In terms of pounds per dollar, the Volkswagen Atlas could end up as one of the better automotive bargains available in the United States. VW has confirmed that base trims of the Atlas will begin right around $30,000. That’s Ford Flex territory, which is unexpectedly reasonable considering this is a midsize SUV from Germany.
With the Honda Pilot, GMC Acadia, and Mazda CX-9 all starting between $29,995 an $32,420, Volkswagen couldn’t let the valuation stray too far. An automotive paragon like the Golf can start a few grand above the competition, but an unknown entity like the Atlas cannot.
Volkswagen hasn’t said where the R-Line Atlas will be in terms of price, but range-topping SEL Premium models are anticipated to peak near $48,000.
All variants of the three-row SUV will be available with two engine options: the base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 235 horsepower or the 3.6 liter V6 with 276 horsepower. Both come standard with an eight-speed automatic, while Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available only on the six-cylinder
As the Atlas is assembled in Chattanooga, Tennessee, VW chairman Dr. Herbert Diess was keen to express how important it is that the Atlas will be Made in America™.
“North America is very significant for our brand, and the most important task we face is to regain the trust of our customers,” he said at the Sunday unveiling of the R-Line. “Volkswagen stands for cars designed for American buyers and built in the North American region, cars at attractive prices. The new Volkswagen Atlas and the all-new Tiguan mark the beginning of a major product offensive.”
Hinrich Woebcken, CEO of Volkswagen North America, echoed Diess while further illustrating VW’s desire to get back into America’s good graces with help from the sport utility segment.
“This is the biggest and boldest Volkswagen we have ever built in the United States, delivering the distinctive design and craftsmanship we’re known for, now with room for seven, ” he said in a statement. “The Atlas marks a brand new journey for Volkswagen to enter into the heart of the American market.”
Atlas models will go on sale this spring, with the R-Line package made available later in the year.