Way back in 2015, I attended the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) and wrote up a little piece about what the highlights of the show were for me (and four other awesome women). And guess what was on that list?
The VW Cross Coupé GTE
That was one of those cars that immediately made me say yes, yes, YES! I wanted a bigger, better, bolder Volkswagen and this was it. But less than two years later, I asked some contacts at VW about a possible production date for the car and they looked at me as if I had two heads.
It’s probably because the Cross Coupé was already out of their vocabulary by then as they geared up for the launch of the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas. Remember seeing it a few weeks ago when I attended NYIAS? It was on my list of my favorite cars from the show. But I didn’t want to check it out too much because I knew I would soon be headed to VW Headquarters in Herndon, VA for a closer look.
A Closer Look at the VW Atlas
When I posted a few photos from my trip to Herndon, everyone got really excited. I don’t know if it was because it was a shiny new car, or it was the amazing color, or just because so many people are desperate for that perfect vehicle with third row seating.
This might be it. Here’s a quick look at what I saw during my one hour introduction.
First, let’s talk about that color. You’re either going to love it or hate it. I loved it. I picked out that color for my test drive. I don’t know if I’m bold enough to buy that color but I certainly loved it. It’s called Kurkuma Yellow Metallic and I’m told that Kurkuma is the German word for turmeric. Leave it to VW to make an easy to pronounce car (Atlas) with a difficult to pronounce color (kurkuma).
Don’t worry. There are other colors too. I actually drove the Kurkuma but photographed the interior of another car because I think the lighter interior shows better in photos.
The dash was beautiful with everything controlled by touchscreen except for the climate controls. What I loved the most, though, was the in-dash navigation. If you took the map off of the main display, it would immediately switch to the all digital screen in front of the driver. This actually makes more sense for helping the driver keep their eyes on the road.
The front was spacious and it felt like a big vehicle (even though VW says the Atlas considered a mid-size). It was so big, though, that little ol’ me did require a lot of seat adjustments to feel comfortable and I couldn’t find the lumbar support until the end of the drive. But I’m confident I could have found all the right settings (and kept them with memory settings).
The rear two rows seemed just as spacious with amenities for the backseat drivers, I mean, backseat riders.
The third row also looked like it could seat two adults comfortably provided the second row guests were kind enough to slide their seats slightly forward.
Finally, let’s talk space.
From front the back, the cabin felt spacious and airy (with the light interior and panoramic sunroof) and offered plenty of visibility.
The cargo space was more than adequate with all three rows in place. Folding the seats would add a tremendous amount of space for those who need it.
And then… I had to peek! It wasn’t a spare. It was a subwoofer for the awesome Fender stereo system.
Fast Facts about the VW Atlas
Volkswagen touts the Atlas as “the family-sized SUV built in America.” The pricing is what will make this model a true contender in the midsize SUV space withexcellent passenger and cargo volume, as well as flexible seating for up to seven adults.
I’ve yet to try the VW Atlas for a long-term test ride but in the short-term, I’m pretty excited to see the VW Atlas pull swiftly into market.