Saturday, 22 June 2024

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport offers sharp styling, tech-savvy and upscale interior Featured

Posted On Saturday, 01 June 2024 22:55 Written by
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The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the sportier, two-row version of its Atlas SUV offering. The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is the sportier, two-row version of its Atlas SUV offering. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen

With the demand for SUVs as high as it’s ever been, automakers are wise to cover all bases and offer additional models and vehicle styles to fit different buyers.

For Volkswagen, which already offers the Volkswagen Atlas three-row SUV, that means also having a shorter two-row version of the Atlas  — dubbed the Atlas Cross Sport — for folks who need fewer seats and are seeking a sharper look.

There’s a ton of strong competitors in the midsize SUV segment (including Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Passport, and many others), so the Atlas Cross Sport must clear a high bar to make a significant impact.

New for 2024 is an updated engine (a four-cylinder engine that replaces the previous model’s V6 but adds power), and some styling updates and additional standard tech features.

I recently spent some time in a 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SEL R-Line, a midsize SUV which catches your eye with its attractive, sloping roofline, and I’m back with a full report on this stylish ride.


LOOKS

The 2024 Atlas Cross Sport features a truly sharp exterior design that stands out in styling vs. other midsize SUVs. I loved the bright blue paint scheme (“Kingfisher Blue Metallic”) on my test vehicle, which was a big attention getter. It also featured standout wheel design, a glowing VW logo up front, dual headlights on each side and a bold rear lighting design as well. The refreshes to the front and rear of the vehicle for 2024 are a big improvement and a welcome addition.

It’s a more flashy, bold and sporty design than the original three-row Atlas. By losing the third row of seats and getting a bit smaller, the Atlas Cross Sport is able to deliver a sleek roofline design that most people should appreciate.

My test vehicle featured 21-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires (base model starts with 18-inch wheels), automatic LED lighting in front and rear, dynamic cornering on the front lighting system, power-folding heated side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, panoramic sunroof, and silver roof rails.

Moving inside, you’ll find a tech-savvy design in the Atlas Cross Sport. In the vehicle, nearly everything features a touch-sensitive control — from opening the sunroof to interior lighting. There are almost no physical buttons (I’ll discuss that more later in the technology section).

A tiny shifter frees up plenty of storage space below the center console. Small storage space is also abundant throughout the vehicle. Hideable center cup holders can be found in the back seat.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s two rows are both extremely roomy, with lots of head and leg space. The vehicle offers quality, comfortable seating (Vienna leather) and other high-end materials throughout the vehicle — plus some cool interior lighting options. VW was definitely going for a futuristic, upscale, high-tech look.

Cargo space is also decent in the Altas Cross Sport, coming in at 40 cubic feet behind the second row, and 78 cubic feet behind the first row when you fold the second row. Many rival SUVs will beat these numbers, but the tradeoff is that most of them are not as stylish.

Other features include heated and ventilated front seats, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, and tri-zone climate control. 

HOW’S THE RIDE?

All versions of the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are powered by the same motor — a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine delivering outputs of 269 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, with AWD offered as an option and becoming standard on higher trim levels.

The vehicle can be equipped to tow a respectable total of 5,000 pounds, and it features a four-wheel independent suspension.

Drive modes offered include Eco, Comfort, Sport, Custom, Offroad and Snow.

Acceleration is decent but not the best, reaching 0-to-60 in just under 7 seconds. 

I would not say the Atlas Cross Sport offers a truly sporty ride quality, meaning the Sport in the vehicle’s name applies more to looks than to performance.

On the plus side, the Atlas Cross Sport handles well on the roadways, provides a quiet ride without entry of road noise, and its brakes are solid. Overall, I’d say it provides more of a smooth ride than a powerful one, and that should be good enough for most people.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

The best way to describe my reaction to the tech offerings on the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross is that it’s a mixed bag.

On the positive side, it’s very daring and advanced in its tech offerings, which I can respect, but there are times they take this forward-thinking approach a bit too far.

The large 12-inch touchscreen display was bright and clear, and I enjoyed little perks such as how the radio station list showed what song was playing on the station. But the process to access some menus on the touchscreen was overly complicated. And my biggest complaint is that too many features in the vehicle require use of the touchscreen, including climate controls. There are also no physical buttons in the center of the vehicle for music volume and radio station changes. 

Thankfully, voice commands worked well and I was able to use those regularly to avoid having to navigate any overcomplicated menus.

In addition to the touchscreen, a configurable 10.3-inch display is directly in front of the driver.

The vehicle comes with a half-dozen USB ports, a wireless phone charger, and wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. A Wi-Fi hotspot is offered in the vehicle, and music lovers can opt for a Harman Kardon premium audio system.

Safety is a strong suit of the Atlas Cross Sport, which delivers a ton of great features that do their job well and keep all passengers safe.

I appreciated the multi-angle rearview camera showing all sides of the car as well as an aerial view, which will get drivers in and out of any tight spots without worry.

A five-star overall government safety rating is reassuring, as is the full complement of air bags in the vehicle.

Among the most important safety features that come standard on the Atlas Cross Sport are:

— Forward collision mitigation including pedestrian detection (warns of impending collision and applies brakes)
— Blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning (helpful during lane changes or when reversing)
— Blind-spot intervention (steers vehicle back to its lane to avoid vehicles in your blind spot)
— Lane keeping assistance (keeps you in your lane if it senses drifting)
— Adaptive cruise control (keeps steady distance to vehicle in front of you)
— Safe exit alert (warns you not to open door if traffic is approaching)

Other safety systems include: Electronic Stability Control, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Hill Descent Control.

A helpful Head-Up Display is also offered on the Atlas Cross Sport, keeping important information in the sightline of the driver.

MPG

Official fuel mileage numbers on AWD versions of the 2024 Atlas Cross Sport are 19 city/26 highway/22 combined, while FWD versions offer 20 city/27 highway and 23 combined mileage.

These are actually pretty competitive numbers for the segment, but I will note that in my real-world test of an AWD version, I averaged a bit less than the listed numbers, settling in at roughly 20 miles per gallon.

PRICE

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross that I tested was at the top trim level and priced just under $53,000. The base price for the Atlas Cross Sport starts about $38,000.

These numbers are on par with many competitors in the midsize SUV segment, and cost less than SUVs from brands like Toyota and Honda.

Trim levels include the base SE level, SE Technology, SEL, SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line.

The Atlas Cross Sport comes well equipped even on the lower trims, so there’s no need to break the bank and go top shelf unless you absolutely need all the bells and whistles.

VW offers decent warranties, though they are less impressive than class-leading brands like Hyundai and Kia.

VW’s warranties include a bumper-to-bumper warranty for four years or 50,000 miles, powertrain coverage for four years or 50,000 miles, and two years or 20,000 miles of complimentary maintenance. You also get three years or 36,000 miles of 24-hour roadside assistance.

BOTTOM LINE 

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross features sharp design, a comfy and high-end interior, and lots of standard tech and safety features. 

It’s a strong choice for families wanting a sportier-looking SUV than the traditional three-row Atlas, and don't need a third row or the most powerful vehicle in class.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
  • Price as tested: $52,795 (starts at $38K) 
  • Best feature: Sharp exterior design, high-end interior
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: VW fans wanting a high-class, roomy two-row SUV option
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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