2018 Volkswagen Atlas


Ranked #11 in Midsize Suv

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Starting MSRP $30,750 - $48,740
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Key Spec of 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
fuel economy


fuel type

Premium Unleaded


235 hp @ 4500 rpm

basic warranty

6yr./ 72,000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Huge cabin and accommodating third row

Not as fast as some rivals

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is an all-new product.

Agile handling for the class

Lags in terms of fuel efficiency, especially with the V6

Impressive infotainment system

Base 2.0L TSI is not offered with AWD

Great optional 4Motion AWD system

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: February 3, 2023

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

Stepping out of its cocoon, Volkswagen has finally adhered to the American mentality with the all-new 2018 Atlas, which is slotted above the existing Touareg and Tiguan models. Unlike typical VWs, the Atlas sports massive dimensions, three spacious rows, and is exclusive to the US market only. The three-row crossover gets the MQB platform from VW. The 2018 Atlas comes in six trims starting from just under $31,750 and ranges under $48,740, for the V6 SEL Premium trim. Furthermore, depending on the trim, the 2018 Atlas can tow anywhere from 2000 to 5000 lbs.

VW claims that this SUV has been designed keeping in mind the needs of Americans, and indeed it is. Offering stupendous ride quality and practicality, the only drawback is the lack of power under the hood. The Atlas is powered by either a turbocharged 2.0L inline four-cylinder or a NA 3.6L V6 engine. Also, the 2018 Atlas welcomes excitingly new technology, both on the interior front and the safety front, with the latest active and passive tech.

Trim wise pricing breakdown

NameInvoice PriceMSRPNumber of Listings
Launch Edition 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 8A)$32367$3375044 Listings
Launch Edition 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)$34093$3555039 Listings
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Over All Rating

7.6Out of 10

Notable Rankings

#11 in Midsize Suv

#17 in Suv


S$30,750 onwards
  • Bench seat in the second row
  • Blind-Spot monitoring
  • Cloth seating
  • Dual-Zone manual climate control
  • Forward collision mitigation
  • Led automatic headlights
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera
Launch Edition$33,750 onwards
  • 8-Inch touchscreen w/ satellite radio
  • Homelink programmable garage door opener
  • Panoramic sunroof
SEL$33,840 onwards
  • Hands-Free rear liftgate
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Led taillights
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Park distance control
  • Power-Adjustable front passenger's seat
  • Volkswagen Digital Cockpit
SEL$33,840 onwards
  • Hands-Free rear liftgate
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Led taillights
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Park distance control
  • Power-Adjustable front passenger's seat
  • Volkswagen Digital Cockpit
SE$35,240 onwards
  • 8-Inch touchscreen interface
  • Car-Net subscription services
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Power driver's seat
  • Push-Button start
  • Rear sunshades
  • Simulated-Leather upholstery
  • Three-Zone automatic climate control
SE Technology$35,940 onwards

Used Volkswagen Atlas For Sale

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Price Drop, $500
23 Dec 2022
Greenville, SC

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

SEL 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $304/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,593 Below market
RMV: $26,990
Mileage 80,869 mi.
Listed On 28 Nov 2022 (119 Days)
Price Drop, $1000
29 Dec 2022
Totowa, NJ

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE

SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $230/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,417 Below market
RMV: $20,388
Mileage 106,508 mi.
Listed On 22 Dec 2022 (95 Days)
Price Drop, $2
14 Dec 2022
Jacksonville, FL

2018 Volkswagen Atlas Launch Edition

Launch Edition 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $203/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,009 Below market
RMV: $18,007
Mileage 113,005 mi.
Listed On 26 Aug 2022 (213 Days)
Price Drop, $200
22 Jan 2022
Elmhurst, NY

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL

SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $321/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,672 Below market
RMV: $28,372
Mileage 102,197 mi.
Listed On 08 Dec 2021 (474 Days)
Price Rise, $1010
12 Aug 2022
Eastchester, NY

2018 Volkswagen Atlas S

S 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 235 hp 8A)

Est. $303/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,344 Below market
RMV: $26,729
Mileage 39,015 mi.
Listed On 01 Jun 2022 (299 Days)
Price Drop, $1978
13 Oct 2022
Southern Pines, NC

2019 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium

SEL Premium 4MOTION 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $380/mo
Excellent Deal
$5,422 Below market
RMV: $33,421
Mileage 82,415 mi.
Listed On 22 Jul 2022 (248 Days)
Manassas, VA

2019 Volkswagen Atlas SE Technology

SE w/Technology 4MOTION 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $298/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,150 Below market
RMV: $26,145
Mileage 85,585 mi.
Listed On 02 Nov 2022 (145 Days)
Price Drop, $793
5 Oct 2022
Honolulu, HI

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE Technology

SE w/Technology 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $312/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,294 Below market
RMV: $27,289
Mileage 81,385 mi.
Listed On 08 Aug 2022 (231 Days)
Price Drop, $1000
19 Dec 2022
Derry, NH

2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium

SEL Premium 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)

Est. $271/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,716 Below market
RMV: $23,711
Mileage 119,147 mi.
Listed On 19 Jul 2022 (251 Days)

Colors and Styles

Build Car
Deep Black Pearl

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The mid-size SUV segment is dominated by American and Japanese products with a conspicuous absence of a German product. That’s changed with the introduction of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas – the first German mid-size SUV for the masses with a starting price of $30,750. It’s available with an efficient 2.0L TSI engine but the majority of the Atlas lineup comes with a larger 3.6L V6.

However, the V6 feels gutless among some competitors. The MQB chassis and the efficient 4Motion AWD setup are the only saving grace on the performance front. The rivals of the same include the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and the Toyota Highlander.



The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas comes in over 6 trims, namely S, V6 S, V6 SE, V6 SE w/Technology, V6 SEL, and V6 SEL Premium. With a starting price of $30,750, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is one of the cheapest mid-size SUVs you can buy. While its base 2.0L TSI is impressive, you have to get the V6 for unlocking AWD if you live in snow-affected areas. Advanced active safety features start pouring in from V6 SE with technology package and the V6 SEL premium tops the range with a price tag of $48,740, which is outright premium territory.

Trims S V6 S V6 SE V6 SE w/Technology V6 SEL V6 SEL Premium
MSRP (FWD) $30,750 $32,150 $35,240 $37,340 $41,140 N/A
MSRP (AWD) N/A $33,950 $37,040 $39,140 $42,940 $48,740
Key Features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto The V6 S includes: The V6 SE includes: The V6 SE w/ Technology includes: The V6 SEL includes: The V6 SEL Premium w/ 4MOTION includes:
  Dual-zone automatic climate control Panaromic sunroof Four USB ports Climatronic three-zone climate control Power tilting/sliding panoramic sunroof 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system
  Volkswagen Car-Net App-Connect 8-inch touchscreen with satellite radio Automatic headlights Remote power liftgate with closing assist Front seats, 10-way power Volkswagen Digital Cockpit
  LED headlights   Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Traffic Alert Lane Keeping assist and automatic emergency braking Adaptive Cruise Control Discover Media touchscreen navigation

We Recommend

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 SE w/Technology is surely an impressive offering considering the $37,340 price-tag. The V6 engine unit with the 4Motion AWD in itself will hook you onto the Atlas. Add to it various other creature comforts, and the best-in-class tech features, and there you have it- a sheer value-based proposition for the price.

Engine and Performance


With the exception of a horsepower deficit, the Atlas is a pretty pleasant crossover to wheel around, especially considering its size - Edmunds

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas comes over with two different engine options. The base and the standard engine with the Atlas is the 2.0L turbocharged Inline-4 unit, which puts out 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Then there is the optional engine on offer, which is a 3.6L V6 engine that puts out 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. Having said that, the smaller Inline-4 develops almost as much torque as the larger V6. However, even the more powerful 3.6L V6 with 266 lb-ft of torque can struggle at times pushing this over 4000 pounds of VW SUV. Regardless of the engine, a silky smooth 8-speed automatic is the only available transmission.

While the base 2.0L I4 is only available with FWD, the 3.6L V6 can be equipped with a Volkswagen 4Motion All-Wheel Drive system. The 4Motion AWD seems more sort of a marketing gimmick, as it too does find it hard to carry the 4000 lb Atlas SUV off-road. Coming onto the competition at hand, the Chevrolet Traverse is the most powerful SUV in the segment, with its 305 hp engine and the smooth 9-speed AT. Moreover, it also offers sheer performance for a decent price tag.

The 2.0L TSI-backed 2018 Volkswagen Atlas does 0-60 MPH run in just 7.2 seconds, all the while crossing the quarter-mile mark in just about 16 seconds. Moreover, the Atlas powered by the V6 engine is, even more, slower than the Inline-4 engine, as it takes 7.9 seconds to do the 0-60 MPH run. This is despite the 41 hp and 8 lb-ft increase that the V6 gets. However, Atlas V6 also weighs 500 pounds more. This explains the ambiguity in acceleration.

Models 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 2018 Toyota Highlander
MSRP $30,750 $30,900 $30,925 $31,030
Engine 3.6L inline NA V6 3.5L NA V6 3.6L NA V6 3.5L NA V6
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Power 276 hp @ 6200 RPM 280 hp @ 6000 RPM 305 hp @ 6800 RPM 295 hp @ 6600 RPM
Torque 266 lb-ft @ 2750 RPM 262 lb-ft @ 4700 RPM 260 lb-ft @ 2800 RPM 263 lb-ft @ 4700 RPM
0-60 MPH 7.2 secs 6.9 sec 7.3 sec 7.0 sec
Quarter mile 16 secs 15.3 sec 15.2 sec 15.6 sec

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas now rides on the MQB platform, which is used on many other VW offerings. That there should tell you that the Atlas has covered the ride and handling dynamics effortlessly. The Atlas has a stiff structure, that is able to negate each and every bump and soaks up all of the small impacts. The steering wheel is rather quite responsive, rather than delivering outright feel like the VW Golf offers. A true-long distance hauler, its potent suspension setup also manages to soak up all the bumps throughout the road. Also, there are plenty of driver-selectable modes perfect for different terrains. This is only further aided by the 4Motion AWD setup.

Fuel Economy


The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, with its base 2.0L turbocharged engine, is EPA-rated at 17 MPG in the city, and 23 miles to the gallon out on the highway. Now naturally opting for the 3.6L V6 engine, is going to bring those figures down, as the 2018 Atlas now delivers 18 MPG and 25 MPG in the city and highway respectively. This is with the FWD setup.

Model 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 2018 Toyota Highlander
MPG (city) 17 19 18 20
MPG (highway) 23 27 27 27
MPG (combined) 19 22 21 23
Fuel Capacity 18.6 gallons 19.5 gallons 19.0 gallons 19.2 gallons

Opt for the optional 4Motion AWD setup, and the 2018 VW Atlas delivers 17 and 23 MPG in the city and highway respectively. While that’s worse than what the competition has to offer, even though the competition uses significantly more powerful V6 engines. Moreover, to reduce fuel wastage, the Atlas also comes with a Start-Stop system, that cuts off the engine at the required time.



The Atlas's interior design is elegant and clean, not unlike the simple modern layout of the upscale Audi brand -KBB

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas' interior has a typical Volkswagen look and feel with clean elegant lines and intuitively arranged controls. However, what’s more, impressive is the space. While the first and second-row room is up with the segment best, the third row beats all of them outright. Third-row access is easy and once seated, even 6-feet adults will find decent headroom and legroom. While the front seats have 6-way power adjustability, the rear ones have 4-way adjustability. This is for the base trims, although the higher trims do offer you 10-way adjustability. The driver is seated in a comfortable position, and will also have great overall visibility.

Volkswagen meant for the 2018 Atlas to be practical, and it certainly is. The 2018 Atlas has a 20.6 cu. ft cargo capacity, behind the 3rd row. Fold those seats down, and you get treated with a bigger 55.5 cu. ft of space. This provides plenty of space for all your storage requirements. The Atlas also has a low cargo floor for ease of access, and moreover, the one-touch rear liftgate only adds to the ease of loading and unloading.

Model 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 2018 Toyota Highlander
Passenger capacity 7 8 8 8
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg (In.) 41.3/61.5/41.5 39.5/62/40.9 41.3/62.1/41 40.7/59.3/44.2
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 40.4/60.8/37.6 39.9/62/38.4 40/62.2/38.4 39.9/59.6/38.4
Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg (In.) 38.3/54.9/33.7 38.9/57.6/31.9 38.2/57.5/33.5 35.9/55/27.7
Cargo capacity behind 3ndRow (ft. Cube) 20.6 16.5 23.0 13.8
Cargo capacity with 2nd row folded (ft. Cube) 55.5 46.8 58.1 42.3

Some of the interior features on offer are-

  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Leather upholstery
  • Second-row captain's chairs
  • Heated and ventilated seats
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats

The 2018 Atlas gets the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, although it is exclusive to the higher trims. The base trims get a decent 6.5-inch touchscreen system, whereas the top-end trims get a larger and much more responsive 8-inch touchscreen setup. The interface is quite good, and the physical buttons present also prove to be a boon. The infotainment system on the whole is pretty user-friendly and is quite accustomed to its function.

Some of the standard infotainment features included with the 2018 Atlas are-

  • An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Navigation
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • Satellite Radio
  • Three USB ports
  • Sirius XM satellite radio
  • 9-speaker premium audio system



Its bricklike shape gives the Atlas a sturdy, off-road-ready appearance and enables a space-efficient interior - Car and Driver

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a completely new model this year. The three-row SUV has a slightly boxy silhouette, although consisting of clean character lines. The front appealing end is dominated by the VW grille followed by the long broad hood space. The front also houses the symmetrical scooped LED headlights and LED DRLs. The subtle VW exterior styling language blends into the traffic, without anyone noticing it.

The front is also accentuated by the broad fender flares, which give way to those clean character lines down the side. There is also a skid plate underneath, which adds to the off-roading character. Chrome accents are offered in plenty across the body. While the smaller trims get 19-inch wheels, the top-end trims such as the SEL Premium are treated with 20-inch alloys. Overall, it puts out a confident stance.

Model 2018 Volkswagen Atlas 2018 Honda Pilot 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 2018 Toyota Highlander
Curb weight(lbs.) 4502 4288 4362 4165
Length(in) 198.3 194.5 204.3 192.5
Width(in) 78.3 78.6 78.6 75.8
Height(in) 69.7 69.8 70.7 68.1
Ground clearance(in) 8.0 7.3 7.2 8
Wheelbase(in) 117.3 111 120.9 109.8
Track width(in) F/R 67.2/67.8 66.3/66.3 67.3/67.0 64.4/64.2

Some of the exterior features on offer with the 2021 Atlas are-

  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Black 20-inch wheels
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Automated power liftgate
  • Roof Rails
  • Skid plate



Despite being a whole new model, Volkswagen has not brought about a lot of changes to the Atlas' safety systems, with respect to its other models. It still carries forward the same active and passive safety tech in place. Coming to the crash test scores, the 2018 Atlas gets a total of 5 on 5-star rating from the NHTSA and also a Top Safety Pick honor from the IIHS. The well-built Atlas comes with the following safety features in place-

  • StabiliTrak electronic stability control system Airbag system.
  • Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS)
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Forward Collision Warning system
  • Blind-spot monitoring



2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2018 Honda Pilot

If the performance front of an SUV is all that matters as a deciding factor between these two SUVs, the Honda Pilot is the definite winner. But for a prospective buyer in this segment, the practicality factor including the cabin space on offer is what decides the fate of a family-friendly SUV, and thus the Atlas wins it here, hands down!

The feature list on offer with Atlas is also the best in the business. Although when it comes to reliability, it's Honda all the way, as it has a great resale value too.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2018 Toyota Highlander

One of the aptest rivals to the Atlas, the 2018 Highlander is certainly a tough competitor. It more or less has the same price tag, yet it is able to get more power from the same V6 engine. Having said that, the Atlas surely is the best in terms of ride and handling dynamics.

Both also have the same towing capacity. The safety tech in the Highlander is much more advanced than that in the Atlas. Moreover, on the interior front, the last row in the Highlander lags a bit more in space when compared to the Atlas.

Final Verdict

The new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas has its pros as well as its cons. For instance, there is none in this segment that can match the feature list of that of the Atlas, and that the Atlas can also excite you through curvy roads is just icing on the cake. There are shortcomings though mainly in the powertrain department. The V6 does not pack enough punch and is not particularly efficient either. Also, the base 2.0L TSI engine is unavailable with AWD. Nevertheless, for the price it is offered, the 2018 Atlas is definitely worth it.


vehicle bio

base price$33840

body style4dr SUV

engine type

displacement121 cu in

horse power235 hp @ 4500 rpm

torque258 lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission8-speed Automatic w/OD


length198.3 in

wheelbase117.3 in

width78.3 in

curb weight4222 lbs

height70 in

ground clearance8 in


passenger volume153.7 cu ft

cargo volume96.8 cu ft

passenger capacity7 Seats

fuel economy

city/combined/highway22/24/26 mpg

highway range 483.60 mi


basic warranty6yr./ 72,000 mi.

Volkswagen Atlas 5 year Cost To Own

Cash Price(MSRP)
5 Year Cost To Own
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $53,358
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Financing Interest$2,029$1,711$1,200$784$299$6,023
Taxes and Fees$2,784$234$260$153$196$3,627
Total Cost-To-Own$12,833$9,670$9,351$10,512$10,992$53,358
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