2021 Volkswagen Atlas


Ranked #14 in Midsize Suv

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Starting MSRP $31,545 - $50,695
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Key Spec of 2021 Volkswagen Atlas
fuel economy


fuel type

Premium Unleaded


235 hp @ 4500 rpm

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Spacious cabin and cargo space

Not fuel-efficient

Refreshed front and rear design

Ergonomically sorted cabin

Boring to drive

Inline-4 engine standard across the trim lineup

Sorted ride and handling

AWD now available with the inline-4 engine

Competitively priced

More drive-assist features are now standard

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 21, 2022

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The new 2021 Volkswagen Atlas comes with a few important changes across its trim lineup giving it a new lease of life. Practical and capable in all respects, the 2021 Atlas definitely looks forward to ruling the sales charts with this one. As far as the changes go, the 235 hp, 2.0-liter TSI inline-4 Atlas engine is now standard with AWD configuration available across the trim except for the R-Line trims. Moreover, with the same trim lineup on offer, the 2021 Atlas will be priced at an MSRP of $31,555.

Other changes include refreshed front and rear design and more driver-assist features joining the standard features list. As usual, the three-row mid-size SUV Atlas comes in four main trims with R-Line trim for all but the base trim. The R-Line trim comes standard with 276 hp, 3.6-liter V6, and FWD configuration while the same is available as an option on other trims. On the interior front too, the 2021 Atlas gets an upgraded cabin space.

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Trim wise pricing breakdown

NameInvoice PriceMSRPNumber of Listings
SEL Premium 4MOTION 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A)$46987$489954 Listings
SEL Premium R-Line 4dr SUV AWD (3.6L 6cyl 8A) w/Prod. End 08/20$48617$506950 Listings
Show More

Over All Rating

7.8Out of 10

Notable Rankings

#14 in Midsize Suv

#17 in Suv

Pictures & Videos


S$31,545 onwards
Read review
  • 1St row LCD monitor
  • A-Spec Sport Seats
  • Climatic manual air conditioning
  • Front Fog/driving lights
  • Remote keyless entry
SE$34,895 onwards
Read review
  • Heated Front Seats
  • V-Tex leatherette Seat trim
SE R-Line$39,695 onwards
Read review
  • Blind spot monitor
  • Rear traffic monitor system
  • Remote start
  • Stabilitrak electronic stability control system
SE Technology R-Line$41,595 onwards
Read review
SEL$42,295 onwards
Read review
  • 2 - 1st row LCD monitor
  • Navigation system
  • Sliding and tilting glass Sunroof
SEL R-Line$43,995 onwards
Read review
  • 21-inch machined aluminum Wheels
SEL Premium$47,195 onwards
Read review
  • 4Motion w/Active control all wheel Drive type
  • Leather Seat trim
  • Park Distance control w/ Parking assist
SEL Premium R-Line$50,695 onwards
Read review
  • 21-inch machined aluminum Wheels

New Volkswagen Atlas For Sale

View More
Price Drop, $750
Earlier Price: $39971
1 Jul 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

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

Dealer Price
Est. $532/mo
Good deal
$3,754 Below market
RMV: $42,975
Fuel Economy 20.7 mpg
MSRP $41,585
Listed On 10 May 2022 (264 Days)
Price Drop, $750
Earlier Price: $40071
1 Jul 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

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

Dealer Price
Est. $533/mo
Good deal
$3,654 Below market
RMV: $42,975
Fuel Economy 20.7 mpg
MSRP $41,685
Listed On 16 Jun 2022 (227 Days)
Fallston, MD

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

3.6L SE 4Motion w/Technology 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 276 hp 8A)

Dealer Price
Est. $554/mo
Good deal
$3,703 Below market
RMV: $44,574
Fuel Economy 19.7 mpg
MSRP $43,590
Listed On 15 Sep 2022 (136 Days)
Price Drop, $400
Earlier Price: $38184
7 Oct 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

SE w/Technology 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 8A)

Dealer Price
Est. $512/mo
Good deal
$3,395 Below market
RMV: $41,179
Fuel Economy 22.8 mpg
MSRP $39,640
Listed On 26 Jul 2022 (187 Days)
Price Drop, $2000
Earlier Price: $39848
13 Dec 2022
San Antonio, TX

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE SUV

V6 SE FWD with Technology

Dealer Price
Est. $513/mo
Good deal
$3,326 Below market
RMV: $41,174
Fuel Economy 20.7 mpg
MSRP $41,449
Listed On 04 Nov 2022 (86 Days)
Price Drop, $4307
Earlier Price: $42180
6 Dec 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE SUV

V6 SE FWD with Technology

Dealer Price
Est. $514/mo
Good deal
$3,301 Below market
RMV: $41,174
Fuel Economy 20.7 mpg
MSRP $42,180
Listed On 30 Nov 2022 (60 Days)
Price Drop, $2289
Earlier Price: $40235
15 Jul 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

SE w/Technology 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 8A)

Dealer Price
Est. $515/mo
Good deal
$3,233 Below market
RMV: $41,179
Fuel Economy 22.8 mpg
MSRP $40,235
Listed On 13 Jul 2022 (200 Days)
Price Drop, $750
Earlier Price: $41793
1 Jul 2022
New Port Richey, FL

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

3.6L SE 4Motion w/Technology 4dr SUV (3.6L 6cyl 276 hp 8A)

Dealer Price
Est. $557/mo
Good deal
$3,531 Below market
RMV: $44,574
Fuel Economy 19.7 mpg
MSRP $43,485
Listed On 14 May 2022 (260 Days)
New York, NY

2022 Volkswagen Atlas SE

2.0T SE 4Motion w/Technology 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 235 hp 8A)

Dealer Price
Est. $542/mo
Good deal
$3,382 Below market
RMV: $43,352
Fuel Economy 21.8 mpg
MSRP $39,970
Listed On 22 Feb 2022 (341 Days)

Colors and Styles

Build Car
Aegean Blue Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

Both the engines of the 2021 Atlas are pretty relaxed and are best driven sedately or enjoyed while cruising on long highways. The planted ride and sure-footed handling of the Atlas is an added plus. Coupled that with the spacious cabin and cavernous boot space, it is the perfect mix for a long-distance family hauler. Prices for the 2021 Atlas start as low as $31,555 and go as high as $50,725. Rivals for the Atlas include the mid-size SUVs like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Chevrolet Traverse.

Buying Advice

We suggest going for the 2021 Atlas SE with the Technology pack trim. The trim costs under forty grand and adds a lot of nifty features like an 8-inch touchscreen, hands-free liftgate, adaptive cruise control, remote start, heated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensor, etc. For an SUV this big we think these features are a must to ensure a relaxed driving experience.



The Volkswagen Atlas comes in four major trims i.e., S, SE, SEL, and SEL Premium. Except for the base trim, the other three trims have their separate R-Line trims that add bigger wheels, a V6 engine, and R-Line-specific styling and badging. Further, you also have a SE with Technology pack and SE with Technology pack R-Line trim. Both the trims are based on the SE trim and the former adds a few driver-assist features, a hands-free liftgate, and bigger wheels over the SE trims features. While the latter i.e. the SE with Technology pack R-Line gets the usual R-Line upgrades over the SE with Technology pack trim.




SE w/ Technology

SE w/ Technology R-Line


SEL R-Line

SEL Premium

SEL Premium R-Line




















Dual-zone automatic climate control

Adds or upgrades to ‘S’

Adds or upgrades to ‘SE’

Adds or upgrades to ‘SE w/ Technology

Adds or upgrades to ‘SE w/ Technology

Adds or upgrades to ‘SEL’

Adds or upgrades to ‘SEL’

Adds or upgrades to ‘SEL Premium’


All-LED exterior lights

Remote opening and closing liftgate

20-inch alloy wheels

R-Line front bumper and badging

Side mirrors w/ memory function

21-inch alloy wheels

Leather upholstery for 1st and 2nd row

21-inch alloy wheels


Automatic headlights

Tri-zone automatic climate control

Hands--free liftgate


Digital cockpit

R-Line front bumper and badging

Ventilated front seats

R-Line front bumper and badging


18-inch alloy wheels

8-inch touchscreen infotainment

Remote start


8-inch touchscreen infotainment w/ navigation


Fender premium audio system 



Rain-sensing wipers

Power-adjustable driver’s seats

Adaptive cruise control


Volkswagen Car-Net


Park assist


Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking

V-Tex upholstery

Maneuver braking w/ park distance control


Dynamic road sign display



Wireless phone charger

Front and rear parking sensors


Traffic jam assist


The price range of the Volkswagen Atlas is from $31,555 for the base trim and goes up to $50,725 for the SEL Premium R-Line trim. The 235 hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine is standard across the lineup except for the R-Line trim that gets the V6 engine as standard while for the rest it is available for an extra cost. Except for the SEL Premium and SEL Premium R-Line, all the trims have FWD configuration and AWD costs $1,900 extra.

Engine and Performance


There are two engine options available on the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. The standard one is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine that puts out 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque channeled through an 8-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels. The next in line is the bigger 3.6-liter V6 engine belting out 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque with the same gearbox and drivetrain configuration. Both the engines are in no way power monsters and the way they accelerate makes it pretty evident.

The Atlas’ V6 engine helps it to do 0-60 mph in 7.2 seconds with another 7.7 seconds required to complete the quarter-mile. The four-pot engine also clocks a similar 0-60 mph timing but is slower to reach the quarter-mile by at least a second than the V6. Being a Volkswagen the ride and handling of the Atlas are in the lines of other Volkswagen cars. Thus the Atlas has a planted and comfortable ride quality with the steering feedback being accurate for the most part. Small bumps and minor undulations are dismissed with ease by the Atlas.


2021 Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Toyota Highlander







3.6-liter V6

3.5-liter V6

3.6-liter V6

3.5-liter V6







8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic


276 hp @ 6200 rpm

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

310 hp @ 6800 rpm

295 hp @ 6600 rpm


266 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

266 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm

263 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

0-60 MPH

7.2 sec

6.9 sec

7.1 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

14.4 sec

15.5 sec

15.3 sec

Top Speed

115 MPH

133 MPH

130 MPH

115 MPH

Cruising at highway speeds is not a problem as the planted ride quality ensures the ride remains stable whatever the speed be. While in the city the big and heavy Atlas is surprisingly nimble to pilot. You will hardly realize how big an SUV you are driving. The steering is light at parking speed so maneuvering in and out of tight spaces and traffic isn’t an issue either. The Volkswagen Atlas despite its massive size and above 4,400 pounds curb weight manages to brake from 60-0 mph in just 115 feet.

Fuel Economy


The heavy curb weight and the big V6 of the Atlas cripple its fuel economy ratings. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas has an EPA estimated fuel economy of 17 MPG in the city, 23 MPG on the highway, and 19 MPG combined. While the AWD V6 sees a reduction of one MPG in all three parameters. The inline-4 engine with FWD of the Atlas on the other hand does a bit better with a fuel economy of 21 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway. With the 19.5-gallon fuel tank the V6 powered FWD Atlas can go up to 330 plus miles in the city and close to 450 miles on the highway from a tankful of gas.


2021 Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Toyota Highlander

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Tank Capacity (gal.)





Range (City/Highway/ Combined)

332/ 449/ 370

390/ 527/ 448


376/ 519/ 429

Coming to the rivals the Volkswagen Atlas remains the least efficient while the Toyota Highlander is the most fuel-efficient among all with 21/29/24 mpg of gas mileage in city/highway/combined respectively. But the Honda Pilot with the bigger 19.5-gallon fuel tank and a 20/27/23 mpg of gas mileage manage the longest 390 miles of range in the city and 527 miles of range on the highway from a tankful of gas.



Step inside the cabin of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and honestly, you will feel nothing special about it. The material quality is average and the overall dash design is plain and simple. But where the cabin scores are for sorted ergonomics, loads of practicality, and how to forget a total of 17 cupholders. Another high point about the Atlas’ cabin is the space inside making it a perfect family hauler SUV just like it is advertised. The overall visibility around the cabin is great due to the large windows and the boxy shape of the Atlas.

The Atlas is available as a seven-seater as standard and a six-seater configuration can be had with the optional captain’s chair for the second row. The seats of the Atlas are well-bolstered and comfortable for most of the part. But they aren’t in the leagues of what rivals offer. The seats of the Atlas are a bit stiff and that does make it tiring to sit on them over long hauls. The rear seats are in the same league and can be slid back and forth to gain access to the third-row seats. Moving to the cargo area the Volkswagen Atlas offers 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space while the biggest cargo area is offered in the Chevrolet Traverse with 23 cubic feet of space.


2021 Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Toyota Highlander

Passenger Capacity





First row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

41.3/ 61.5/ 41.5

40.1/ 62.0/ 40.9

41.3/ 62.1/ 41.0

39.6/ 59.0/ 42.0

Second row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

40.4/ 60.8/ 37.6

40.2/ 62.0/ 38.4

40.0/ 62.2/ 38.4

39.4/ 58.4/ 41.0

Third row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

38.3/ 54.9/ 33.7

38.9/ 57.6/ 31.9

38.2/ 57.5/ 33.5

36.1/ 55.0/ 27.7

Cargo Capacity (ft3)





There are two screen sizes available for the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas infotainment system. The standard one is a 6.5-inch unit while the other one is an 8-inch touchscreen unit. The former is available only on the base S trim while the latter is available on the SE trim and above. The SEL trim and above adds navigation to the standard 8-inch unit. Overall impression of both the screens was positive and we found both of them were easy to use for most of the part.

The response time is quick and using the screens won’t be a task as the interface is fairly simple and feels like using a regular smartphone. That said, standard features include Wi-Fi hotspot, App-Connect, remote access, etc. Available features include a 12-speaker fender premium audio system, wireless smartphone charging, SiriusXM, etc.

Key highlights of the interior features include:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • LED interior lighting
  • Auto-dimming inner rearview mirror
  • 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • V-Tex leatherette upholstery




Look at the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas from whatever angle and you will see only straight lines and symmetry that culminates into a boxy-shaped SUV. The 2021 Atlas got minorly restyled front and rear ends. The grille has been changed and the Volkswagen logo has been updated as well. The three slat grille merges into the headlights while the foglights have now been removed from the lower bumper and integrated into the headlights. 

All the exterior lights are LED as standard on the Atlas. The side profile is pretty much simple and the big wheel arches get chunky black cladding all around to reduce the visual bulk. The rear profile continues the same design philosophy. Standard features include cornering lights, automatic headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, welcome lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, etc.


2021 Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Honda Pilot

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

2021 Toyota Highlander

Curb Weight (lbs)





Length (in.)





Width (in.)





Height (in.)





Ground Clearance (in.)





Wheelbase (in.)





Dimension wise the Volkswagen Atlas is pretty big measuring 200.7-inches in length and has a ground clearance of 8-inches. Compared to that the biggest SUV dimension-wise is the Chevrolet Traverse, it is 3.6-inches longer, 0.2-inches wider, and has a 3.6-inches longer wheelbase compared to the Atlas. The Atlas weighing 4,427 pounds is the heaviest SUV of all.

Key highlights of the exterior features include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated outside mirror
  • LED headlights and tail lights
  • Automatic headlights
  • Panoramic sunroof (available)
  • Powered liftgate (available)
  • Side mirror w/ memory function (available)
  • 20-inch or 21-inch alloy wheels (available)



Safety-wise the Volkswagen Atlas is a well-rated SUV. The 2021 Atlas was given an overall rating of five out of five stars by NHTSA. The IIHS shared a similar opinion about the Atlas and rated it ‘Good’ in all its six parameters. The headlights of the Atlas’ SEL trim and above were rated as ‘Good’ while the lower trims headlights got the second-lowest rating of ‘Marginal’. The ease of use of LATCH in the Atlas was again given the second-lowest rating of ‘Marginal’ by IIHS. Ratings aside, the best part about the Atlas is that it gets active and passive features as standard across the range while driver-assist features like forward collision warning, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and pedestrian detection are standard.

Key highlights of the safety features include:

  • Forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking
  • Blind-spot monitor w/ pedestrian detection
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) 
  • Crash Response System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (available)
  • Front and rear parking sensor (available)



2021 Volkswagen Atlas Vs 2021 Honda Pilot

If we compare the V6 powered Atlas and the Honda Pilot that gets V6 as standard then there is a minimal price gap between the two. Yet the Pilot is more powerful, lighter, quicker, and more fuel-efficient than the Atlas. The Atlas on the other hand is more utilitarian, spacious, and has generous cargo space.

On the flip side, the interior of the Pilot feels much better and more comfortable compared to the Atlas. To conclude both the SUVs are closely matched but going by the sales figures of the Pilot we feel it is being favored by more customers compared to the Atlas.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Vs 2021 Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is another workhorse that is not only more powerful but also frugal and more spacious compared to the Atlas. On the interior part, both the SUVs have a similar quality cabin to start with but the spaciousness in the Traverse tilts the scale in its favor. The Traverse isn’t fun-to-drive or an engaging SUV but then the same goes for the Atlass too.

Although the Atlas feels more sure-footed and pliant than the Traverse at high speeds. The main flex for the Atlas is its far lower pricing if you go for the inline-4 engine. So if you are on a tight budget then Atlas could be a better option here.

Final Verdict

The Volkswagen Atlas isn’t the most powerful, fuel-efficient, or comfortable SUV in the segment. Instead, it is an SUV that slots between the flashiest Kia Telluride and the most utilitarian Chevrolet Traverse. The ride and handling of the Atlas are well-sorted and the 8-inch ground clearance is sufficient to see you through minor off-road trails provided you have the AWD configuration. The styling and overall cabin are kept basic and in our opinion, these kinds of designs and materials age well with time. So if you are on a budget and looking for a decent family hauler we suggest looking at the Volkswagen Atlas.

vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr SUV

engine type

220 cu in

horse power

276 hp @ 6200 rpm


266 lb.-ft. @ 2750 rpm


8-Speed Automatic w/OD


198.3 in


117.3 in


78.3 in

curb weight

4614 lbs


70 in

Ground Clearance

8 in

passenger volume

153.7 cu ft

cargo volume

96.8 cu ft

passenger capacity

7 Seats

fuel economy

16/18/22 mpg

highway range

409.20 mi

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 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
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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