2022 Volkswagen Atlas

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  • Overview

    A grey 2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE is shown facing left.

    What is all the buzz surrounding the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas? In the competitive midsize SUV segment, the Atlas shines as a roomy, seven-passenger SUV with tons of cargo space and classic lines that defy the egg-like shape favored by most crossovers today. Practical German engineering abounds, resulting in excellent performance and years of reliability.

    If you’re seeking a family-friendly SUV with room to grow, but you don’t want to deal with a full-size vehicle, the Atlas might be “just right” for you. Behind the third row sits an ample 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space, but with both sets of back seats down, you can say goodbye to borrowing the neighbor’s pickup for a trip to the dump because the Atlas offers 96.8 total cubic feet of space.

    Another telltale sign that the Atlas embraces its German origins is the minimalist interior. Inside, designers made good use of every nook and cranny with an assortment of storage cubbies to keep the kids’ gear tucked away and out of sight. Driver ergonomics are thoughtfully attended to via a well-designed dash and a floor-mounted shifter. The infotainment screen is within easy reach as well, so you can change the song on your playlist without taking your eyes off the road.

    Notably, the third row offers plenty of room for adults to stretch out, so you won’t hear griping from whichever kid ends up in the way back after rock-paper-scissors. That’s an impressive accomplishment for an SUV that manages to stay in the midsize category. Add to that, the Atlas has an impressive tow rating and a futuristic array of infotainment and driver-assist safety technology, so this family-friendly SUV jumps to the top of the list.


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  • Safety

    A family is shown inside of a 2022 Volkswagen Atlas.

    Innovative Safety Features

    The 2022 Volkswagen Atlas is one of the safer SUVs in the category. Among its many standard passive safety features are six airbags scattered throughout the cabin and the Intelligent Crash Response System, which automatically unlocks the doors, activates the hazard lights, and shuts off the fuel pump after a collision.

    The Atlas features a long list of driver-assist technologies that tap into cameras, sensors, and radar to constantly monitor road conditions and alert the driver to potential hazards. Standard on all Atlas trims is Post-Collision Braking System. It works by applying the brakes when the airbag sensors detect a collision, thereby reducing the likelihood that additional damage/injury could occur after the initial impact.

    IQ.DRIVE Driver-Assist Technology

    IQ.DRIVE is a robust suite of semi-autonomous driver assistance tech. IQ.DRIVE includes the following systems:

    • Travel Assist - This system utilizes Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Assist to keep the vehicle a safe distance from the car ahead and centered in its lane with gentle steering nudges and automatic speed adjustments.
    • Front Assist - Also called Forward Collision Warning, Front Assist monitors the area ahead of the vehicle for cars and pedestrians and warns the driver if a collision is possible. It can also provide emergency braking in extreme situations.
    • Active Side Assist - Side Assist monitors the vehicle’s blind spots and alerts the driver visually and audibly if an unsafe lane change is attempted. Active Side Assist can automatically counter steer to keep the car in its intended land of travel.
    • Rear Traffic Alert - This system monitors up to 65 feet on either side as the vehicle is backing up and alerts the driver to oncoming traffic, providing automatic braking if necessary to avoid a collision.
    • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) Stop and Go - A forward-facing radar monitors the road ahead to maintain a preset distance from any traffic. If the vehicle ahead comes to a stop, the system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop safely.
    • Lane Assist - This system works when the vehicle is traveling more than 40 mph. It notifies the driver when it senses the vehicle is drifting out of its intended lane of travel and also warns the driver if it senses their hands are off the wheel.
    • Emergency Assist - This system is designed to bring the vehicle to a safe, complete stop if the driver cannot do so for any reason. It does so by monitoring the driver’s hands on the steering wheel. If there is no driver input, the system will send a series of warnings. After that, the car will automatically come to a complete stop, and the hazards will be activated.
  • Features

    A blue 2022 Volkswagen Atlas SEL is shown from the front on an open road.

    Functional Design and Premium Feel

    The first adjective that comes to mind when you slide behind the wheel of the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas is functional. Next, you’ll undoubtedly notice the cabin’s premium feel. That’s thanks to details like available ambient lighting, contrast stitching throughout the seating surfaces, and ample charging ports scattered across all three rows. Speaking of seating, buyers can choose from a second-row bench seat or a set of captain’s chairs, depending on passenger volume needs.

    Because the Atlas makes good use of its cavernous spaces, all three rows offer comfortable dimensions and plenty of legroom. The available tri-zone automatic climate control puts everyone in control of their comfort. High-end Premium trims receive heated outboard seats in the second row, and everyone benefits from the available 480-watt, 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio system.

    Driver-Centric Technology

    Technology highlights the model’s list of driver-centric features. For 2022, all Atlas trims receive the Volkswagen MIB infotainment touchscreen. Instead of a resistive screen, this screen uses capacitive input so users can swipe and utilize pinch-to-zoom to zero in on key data. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard for seamless smartphone integration.

    All Atlas trims except the base SE receive the MIB3 (third-gen) 8-inch screen, along with a wireless charger and wireless smartphone connectivity that allows for multiple phones to connect. SEL and higher trims also offer standard navigation and the Discover Media system, which includes SiriusXM with 360L. Adding a subscription to Car-Net connected services adds real-time traffic updates to the navigation system.

  • Performance

    A silver 2022 Volkswagen Atlas R is shown driving on an open road.

    Two Powerful Engine Options

    Choosing the amount of power and fuel economy you need is easy when you select a 2022 VW Atlas. The midsize SUV offers two different powertrains, both designed with auto stop/start technology to optimize performance and provide fuel-sipping cost efficiency. The first is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

    This model's powerful 2.0-liter engine is lightweight and compact. It’s designed to run cooler and warm up faster, and the available remote start system ensures drivers will always slide into an SUV that’s ready to go. Still, if 235 ponies aren’t enough, Volkswagen offers a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing, a 276-horsepower rating, and 266 lb-ft of torque. Choosing the V6 also gets you a standard trailer hitch and a tow rating of up to 5,000 pounds. If you opt for the four-cylinder, your tow rating sits at 2,000 pounds.

    Advanced Traction

    All 2022 Atlas trims are offered with optional 4Motion all-wheel drive. The system kicks in before it detects wheel spin, a sign of early traction loss. That means your Atlas goes on the offensive in wet, slippery road conditions to prevent a loss of control, so get ready to be the go-to carpool parent on rainy or snowy days.

    When additional traction isn’t necessary, the 4Motion system automatically defaults to front-wheel drive to save fuel. Because VW has tuned its all-wheel drive functionality to react in hundredths of a second, if road conditions abruptly change or your vehicle steers into a patch of ice, the 4Motion system will kick in and send necessary torque to the rear wheels.

    Another key safety feature that’s part of the 4Motion system is Active Control. It features a series of driver-selectable modes that are pre-tuned for specific driving conditions. Drive modes include Onroad, Snow, Offroad, and Custom Offroad. Within the Onroad setting, drivers can fine-tune their ride to Normal, Sport, Comfort, or Individual, the latter of which is a fully-customizable setting.

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