In the same way I mourned the departure of my long-term 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Sport when my year with it ended, I also mourn the loss of the 2017 Mazda CX-9 that I had the pleasure of driving and living with for the past year. But like the saying goes, on to bigger and well, on to bigger things.
Released in 2017 as a 2018 model, the Volkswagen Atlas sits atop the Volkswagen SUV lineup as its most expansive offering. We invited the Atlas to our 2018 SUVOTY competition, where it made a big impression and earned a spot as a finalist. “It’s huge, like really, really, really big,” editor-in-chief Ed Loh said. “The room inside is ridiculous.” Unfortunately, not all of the comments were positive, with judges knocking the Beetle’s big brother for its interior quality and its engine, transmission, and suspension tuning.
First impressions can be tricky, though, so when Volkswagen offered us a longer chance to form an impression, we accepted. Say hello to the newest member of the MotorTrend long-term fleet, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas V6 SE.
Sitting just below midrange as far as trim levels go, our Tourmaline Blue Metallic over black leatherette Atlas comes in at a cool $38,265 with the $2,100 tech package.
So what does all of the scratch get you? Space. Cargo room, seating space, legroom, headroom—you name it, and the Atlas has it in spades. Wrap your head around this: 96.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the second and third row seats stowed. That’s 2.1 cubic feet more than in a Chevrolet Tahoe, which is 5.6 inches longer, 4.4 inches taller, and 2.2 inches wider than the cavernous Atlas. That’s huge, and for the customer who needs the room and can’t stomach the idea of driving a minivan or can’t afford a truck-based super-hauler like a Chevrolet Suburban, the Atlas might be just the ticket.