Hold the Line: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Pricing Revealed

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Refreshed for the 2021 model year, the successful Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t change what consumers already like — and part of that strategy means keep its entry price static. Donning a revamped front and rear fascia that mimics its slightly shorter two-row sibling, the Atlas Cross Sport, the midsize crossover again starts at $32,656 after destination.

That price gets you into a front-drive S powered by a carryover 2.0-liter turbo four. Should your wishes include all-wheel drive, expect to find a lot more choice.

Previously, VW relegated its 2.0-liter to FWD models; as such, you weren’t likely to encounter many 2.0T Atlases in the wild. Which is too bad, as a recent test of the new Cross Sport revealed the 235-horse four-banger works particularly well with its eight-speed dance partner.

With four-cylinder/AWD on offer in the Cross Sport, VW has expanded availability to the three-row model. An Atlas S AWD starts at $34,465, or some $1,900 more than the FWD model — a valentine to penny-pinchers living in harsh climes who’d otherwise have to add an unnecessary six-cylinder to their shopping list.

Of course, Atlas SE is where VW expects to garner the bulk of its volume. In this trim, choice is rampant. At $35,915 after destination, the four-cylinder SE can be outfitted with AWD for the same $1,900 upcharge, or buyers can stuff a 3.6-liter V6 (276 hp) under hood for $1,400.

The SE doesn’t lack for content; faux leather upholstery appears, along with smart keyless entry, heated front chairs, 8-inch infotainment screen, and triple-zone climate control. Should this prove insufficient in making the driver feel special, there’s a technology package that heaps on the convenience features. If ever-so-slightly sportier styling opens your wallet, Basic Instinct-style, an R-Line model can be had for $40,715.

From there, things get tonier with the SEL ($43,315), which adds the features of the SE Technology and throws in some of its own (panoramic sunroof, standard V6, Digital Cockpit). Buyers can further up the lux with the Premium SEL, and there’s even the choice of adding the R Line package. Pricing for the loftiest Atlas tops out just below $52k.

It’s worth noting that, while extra value exists at the bottom of the totem, better-optioned Atlases stand to cost more. The SE and SEL trims add $200 and $1,500, respectively, to the price of a 2020 model.

For 2021, Volkswagen boosted the appeal of lower-end Atlases while ensuring higher margins on loftier trims. Meanwhile, content creeps upward across the board. It’s difficult to see this strategy going over poorly.

The 2021 Atlas arrives at dealers in the second quarter.

[Images: Volkswagen]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Northeaster Northeaster on Mar 06, 2020

    The longer I'm away from my B5 Passat wagon, the more sympathetic I am to the brand. That's probably because the A4 allroad I bought to replace it is actually behaving going on to the third year. Whether VAG has figured out how to prevent VWs from self immolating remains to be seen, though.

  • EX35 EX35 on Mar 08, 2020

    Who in the world would buy this now that VW dumped their longer warranty?

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  • Alan Like all testing and analysis work you need a good set of requirements. If you don't you'll find or end up with gaps.
  • Alan In aviation there is more vigourous testing, well, until Boeing changed things.
  • Alan This outcome was certain.The US, Australia and Canada need to approach this differently. A policy towards plug in hybrids should of been a first step. As in CAFE gradually tighten FE from there.There's no reason why you can't have a 2 litre F-150 with electric motors putting out 400-500hp. A 2 litre turbo is good for 200hp more than enough to move a pickup.Also increase fuel tax/excise every year to fill the void in loss of revenue.
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