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Atlas Shrunk: The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front 3/4 view

It's makeover year for the Volkswagen Atlas, something I chronicled for you in October with a review of the Atlas SEL.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear 3/4 view

Same goes for the Atlas Cross Sport, the (slightly) smaller version of the Atlas.

Where the Atlas seats eight (seven with the optional second-row captain's chairs), the Atlas Cross Sport is a two-row, five-seater. Five inches come straight off the rear and VW's stylists give the roof a haircut, too---the top of the Atlas Cross Sport's roof is two inches closer to the ground than that of the Atlas.

The Atlas Cross Sport gets a different design for the grille, a tailgate and taillight treatment all its own, and quad exhausts instead of the dual setup found on the Atlas.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport hood up

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport engine

The mechanicals are different from last year, but the same as the new Atlas---a 2.0-liter 16-valve turbo four-cylinder making 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. There's an eight-speed automatic transmission and 4MOTION all-wheel drive.

Zero to 60 sprints happen in 7.5 seconds---almost a full second quicker than the previous-gen Atlas Cross Sport. And since that power now comes from a turbo four instead of a V6, the EPA fuel economy estimate is 22 mpg combined city/highway.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear liftgate open

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear cargo area

Even with five inches less vehicle, the lack of a third row of seats results in a cavernous rear cargo area---40.3 cubic feet with the second-row still in place. That's roughly double the space found in the Atlas with the third-row seats in the upright position. If you carry things more often than people, this is a major contender.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear seat

That cargo space does not come at the expense of rear-seat passengers, who get 37.6 inches of legroom.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front seats

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front seat detail

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport instrument panel

As with the Atlas, this year's refresh brings nicer materials and a new, fresh design. And, as with the Atlas, that means the touch-sensitive controls that I've complained about in reviews of the ID.4, the Golf R and the GTI. Let's hope for a mid-cycle refresh that deals with the functionality, or maybe even a sensible return to knobs and buttons for key controls.

The base price of the 2024 Atlas Cross Sport SEL Premium R-Line, the top of the line model, is $52,795 including destination. And that buys a seriously loaded vehicle, with the following as standard equipment:

21-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights and LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, adaptive front lighting with dynamic cornering lights, poor weather lights, illuminated front and rear VW logos, a front light bar and red rear light bar, power-folding heated side mirrors with position memory, puddle lights and passenger-side auto-tilt function, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer nozzles, a power tilting and sliding panoramic sunroof, R-Line bumpers and exterior trim, silver roof rails, a trailer hitch, dual-zone automatic climate control with advanced air filter, leather-wrapped R-Line heated steering wheel with shift paddles, heated and ventilated power front seats, heated outboard rear seats, Vienna leather seating surfaces, R-Line interior trim, stainless steel pedal caps, seat inserts with diamond-pattern stitching, USB charging ports in both rows, a 115-volt AC outlet in the second row, a center console with illuminated cupholders and storage area, front center armrest with storage box, illuminated door pockets, overhead controls and vanity mirrors, reading lights, multi-color adjustable ambient lighting with backlit dash decor, front-row entry lights and footwell lights, carpeted cargo area with 120-volt power outlet, auto-dimming rearview mirror and manual sunshades for second-row windows.

Not done.

There's also a 10.25-inch configurable instrument display, head-up display, keyless access, pushbutton engine start, remote engine start, a handsfree power liftgate, 12-inch touchscreen, navigation, voice control and a Harman Kardon premium audio system.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport steering wheel and instrument display

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport center stack

Just how complete a package is that? Enough so that the only extra-cost option on our test vehicle was the Pure Gray paint ($395). The as-tested price? $53,190.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front view

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport side view

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear view

Bottom line here is that the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is everything I like about the Atlas, with more of an emphasis on cargo and style.


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