Word out of Germany has the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas hitting the market with a refreshed design. Already a top seller for VW, the Atlas should benefit from a revamped interior, modernized exterior, and some powertrain tweaks. Our SUV experts share what to expect from the new model.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Overview
Our insiders tell us the 2023 model has an impressive array of trim levels and options, including two power plants — an inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine and a V-6 engine made for towing. You can expect to see the front and all-wheel drive options that deliver capable control and competitive fuel economy. Many new features should come as standard equipment based on trim level rather than part of option packages. Drivers will continue to enjoy the cavernous space the Atlas cabin offers. As a result of all these upgrades, we believe the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas will hang with all the usual SUV suspects in its class.
2023 Atlas Interior
Slipping inside the Atlas’ cabin, you immediately notice the upscale interior. Earlier Atlas models had a utilitarian look and feel with fewer soft-touch surfaces and premium materials. The new models will have more sophisticated design elements, incorporating well-developed features and the latest technology available in high-end luxury brands.
Top Atlas trims will have leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and leather-wrapped steering wheels with heating. You’ll seat up to seven people without sacrificing comfort, including in the third row because Volkswagen increased the overall size of the Atlas. Instead of giving that space to the first two rows, Volkswagen spread the extra space among all three rows.
The 2023 Atlas has a 117.3-inch wheelbase and a 78.3-inch width. In addition, you get a full 8 inches of ground clearance. As a result, if you lead an adventurous life, you can leave the pavement behind confidently. Also, the Atlas base model weighs in at 4,242 pounds, and the V-6 version with all-wheel drive tops out at 4,528 pounds, leaner than most SUVs in its class. Bigger, lighter, and stronger make Atlas a true competitor.
Delight in your favorite infotainment by accessing a touch-screen display. Only the base model comes with a 6.5-inch screen. Volkswagen Atlas middle-tier models get an 8-inch touch screen, while the top-tier trim vehicles enjoy a 10.25-inch version. In contrast, the low trim has an AM/FM radio and a six-speaker sound system.
Top-tier trims feature a 12-speaker premium audio system from Fender, which you can add as an option to low-tier models. Other standard features include a wireless charging pad, enhanced voice recognition, a tri-zone climate control system, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free power liftgate.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth technology come preloaded in every trim. These systems allow you to sync your smartphones for hands-free operations. Now, you can send and receive texts, make calls, stream your favorite playlists, and more using intuitive voice commands. In addition, top models will have built-in navigation, a free trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio, and three additional USB ports for the rear passengers to connect and charge.
On the SEL models, you’ll find IQ.Drive, a suite of driver-assist systems designed to elevate your commute and keep you safer. This suite includes Travel Assist, a semi-autonomous cruise control system that steers, accelerates, and brakes for you at speeds over 37 mph. VW’s Front Assist system actively scans the way ahead using radar to detect obstacles. Front Assist warns you when it detects a potential obstacle and can engage emergency braking if you react slowly.
Active Blind Spot Monitor uses similar technology to watch your blind spots to either side. The system alerts you when a vehicle enters your blind spot while attempting a lane change. In addition, this system will counter-steer to help you avoid a possible collision. A Rear Traffic Alert system does the same when traveling in reverse by scanning behind and to either side. Rear Traffic Alert warns you when a vehicle or pedestrian crosses behind you and brakes if necessary. This technology feature comes in quite handy in busy parking lots.
VW’s Lane Assist system uses sensors high on your windshield to track your Atlas when traveling within marked lanes. Lane Assist alerts you when it detects an unintentional drift and can provide gentle steering input to keep you in your lane. A new Emergency Assist feature works with Lane Assist and Travel Assist. This technology can recognize when you’ve lost the ability to drive. First, you receive multiple alerts. Then, if you fail to respond, the system will bring your Atlas to a controlled stop, keeping you and others around you safe.
You also have a rear camera system that sends a live video feed from behind your Atlas to your infotainment screen. The feed includes dynamic grid lines to help measure the distance to obstacles. In addition, the Atlas comes with a 360-degree surround view system. This system uses multiple cameras to render a bird’s-eye view around your Atlas, which is helpful when navigating tight city streets or the twisting dirt road up to the lake house.
2023 Volkswagen Engine Options
The low-tier trims come with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The 2.0-liter turbo engine tuned for fuel efficiency performs well when paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, putting out a respectable 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Drivers looking for more power and torque will opt for the 3.6-liter V-6 engine. VW pairs this engine with the same eight-speed automatic to produce 276 horsepower, 266 lb-ft of torque, and a towing capacity that reaches 3,500 pounds. With this powertrain, you won’t have to leave behind your adult toys on your next adventure.
At Capistrano Volkswagen, we know what drivers want in an SUV. If you’re looking for a comfortable, spacious cabin with all the sophisticated features you crave, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has what you need and more. We invite you to shop our inventory online before visiting our Valle Road dealership for a test drive. We have the best selection of SUVs in Orange County at competitive prices.