Volkswagen Canada invited me out to the 2018 Canadian International Autoshow to check out this years line up. There were a lot of great cars to see such as a redesigned Jetta, the really fast electric Golf-R and the newest addition, the VW Arteon. The Arteon is a really sleek but elegant looking sedan that manages to look premium but yet sporty. The car that really caught my family’s attention was the Volkswagen Atlas.
The Atlas is Volkswagen’s biggest SUV, it has three-rows, is a seven seater with lots of space and most importantly has tons of leg room. As a family, having a third row is super important. The kids car seats take up two spaces in the second row only leaving a bit of space for someone to squeeze into the middle uncomfortably. Having that third row allows us to carry extra passengers like the babysitter, aka grandma and grandpa. What surprised us is how easy it is to get into the third row. The seat folds and slide, which allows easier entry than other SUVs that only slide. I find that with some SUVs getting into the third row forces you to perform a contortion act.
The Atlas is quite long at 200 inches leaving enough trunk space with the third row up to comfortably fit a stroller and some bags. I do also like how there’s an option to buy it with bucket seats or what Volkswagen calls them, captain chairs. These chairs are much more comfortable and versatile to use. To make this possible, the middle seat in the second row has to be removed. But the benefit is easier access to installing and removing car seats. More leg room for people sitting in the third row and the ability to recline the second row chairs. If you have two kids with two car seats, the middle seat in the second row becomes pretty much useless making this upgrade worth it.
The Tech that comes with a car plays a major role on my purchase decision. The problem is that a lot of car manufacturers are either forcing customers to use their really bad infotainment system or only giving you the option to use either CarPlay or Android Auto. I love the fact that the Atlas and the majority of VW cars come with both CarPlay and Android Auto. I switch between smartphones quite frequently making it impossible to be tied down to only one ecosystem. Plus what if your significant other uses an iPhone and yourself an Android device but you both share the car? Hands free driving is really important for safety, especially when you have little ones riding in the back. Pairing your smartphone to your car should be easy and I like that VW has made it a simple process.
The rest of the interior is laid out really well with lots of compartments to store things. The display is a good size and the interior trim doesn’t look or feel cheap. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to test drive it, so I can’t speak to its performance but my first initial impressions were quite positive.
The Atlas manages to fill a void in Volkswagens line up. For our family the Tiguan was too small and the Touareg a bit too expensive. But the Atlas is priced right, has tons of space for our family and comes with both Android Auto and CarPlay.