VW reworks its popular North America-only Atlas with stylish new look but two fewer seats
James Attwood, digital editor
20 November 2019

Volkswagen has unveiled the production version of the sleek Atlas Cross Sport SUV at the Los Angeles motor show, a five-seat version of the popular North America-only Atlas seven-seater.

The new machine, which will go on sale in North America next year and was previewed at the 2018 New York show, is a reworked version of the existing Atlas. It is based on the same version of the MQB platform as the seven-seat version and features an identical 2979mm wheelbase, but is 71mm shorter due to having smaller overhangs. It is also 58mm lower, thanks to the sloped couple-style roofline.

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The Atlas Cross Sport also gains new styling intended to be “more emotional” than the practicality-focused Atlas, and which Volkswagen says “points the way for the future look” for the firm’s SUVs in America. The machine features a new rear bumper, and sits on 21-inch wheels.

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While the model only seats five, it maintains a second row of seats that slide to expand the boot, and VW claims rear legroom exceed that of some seven-seat SUVs. The interior also features a revamped look.

The Atlas Cross Sport will be available with either a 272bhp V6 or 232bhp four-cylinder turbocharged TSI powertrain, both using an eight-speed automatic gearbox and available with all-wheel-drive.

The Atlas has been key to Volkswagen’s revival in the USA following the dieselgate scandal, with the car designed and developed purely for the North American market, where VW adopts a slightly more mass-market value positioning than in Europe.

While the Atlas Cross Sport will only be sold in North America, it is closely related to the Teramont X SUV built and sold by the firm in China.

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20 November 2019

'Sleek' is not one of them.

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