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Volkswagen's Five-Seat Atlas Cross Sport Coming to American Roads

This slightly swoopier version of the three-row Atlas SUV will compete with the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

By Drew Dorian, Car and Driver

  • The VW Atlas Cross Sport is a two-row version of the family-friendly Atlas SUV.
  • With a coupe-like roofline, the Cross Sport is 2.3-inches lower than the standard model but rides on the same wheelbase.
  • A 235-hp and a 276-hp V-6 will both be offered, along with VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system when the Atlas Cross Sport goes on sale in spring 2020.

We've seen it as the Teramont X in China, we've driven a camouflaged prototype, and now we're finally getting the first glimpse of the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The mid-size two-row SUV will compete with the likes of the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, and Jeep Grand Cherokee when it hits dealer lots next spring. 

Exterior styling is tweaked slightly but features many of the regular Atlas's design cues. An upright front grille, squared-off wheel wells, and a prominent body-side crease give it the familiar look; the sloped roof and steeply raked rear window are unique to the Cross Sport. R-Line models offer a bolder appearance with 21-inch wheels, unique front and rear bumpers, and chrome and piano-black exterior trim. 

While it rides on the same 117.3-inch wheelbase as the three-row Atlas, it's both shorter and lower, making it seem more hunkered down and sporty. From our drive of a prototype model, however, we know it drives too similarly to the regular Atlas to be considered sporty, and the powertrains will be the same 235-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the 276-hp 3.6-liter V-6. 

The Atlas Cross Sport carries EPA fuel-economy estimates of 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive model with the turbo four; adding all-wheel drive to that engine drops the ratings to 18, 23, and 20 mpg respectively. The V-6 model has not yet been rated.

The cabin is plenty roomy for four adults. Behind the rear seat, the Cross Sport offers 40.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which should be enough for everyone's luggage. The Cross Sport gets a wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones, which is new to the Atlas lineup, and can be equipped with many of the same luxuries as the regular model, including a Fender premium stereo system, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, and the company's reconfigurable Digital Cockpit gauge display.

Volkswagen is using the Atlas Cross Sport as a vehicle to launch a few new technologies that will trickle down to other VW models, first of which is the company's latest CarNet app of connected features. The app not only allows the user to start and stop the Atlas Cross Sport remotely but also allows the driver to set a navigation destination in advance.

Two driver-assistance features are also making their debut: Traffic Jam Assist and Dynamic Road Sign Display. The latter works with the Cross Sport's optional adaptive cruise control and allows the SUV to pilot itself in traffic at speeds under 37 mph. Dynamic Road Sign Display is a road sign detection system which alerts the driver to speed limits, school zones, and other signs using a series of icons on the navigation screen.

The Atlas Cross Sport will be offered in base S, SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line trims; Volkswagen has not yet released pricing for any 2020 Atlas Cross Sport trim, but we expect pricing to stick close to the three-row Atlas, which, for the 2019 model year, starts at $31,890 for the base S and up to $49,390 for the top-of-the-line SEL Premium.


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Autos News: Volkswagen's Five-Seat Atlas Cross Sport Coming to American Roads
Volkswagen's Five-Seat Atlas Cross Sport Coming to American Roads
This slightly swoopier version of the three-row Atlas SUV will compete with the Ford Edge, Honda Passport, and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Autos News
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