2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV

MSRP $30,855 - $50,420

Ranked #17 in Suv

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2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 19, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is literally a sporty crossover SUV aimed at comfort and interior space. The difference between the regular Atlas and this one is, the Cross Sport has 2-row seating and the overall interior is better compared to the regular Atlas. The overall design is identical to the standard Volkswagen Atlas

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Pros

Immensely roomy interior

Unmatched utility space inside

Classy styling

Composed handling

Cons

Convenience features trim exclusive

Poor Fuel economy

Underpowered engines compared to rivals 

What's New?

Latest infotainment system standard on most trims

New drivers’ assistance features available

AWD available for 2.0L engine 


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$37345

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

121 cu.in.

torque

258 lb-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

8 speed Automatic w/Tiptronic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

13.2/12.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

112 cu ft.

cargo volume

77.8 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.2 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

14.9 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

165 ft.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

22/24/26 mpg

highway range

483.6 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

S$30,855 onwards

SE$34,205 onwards

SE Technology$36,640 onwards

SE Technology R-Line$37,345 onwards

SEL$39,545 onwards

SEL R-Line$41,245 onwards

SEL Premium$46,525 onwards

SEL Premium R-Line$47,995 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV in Deep Black Pearl color
Deep Black Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

6.8

Engine and Performance

6.5

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

7.0

Exterior

6.3

Safety

7.0

Competition

9.5

7.5

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.5

Overall Rating


Well, the name says sport but the off-roading capabilities of this SUV are limited compared to its rivals like the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Edge, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. At $30k of starting price, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the cheapest option in today’s comparison.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV front view
2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV rear view

6.5/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

7.0/10
Interior

6.3/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety

9.5/10
Competition


2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Features

Just like all the SUVs in this segment, the trim levels are scattered like seeds. There are 8 trim levels offered with the 2021 AtlasCross Sport variant, S, SE, SE Technology, SE Technology R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The base trim is fairly equipped with tech but the comfort features are nonexistent; Comes with a touch screen infotainment system and smartphone integration. The SE trim adds a few convenience features like a heated and power-adjustable driver seat & automatic dual-zone climate control. From here on the smartphone integration is wireless. 

The SE Technology allows you to have a V-6 engine option and adds some better tech features like a power liftgate and parking sensors. SEL and SEL Premium trim enter the luxury scene with leather upholstery, heating & ventilation for the seats, and 20-inch wheels. So many tiny differences in each trim just make the decision-making difficult in our opinion. Thanks to the almighty we don’t have any optional packages apart from the R-Line exterior styling to choose from. Whatever Volkswagen is offering lies in the trims themselves.

Trim

S

SE

SE Technology

SE Technology R-Line

MSRP (2.0T (FWD)

$30,855

$34,205

$36,300

NA

MSRP (2.0T) (AWD)

$32,755

$36,105

$38,200

NA

MSRP (3.6L V6) (FWD)

NA

NA

$37,645

$39,045

MSRP (3.6L V6) (AWD)

NA

NA

$40,095

$41,495

Key Features

Roof rails

In addition to or replaces S trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SE trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SE Technology trim features with:

 

18-inch Alloys

Heated front seats, 8-inch touch screen

A V6 engine is available

Unique R-Line exterior styling

 

LED headlights

Keyless entry & push-button start

20-inch alloy wheels

Standard V6 engine

 

Power adjustable, heated side mirrors

Power liftgate

Remote start, front & rear parking sensors

 
 

6.5-inch touch screen, 2 USB ports

Faux leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control

115-Volt household-style power outlet

 
 

VW Car-Net remote services

Wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, wireless charging pad

Hands-Free power liftgate

 
 

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration with 6-speaker sound system

Power adjustable driver seat

Trailer hitch

 

Trim

SEL

SEL R-Line

SEL Premium

SEL Premium R-Line

MSRP (2.0T) (FWD)

NA

NA

NA

NA

MSRP (2.0T) (AWD)

$41,800

NA

$46,525

NA

MSRP (3.6L V6) (FWD)

$41,625

$43,325

NA

NA

MSRP (3.6L V6) (AWD)

$43,525

$45,225

$48,325

$50,025

Key Features

In addition to or replaces SE Technology trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL trim features with:

In addition to or replaces SEL Premium trim features with:

 

Adaptive headlights

Unique R-Line Exterior styling

20-inch wheels

Unique R-Line Exterior styling

 

Panoramic sunroof

21-inch alloy wheels

Power folding mirror with puddle lamps

21-inch alloy wheels

 

Ambient lighting, power-adjustable driver & passenger seats

 

12-speaker Fender sound system

 
 

Heated steering wheel, digital instrument panel

 

Leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats

 
 

Trailer Hitch

 

Second-row window sunshades

 
 

Navigation comes as standard

 

Surround-view camera, parking assist

 

Which Trim should you buy?

This is one the trickiest decisions to make for anyone, where your heart says to get the SEL Premium with leather upholstery and all the bells and whistles it comes with because you only live once. But the mind says to get the SE trim as it has most of the features you need, we will go with the mind here as you can live without genuine leather upholstery and a premium audio system.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Engine and Performance

6.5/10

The primary focus of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is to move people around in comfort and for that, an inline-4 engine will do the job. For the 2021 Atlas Cross Sport, we have 2 engine options, a 2.0L turbocharged inline-4 engine which produces 235 hp & 258 lb-ft of torque, and the second is a more potent 3.6L, V-6 engine which produces 276 hp & 266 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the standard 8-speed automatic gearbox the gear shifts are buttery smooth and it makes the highway drives a fun experience. 

 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV 

The V-6 engine does everything like its smaller brother but does it better. Well, at 2-digit speeds you won't notice the difference but as you touch triple digits the Inline-4 starts vibrating a little but the V-6 engine doesn’t even sweat. As expected, the smaller engine has better fuel economy by its side but if you live in a hilly area getting the V-6 mill makes more sense. The towing capacity of this SUV is limited but still good if you have the V-6 engine; it can tow up to 5000 pounds with this setup & the Inline-4 engine can do roughly 2000lbs.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Cross Sport

2021 Chevrolet Blazer

2021 Ford Edge

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

MSRP

$30,855

$33,400

$32,750

$33,275

Engine 

2.0L Turbo I-4

2.0L Turbo I-4

2.0L Turbo I-4

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V-6

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

RWD

Transmission

8-speed automatic

9-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

8-speed automatic

Power 

235hp @ 4,500rpm

227hp @ 5,000rpm

250hp @ 5,500rpm

293hp @ 6,400rpm

Torque

258lb-ft @ 1,600rpm

258lb-ft @ 1,500rpm

275lb-ft @ 3,000rpm

260lb-ft @ 4,000rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.4

8.2

7.6

6.7

Quarter mile (sec)

15.9

16.3

15.9

15.2

Top Speed (MPH)

N/A

120

130

128

The competition with their base engines is doing fine except for the Grand Cherokee. It has a standard V-6 and the performance number speaks for itself. Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the cheapest option in the lot and this makes it a value for money package. All vehicles come equipped with a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox except the Chevy which sports a 9-speed automatic. On the 0-60 mph run, the Jeep is quickest at 6.7 seconds as it is more powerful. Atlas Cross Sport takes a lethargic 8.4 seconds to cover the same.

How well does the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport handle?

The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport has very pleasant driving characteristics for a 4000lbs SUV. The overall handling is agile and the steering is accurate and quick to respond. Taking a sharp turn is problematic sometimes with SUVs but the Atlas Cross Sport has no issues carving them up. And thanks to the independent suspension the body roll is very minimal. The suspension setup is tuned for optimal comfort. The 18-inch wheels provide supple ride quality. 

Getting the 20-inch wheels will surely enhance the looks but then the SUV becomes very communicative with the road surfaces. Speaking about SUVs the off-road capabilities are a must to discuss and the Atlas Cross Sport will do just fine on gravel or icy roads; thanks to the 8-inch of ground clearance. 

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Braking Performance

The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport comes with 13.2- & 12.2-inch front and rear rotors respectively for the stopping duties. While the exact braking performance figures are not available, expect the brakes to work well and stop the SUV in a composed manner. The brakes feel very responsive and are good enough to manage the weight of the Atlas Cross Sport.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Cross Sport S

2021 Chevrolet Blazer LT

2021 Ford Edge SE

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Freedom 4x2

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.2

12.6

12.4

13.8

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.2

12.4

12.4

13.0

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4098

3920

3959

4513

60-0 MPH (feet)

N/A

126

129

124

The Jeep Grand Cherokee despite its heft has managed to deliver a very respectable braking performance compared to its rivals. The Chevrolet Blazer isn’t much behind in braking performance with just 2 feet extra stopping distance than the Jeep. The Ford Edge gets the smallest rotors by comparison and still, 129 feet stopping distance is commendable.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Fuel Economy

6.5/10

If you still are puzzled about which engine you should opt for, this section will clarify your doubts. The inline-4 engine on the 2021 Atlas Cross Sport provides the best economy of 21/24/22 mpg in the city/highway/combined driving cycles respectively. These numbers aren’t exactly mind-blowing but they’re much better than what the V-6 returns. The bigger engine sees a drastic fall in mileage at 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined cycles respectively. The fuel tank capacity too isn’t much to cheer for. The 18.6-gallon fuel tank will give you a combined range of 410 miles at best.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Cross Sport

2021 Chevrolet Blazer

2021 Ford Edge

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

MPG (City)

21

22

21

19

MPG (Highway)

24

29

29

26

MPG (Combined)

22

25

24

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.6

19.4

18.4

24.6

Range (City/Highway /Combined, in Miles)

390.6/446.4/409.2

426.8/562.6/485

386.4/533.6/441.6

467.4/639.6/516.6

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is the least fuel-efficient vehicle today in the group but its V6 engine is doing a much better job than the Volkswagen’s. The Ford Edge & Chevrolet Blazer both provide much better highway efficiency than the Atlas. Jeep comes with a huge 24.6-gallon tank; obviously, because its V6 engine delivers poor economy.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Interior

7.0/10

One thing we just love about German design is the way they don’t complicate things. No matter how expensive or cheapest of a vehicle you buy from them, the design aspect is always kept timeless. The same theory applies to Atlas Cross Sport’s interior. For a guy who loves simplicity, this was love at first sight. Sure, the materials won’t be anything like Nappa leather or wood but the overall looks are just so peaceful. The dashboard design is all straight lines and conventional shapes and while reading it may sound boring but the pictures will do all the justice. 

 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV cockpit area

Go up in the trim levels and the leather upholstery does elevate things close to luxury. Opting for the SEL trim gets you a Panoramic sunroof, Ambient interior lighting, and Heated steering wheel to name a few. The interior space of the Atlas Cross Sport is one of its strongest points as we only have 2 passenger rows and both get an immense amount of legroom. The second-row legroom is like what you get on a luxury SUV. Sadly, the second-row seats aren’t movable but they do recline. Overall, the interior on the 2021 Atlas Cross Sport gets full marks for space & comfort.

 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV front seats

Models

2021 Volkswagen Cross Sport S

2021 Chevrolet Blazer LT

2021 Ford Edge SE

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Freedom 4x2

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.4/61.5/41.6

39.8/59.1/41

40.2/60.3/42.6

39.9/58.7/40.3

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.8/60.6/40.4

38.6/58.6/39.6

40.3/60.5/40.6

39.2/58/38.6

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

40.3

30.5

39.2

36.3

Don’t get baffled by the trunk capacity you see in the chart, it's not a typo. The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport really has a huge cave back there to store your stuff and that too without folding anything. Folding the seats does reveal a massive cavernous area, 97 cubic feet to be precise. Even the cabin of this SUV is filled with cubby spaces all over and a total of 10 cup holders, for 5 passengers. Some of the standout interior features are:

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Heated steering wheel
  • 115-Volt household-style power outlet
  • Heated & ventilated seats 
  • Manual sunshades

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport comes very well equipped with a nice infotainment setup no matter the trim level and things just get better as you go high up in trims. The base trim gets a 6.5-inch touch screen with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay as standard. The base trim has a 6-speaker sound system for your music needs. From the SE and above the smartphone integration gets wireless and you get a bigger 8.0-inches touch screen. 

The rest of the standard equipment includes Bluetooth, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and USB ports. The SEL Premium gets a 12-speaker Fender audio system for a more immersive listening experience. Overall, the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport comes with a better infotainment setup than many of the so-called luxury offerings out there. Some of the standout infotainment features include:

  • 6.5 inch / 8.0-inch touch screen
  • Wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
  • 12 speaker Fender audio system
  • W-Fi hotspot
  • USB ports
  • Navigation

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Exterior

6.3/10

We are truly impressed with the design of the 2021 Atlas Cross Sport; people at VW have kept the overall design simple but some small detailing makes us go wow. For instance, the way the grille ends at the headlights section and continues the line in the shape of the DRLs is just amazing. The SUV does have a few body lines on the hood but those suit the cross-sport nature well. The side profile is great as the beltline isn’t messed with and stays symmetrical all the way to the rear. 

 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV 

At the rear, you get a LED taillight setup and a chrome insert that covers the entire back end. We talked about attention to detail and there is a skinny reflector that runs throughout the lower bumper which isn’t even visible until it starts reflecting. Summing it up, the 2021 Atlas Cross Sport is a handsome-looking SUV, to say the least.

Models

2021 Volkswagen Cross Sport S

2021 Chevrolet Blazer LT

2021 Ford Edge SE

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee Freedom 4x2

Curb weight (lbs)

4098

3920

3959

4513

Length (inches)

195.5

191.4

188.8

189.8

Width (Inches)

78.4

76.7

75.9

76.5

Height (Inches)

67.6

67

68.3

69.3

Ground clearance (inches)

8.0

7.4

8.0

8.6

Wheelbase (inches)

117.3

112.7

112.2

114.8

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the longest SUV in the group today and we saw how they have utilized every inch of it. None of the vehicles can match the utility value of this SUV. Jeep has the longest wheelbase after the VW but the length on the Grand Cherokee is the least, almost. Some of the standout exterior features include:

  • 20-inch wheels from SEL
  • Power-folding side mirrors with puddle lights
  • R-Line exterior styling
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Trailer hitch
  • Power-adjustable, heated side mirrors
  • Roof rails

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Safety

7.0/10

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport came out with flying colors in the NHTSA crash tests with 5-stars in overall safety. The head-on collision tests have got 4 stars for both, driver & passenger side. The rollover rating is average for this type of vehicle with 4-stars and 16.9% roll-over risk. The IIHS tests are all positive with a “Good” rating in all the crash categories. 

Only the headlights on the base models have received a Marginal rating but the upgraded Headlights have performed first class with a Good rating. The active safety system also has a superior rating. Overall, the Atlas Cross Sport is quite a performer in both structural rigidness and safety features. Some of the standout safety features in the Volkswagen Atlas Cross include:

  • Blind-spot monitor
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Front & rear parking sensors
  • Parking assist 
  • Lane keep assist
  • Auto high beam & adaptive headlights
  • Adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Competition

9.5/10

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs 2021 Chevrolet Blazer

The Chevy Blazer is a super mean-looking SUV especially if you check out the RS trim. The feature set on both of the SUVs is similar. Both come with a good infotainment system standard with smartphone integration. The interior of the Blazer is a more sporty and lively feeling than the Atlas but that’s completely a personal preference. Performance-wise we will give the Blazer an upper edge but this also depends on what you expect from your SUV. The towing capacity on the Atlas is 500lbs more than the Blazer.

2021 Chevrolet Blazer

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs 2021 Ford Edge

Ford Edge literally has an edge over the Atlas in the interior section. The infotainment setup on the Ford is seriously high tech but that’s where the good things end on the Ford. The seats have less padding compared to the Atlas and the overall space is less in the Ford. The optional V-6 engine on the Edge is seriously more powerful than the Atlas but it doesn’t reflect in the towing abilities as the Ford is only capable of only 3500lbs fully equipped.

2021 Ford Edge

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is similarly equipped in the base trim but it has a plethora of interior options to the point it becomes an ultra-luxury Off-road SUV. Speaking about off-road this is the most capable SUV in the mid-size segment with features adjustable air suspension which can get as high as 10.9 inches and as low as 6.7 inches in park mode. The towing capacity of the Jeep is better at 6700lbs and can be increased up to 7200lbs depending on the engine configuration.

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee

 

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SUV Final Verdict

The 2021 Atlas Cross Sport is one of those SUVs where we really have to nit-pick for downsides. The Styling is perfect for a family SUV, both the engine options are adequate for the most mundane tasks you do every day. The fuel economy suffers a little but that is something beyond our control. The utility value this SUV offers is beyond comparison and for that alone we can recommend this VW. Overall the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a great family SUV you can have without breaking the bank.

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