Updated: Apr 1, 2022
Ten months ago, I wrote about the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium.
So what am I doing back in the same model year of the same vehicle in the same trim?
The difference is under the hood. The Atlas from last September had the 3.6-liter V6:
The car we're talking about today is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder Atlas SEL Premium:
A two-liter engine leaves a lot of space in the engine bay of a full-sized SUV. Here's a better look:
The 2.0T is 235 horsepower to the V6's 276. Both run through the same eight-speed automatic transmission.
Normally, I'd tell you that 41 horsepower is a difference you can feel. But the fact of the matter is that acceleration is nearly identical---7.2 seconds from zero to 60 in the V6, 7.5 in the 2.0T. And fuel economy goes from 16 city/22 highway to 20 city/24 highway. That's an extra 74.4 miles worth of city driving from a tank of gas---an extra 37.2 miles worth of highway.
Beyond that, everything I said about the V6 ten months ago stands. It's roomy, smooth, quiet and well-appointed. An excellent road car.
The other upside to the 2.0T versus the V6 is a $1,770 price break. The base price of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0T SEL Premium is $47,225. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see the standard equipment (which is the same no matter which engine you choose).
Our tester had no extra-cost options, so with $1,195 destination charge, the as-tested price of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas 2.0T SEL Premium is $48,420.
Seventeen hundred dollars and change in your pocket, gasoline savings and no appreciable real-world difference in performance? The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium is a terrific buy---and why wouldn't you go for the 2.0-liter turbo?