The new seven-seater Volkswagen Atlas

November 7, 2016, Volkswagen, 502 views
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New 2017 VW Atlas: Volkswagen reveals seven-seat SUV to crack America

Volkswagen Atlas full-size SUV revealed. The largest ever US-built VW is designed to “enter the heart of the American market”

Volkswagen has revealed its first ever seven-seat SUV ahead of its spring 2017 launch. Called the Atlas, it shoulders the mighty task of restoring brand reputation for North American customers after the damaging emissions scandal.

Aimed straight for “the heart of the American market”, the Atlas SUV is the largest vehicle ever built by VW in America, at the brand’s Chattanooga factory in Tennessee. It’s 5,037mm long and 1,979mm wide, making it the biggest VW passenger car on sale. It’s also almost 340mm longer and 100mm wider than sister brand Skoda’s new Kodiaq.

However, unlike the Kodiaq, the Atlas is only for release in the US at the moment. Chairman of Volkswagen America Hinrich J. Woebcken confirmed to Auto Express that the Altas will be exported to the Middle East and Russia in due course, but confirmed “there are no plans” to launch the car in Western Europe.

VW Atlas: design

Heavily inspired by the Crossblue concept of 2013, the production Atlas sits on the VW Group’s familiar MQB platform. The exterior look is said to create “a sense of timelessness and precision”; there’s a bluff front-end and squared-off bonnet, with VW’s recognisable two-bar chrome front grille and square LED headlamps.
Side-on the Atlas has traditional chunky SUV stance and rugged lower body cladding, while a single styling crease follows the curvature of the wheelarches all the way along the length of the car. There’s a hint of Bentley Bentayga in the overall profile, too, although the bulky rear overhang is a symptom of the extra row of rear seats. The rear is similar in shape to the smaller Volkswagen Tiguan, albeit with twin exhausts integrated into the lower bumper.

Volkswagen Atlas: interior

Inside, VW claims there is space for seven adults and their luggage. The rearmost seats are accessed by a clever folding mechanism in the second row that, apparently, works even when child seats are in place. The rest of the simple and minimalist cabin will be familiar to any current Volkswagen owners.
The centre console features the brand’s latest Car Net system, with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Mirrorlink tech. Options include VW’s Digital Cockpit configurable instruments and 12-speaker Fender audio system.