system in alphabetical order. As I’ve 12,000 songs on my telephone, this display serves me no worth. After a delay of a number of minutes—typically the size of two songs—a more-or-less typical media display does seem, however the info displayed is mostly for the flawed track, and album-cover picture displayed are from a monitor heard a number of items in the past. For somebody who typically spends time within the automotive simply to hearken to music, this infotainment system is a dealbreaker.

All of this musical heartbreak is made extra irritating by the truth that the usual Atlas SEL 6-speaker audio methods is sort of good.

2023 Detroit Auto Present: 2024 GMC Acadia

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

Additionally, and is that this simply unusual, the console quantity management takes the type of a rheostatic strip situated below the touchscreen. The interface isn’t particularly responsive to the touch, and is troublesome to make use of with any precision. Additionally, it isn’t backlit, so it can’t be situated or used at night time. Fortunately the steering-wheel audio management works simply positive.

On the highway the Atlas usually shines. Probably to the chagrin of some returning Atlas consumers, the super-smooth 3.6-liter V6 has been retired for 2024, changed in all fashions by an up-power 2.0-turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant, the “EVO4.”

Volkswagen code EA888, the brand new 4-cylinder engine produces a reported 269 horsepower, that’s considerably greater than the earlier era 4 (235), and simply shy of the retired V6 (276). And, per VW, the brand new engine cranks out extra torque than both of the previous engines.

On the highway the brand new engine proves itself stout, however energy supply is a bit raucous. And, on this level we remind consumers why take a look at drives are so necessary when selecting a automobile.

Check Drive: 2023 Buick Enclave Avenir

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

This writer discovered the brand new engine nicely matched to the Atlas’s 8-speed automated transmission, offering wonderful throttle response from any pace. The engine just isn’t quiet, nevertheless, serving up a sporty roar when pushed to ship something greater than routine-drive energy. The time period “sporty” is subjective, nevertheless, and different tester discovered the engine noise to crude, and inappropriate for a automobile on this class. The consensus opinion is that the V6 engine was higher suited to the core Atlas mission than is the brand new 4-cylinder, which per one evaluator, simply sounds overworked.

There isn’t a quibble about how the Atlas performs on the highway, nevertheless. The large Volkswagen ranks among the many best-handling midsize crossovers, with surprisingly agency and communicative steering, and nice highway really feel. Journey high quality can also be wonderful, even over damaged highway surfaces. Consumers on the lookout for long-trip household consolation will discover the Atlas worthy of consideration.

Just like the final episode of Higher Name Saul, the up to date for 2024 Atlas disappoints ultimately. And, just like the Saul ending, the Atlas’s infotainment system and coarse-sounding engine louse up what’s in any other case wonderful stuff. However, in the event you don’t thoughts the touchscreen setup, and you discover the engine sound sporty—somewhat than crude—when pushed, by all means take an in depth take a look at this elegant, refined, and fairly priced crossover. And, fingers crossed, perhaps there’s a software program replace on the best way for the digital stuff.

First Spin: 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL
2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

Take heed to the Automobile Stuff Podcast

Comply with Tom on Twitter

2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Gallery

Click on beneath for enlarged pictures

Check Drive: 2024 Mazda CX-90

Shopper Information Automobile Stuff Podcast, Episode 191: Silverado EV, UAW Strike, Electrical Automobile Demand