2021 Volkswagen Atlas review

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Volkswagen Atlas highlights

Customer rating

RepairPal reliability rating

(data not available)


  • Three-row SUV with plenty of space for all
  • Balances handling and comfort
  • Easy-to-use cabin design


  • Even the optional V6 has disappointing acceleration
  • Lacks the fuel-sipping performance of its competitors

Mileage (EPA estimate)

16 city, 22 highway, 18 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

A stylish, seven-seater SUV

For everyday driving in comfort—and the luxury of handling weekend excitement in style—the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas delivers. This head-turning SUV packs a punch! With eight trim levels that tailor driving to suit your personality, and an enviably grand capacity for friends and cargo, the Atlas is a great choice.

All Volkswagen Atlas years

What is new for the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas?

  • The Atlas is available in a variety of new trims, including the 2.0T S, 2.0T SE, 2.0T SEL, and SEL Premium R-Line.
  • Alpine Sound System features are now available as options on select trims.
  • The SE w/Tech trim now comes with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Automated Cruise Control, and Turbo Charged Engine as standard equipment.
  • The SE trim now comes with Tow Hitch and Android Auto as standard equipment.
  • The SE R-Line trim now comes with Cloth Seats, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay as standard equipment.
  • The S trim now comes with Tow Hitch and Android Auto as standard equipment.
  • The SEL Premium trim now comes with Android Auto and Turbo Charged Engine as standard equipment.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas trims

Curious how Volkswagen Atlas trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities


  • Features 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto connectivity, dual-zone climate control with vents across all rows, cloth upholstery, forward collision mitigation, rearview camera, and more.


  • Adds keyless entry and remote start,

    tri-zone climate control, heated front seats, wireless phone charging, second-row USB ports, leatherette upholstery, voice controls, eight-inch touchscreen display, and more.

SE with Technology:

  • Adds 20-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, hands-free tailgate, optional second-row captain's chairs, and more.

SE with Technology R-Line:

  • Unlocks a V6 engine, exclusive-to-R-Line front and rear bumpers, R-Line badging, 20-inch alloy wheels, rear traffic alert, stainless steel pedal caps, and more.


  • Features a digital cockpit system, panoramic sunroof with two-part glass opening system and powered sunshade, silver roof rails, turn-adaptive headlights, lane assist, and more.

SEL R-Line:

  • Adds 21-inch alloy wheels, heated steering wheel, R-Line sports exterior styling, R-Line steering wheel clip, navigation system, and more.

SEL Premium:

  • Unlocks 12-speaker Fender® premium audio system, heated second-row seats, leather upholstery, ambient interior lighting, automated parking system, 360-degree camera, and more.

SEL Premium R-Line:

  • Pairs the SEL R-Line trim's luxury sport styling with the SEL Premium trim features.

View all Volkswagen Atlas' in stock

Volkswagen Atlas photos

5 reasons to buy the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

1. Stylish exterior refresh

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Review: Exterior | CarMax

The refreshed Atlas maintains the boxy presence of the outgoing model, while boasting the addition of boldly styled front and rear bumpers. The front end's three-bar grille wraps around the fascia, while the headlights and taillights feature LED lighting. Look up, and you'll find roof rails are standard—increasing your getaway cargo capacity—with a large panoramic sunroof as an available feature on the SE with Technology model, and standard at SEL and SEL Premium trims.

2. Helpful driver-assistance features

2021 Volkswagen Atlas: Dashboard | CarMax

Equipped with an impressive lineup of standard driver-assistance features, the eight trim levels also unlock assistance you will appreciate. The Intelligent Crash Response System is a standard feature of the 2021 Atlas, featuring advanced forward collision mitigation. You'll also love the Dynamic Road Sign Display feature (SEL, SEL premium), which detects, reads, and analyzes road sign data, sharing it to the media screen and digital cockpit display.

3. Plenty of passenger comfort

2021 Volkswagen Atlas: Back Seats | CarMax

You'll be basking in some next-level popularity as the driver of a 2021 Atlas; it's a dream setup for your passengers. Enjoy quilt-like cloth upholstery as standard, or choose from the leatherette or leather available in mid- and higher-end trims. Second-row passengers can relax into plush bench seating with middle arm rests and integrated cupholders. There are available USB ports throughout the cabin, as well as convenient storage pockets and dual or triple climate-control zones. Friends and family will be thrilled to relax in your ride.

4. Adaptable for everyday life

2021 Volkswagen Atlas: Third Row | CarMax

The 2021 Atlas excels at making everyday events feel easy, and challenging trips less stressful. Heading out to play sports with your buddies? Running errands or picking up DIY supplies? No problem. The second- and third-row seats have fold-flat functionality. Multiple morning dropoffs are light work, too—the third row is all-access, thanks to a second-row bench seat that features a 7.7-inch sliding range.

5. Tons of tech for every trim

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Review: Tech | CarMax

Thanks to its distinctly premium feel, you can expect some serious tech onboard the 2021 Atlas. Even before you ascend the trim levels, take a look at the tech that comes with the base S trim. Driver-assistance features include forward-collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Entertainment features are covered too, with smartphone connectivity, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth® technology, and a six-speaker audio system.

Similar vehicles

If you're interested in the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, you should also check out these similar vehicles from Previous generation years.

Image of Chevrolet Tahoe

The Chevrolet Tahoe has all the size and space. The 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe is available with two engine choices and a six-speed automatic transmission. A front-wheel-drive 2019 Chevrolet Tahoe with the 5.3L V8 engine can tow up to an estimated 8,600 pounds when properly equipped.

This gives you a lot of options if you're looking for a capable people-mover or you’re looking to take a small caravan or boat away on a trip.

There are three trims available to buy: LT, LS, and Premier. The base-level LS trim includes features like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay®, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a six-speaker audio system.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

3.5 out of 5

4 customer reviews

Volkswagen Atlas features and specs

SEL 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • 20 Inch Plus Wheels
  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Android Auto
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • Fold-Away Third Row
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Leatherette Seats
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Panoramic Sunroof
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Hatch/Deck Lid
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Air Conditioning
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear Sunshade
  • Rear View Camera
  • Remote Start
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Third Row Seat
  • Tow Hitch
  • Traction Control
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Quad Seats
  • Tow Hitch

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.5"/M 37.6"/R 33.7"

Head room

F 41.3"/M 40.4"/R 38.3"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity


Max towing capacity

500/5000 lbs.



2021 Volkswagen Atlas FAQ

More about the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

Color options

Exterior colors:

  • Aurora Red Metallic (SE with Technology and above)

  • Deep Black Pearl

  • Pacific Blue Metallic (SE with Technology, SEL, SEL Premium, SEL Premium R-Line)

  • Platinum Gray Metallic

  • Pure White

  • Pyrite Silver Metallic

  • Racing Green (SE with Technology and above)

  • Tourmaline Blue Metallic

Interior details

  • Leatherette seating (SE, up to SEL R-Line)

  • 153.7 cubic feet of total passenger volume

  • Legroom across the second and third rows is 37.6 and 33.7 inches, respectively

  • Up to five USB ports, plus three 12-volt DC power outlets as standard

  • 12-speaker Fender premium audio system (SEL Premium)

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