Volkswagen is ready to do battle with the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander with its new Atlas SUV. It’s pricing the American-built SUV competitively, starting from $31,425. Note the price shoots upwards towards the $50,000 mark for the top-of-the-line decked out trim.
As it is a Volkswagen, most features come standard, rather than having a bunch of different add-ons and packages. Fanciness, of course, varies per trim.
The base S gets the $31,425 sticker price. However, it also gets an asterisk. Literally, in parenthesis, VW lets us know that it will be arriving late. This is not unusual as dealerships rarely get shipments of base models and, in general, less are slotted for production. The base carries the 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder engine.
If you’re angling for one of these as soon as they launch, you’ll have several other immediate options.
An S Launch model with the bigger 3.6-liter V6 – which is standard on all the other trims – goes on sale first. Premium features include the panoramic sunroof. When the limited Launch trim sells out, your only sunroof option means jumping close to $10,000 for a top SEL trim. It starts at $40,085, a figure that also gives you front and rear park assist, Easy Open liftgate, memory driver seat, and an 115v power outlet in the second row.
The SE trim comes next. It’s the base model but with a step up engine. It also adds standard heated mirrors and seats, auto headlights, rain-sense wipers, and leatherette upholstery. The SE starts at $34,515.
To beef up the technology features, you’ll want to go for the mid-trim SE with Technology for $36,615. The extra $2,100 adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning with auto braking and pedestrian monitoring, and lane keep assist with active steering help. It also adds a power liftgate, remote start, three-zone automatic climate, and an auto-dimming mirror.
Back to the top-of-the-line model we mentioned earlier, the SEL with Premium starts from $49,415. It only comes with all-wheel drive. It’s about $1,500 on the other trims. This Premium trim is the one with all the glitz. It gets the fancy Digital Cockpit VW raves about, 20-inch wheels, LED taillights, puddle lights on the doors, leather upholstery, cooling front and heating rear seats, and a 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio.
A sporty R-line package, which we recently checked out at the DFW Auto Show, will also be offered on the SE and SEL trims. It adds 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels done in a twin-spoke design. Cabin touches include stainless-steel pedals, a special R-Line start up screen and steering wheel clip.
The Atlas will begin arriving at dealerships next month.