7800 E. Independence Blvd
Directions Charlotte, NC 28227

  • Sales: (888) 706-0112
  • Service and Parts: (888) 928-1966
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New Volkswagen Atlas in Charlotte


Volkswagen of America, Inc. is pleased to announce that the Atlas was named Best Large Utility in the 2018 MotorWeek Drivers' Choice Awards. The awards were announced at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, the largest consumer-driven auto show in North America.

"We are very proud of this win for Atlas," said Derrick Hatami, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Volkswagen is expanding its lineup with great new vehicles like the Atlas to offer better products with broader appeal to American families. Awards like this serve as proof point that we are hitting the mark."

"Even though Volkswagen was a bit late to the large crossover party, they more than made up for lost time with the Atlas. Not only is the Atlas roomier than just about everything else it competes against; it's extremely comfortable, quiet, and packed full of technology that's easy to use. The Volkswagen Atlas fits the needs of a growing, and on-the-go family, perfectly," said MotorWeek creator and host, John Davis.

In selecting the annual Drivers' Choice Awards, MotorWeek's editorial staff evaluates more than 150 cars, trucks, and sport utility vehicles every year. Winners are chosen based on driving performance, technology, practicality, fuel efficiency, and value for the dollar.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas was introduced in Spring 2017 as the brand's first three-row SUV. Designed specifically for the American family, the 2018 Atlas is available with two engine options-a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.6-liter V6-and in five trim levels: S, SE, SE w/ Technology, SEL, and SEL Premium. Atlas also offers 4Motion® all-wheel drive on a variety of trims and is assembled in Volkswagen's state-of-the-art plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. Prices start at $30,750.

See Why the 2017 Volkswagen Atlas is a Winner

The folks at are enjoying the Volkswagen lineup this year, and we love that they're appreciating the thoughtful design and engineering that VW has brought to the table. The 2018 Tiguan came first in the Compact SUV Challenge, and now the VW Atlas has earned the title of Best Three-Row SUV of 2017.

The Contenders

Pitted against these popular (and, you'd think, very comparable) SUVs, the new VW Atlas came out on top by significant margins. Perhaps the Atlas should be in a class of its own!

  • 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL 4Motion
  • 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 3LT Leather
  • 2017 Honda Pilot Touring
  • 2017 Toyota Highlander Limited

Carolina Volkswagen

7800 E. Independence Blvd
Directions Charlotte, NC 28227

  • Sales: (888) 706-0112
  • Service: (888) 928-1966
  • Parts: (888) 637-3304

Three impartial experts and an actual SUV-shopper formed the judging panel for this challenge. The shopper was looking for something to replace an Audi Q7, and we think he's found a great new SUV in the Atlas.

 VW Atlas
 Toyota Highlander
 Honda Pilot
 Chevy Traverse

Atlas vs. Highlander

Sorry, Toyota- the Atlas is decidedly a much better SUV than the Highlander, which came last in the rankings. The Highlander has some qualities working in its favor, but they are not enough to give it a stronger showing in the field.

  • Overall ride in the Atlas is quieter and more insulated from the outside environment
  • Atlas offers much more cargo space
  • Atlas has much more comfortable second- and third-row seating
  • Volkswagen touchscreen and infotainment interface is much nicer and easier to use
  • Atlas provides easier child car-seat accommodations

Atlas vs. Pilot

The Honda Pilot was last year's winner, but it's possible Honda was resting on its laurels; the Pilot has been unseated. The biggest complaint was its powertrain and awkwardly slow transmission.

  • Volkswagen touchscreen and infotainment win again
  • Atlas provides better rear-seat comfort
  • Atlas transmission is much more responsive (definitely the best out of these four), with smooth shifting, whereas the Pilot got the worst powertrain rating in the test
  • Pilot's button gear-selectors serve no purpose- no easier to shift, and no advantage in console storage space

Atlas vs. Traverse

Of these vehicles, the Traverse is the Atlas's closest competitor. The Volkswagen still wins by hefty margins, though.

  • Atlas provides much more comprehensive active safety features for the price range
  • Atlas has better visibility- not only does the Traverse not have automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, or lane keep assist, its pillars hinder visibility more than the VW's structure does
  • The Atlas interior uses more premium materials so you have a soft place to rest your elbows, and Chevy gives you no such luxury
  • Atlas front seats are more comfortable and supportive than the Traverse

How the Volkswagen Atlas Reached Its Top Spot

After driving identical routes, these SUVs were judged on 12 categories. Here's how the Atlas stacked up in each competition:

  • Interior Quality: Atlas is winner
  • Front-Seat Comfort: Atlas tied with Pilot for second, close behind the Highlander
  • Second-Row Comfort: Atlas is winner
  • Third-Row Comfort: Atlas is winner
  • Cargo Storage: Atlas is winner
  • In-Cabin Storage: Atlas tied for first with Traverse and Pilot
  • Multimedia: Atlas is winner
  • Powertrain: Atlas is winner (by a lot!)
  • Ride Quality: Atlas is tied for second with Pilot, after the Traverse
  • Noise: Atlas is third, after Traverse which is close behind Pilot
  • Visibility: Atlas is second, after Pilot
  • Worth the Money?: Atlas is winner, by quite a bit!

What the 2018 VW Atlas Does Right

The 2018 VW Atlas was the only vehicle to make the Honor Roll with all top scores in the Car Seat Check. The Atlas is safety-conscious, with plenty of available driver assistance systems and great built-in collision safety. The backup camera is wide-angle and very helpful.

Judges found the Atlas's touchscreen to be a little too sensitive, but overall it is very attractive, with sharp graphics and an intuitive interface.

The Atlas really excels at accelerating, with a fantastic gearbox and an energetic engine.

If you need a three-row SUV because you want to actually have passengers sit in all three rows, then it makes sense that you'd want them to be comfortable! The Atlas provides great comfort, and it's not limited to the front seats.


Contact Carolina Volkswagen to Test Drive a New VW Atlas

We love hearing that independent consumer advocates and industry experts love the VW models that we love so much ourselves. We love to spread the Volkswagen enthusiasm! But reading about a new car can only give you so much information.

If you're considering a new Atlas as your next SUV in the Concord or Huntersville area, we invite you to Carolina Volkswagen to take one for a spin. A test drive is the best (some may say the only) way to determine whether a vehicle is right for you!

Please contact us for more information about this top-of-the-class model or for VW financing details.

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