A close up of the front wheel of a grey 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is shown during a 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs 2022 Ford Edge comparison.

Cumulative Atmosphere: 2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport vs 2022 Ford Edge

Does design really matter? I’m not asking if it really matters to you personally, but if it really matters in the big picture of automotive excellence. Take two vehicles in the same class—say, the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs the 2022 Ford Edge—and you’ll see that one is certainly a bit savvier in the design department than the other.

But that says nothing of a vehicle’s performance. Leather-appointed seats don’t have any effect on the engineering, and therefore have no bearing on the vehicle’s performance capabilities. So, if design has no effect on a vehicle’s ability to do its job, then why do we spend so much time talking about it? Well, why do we decorate our houses? Four walls and a roof is all we really need; but we desire atmosphere because we are longing for something that is more than merely functional.

The same goes for our vehicles. We want our vehicles to provide not only functionality but also enjoyment. This is especially true in the cabin, where drivers spend most of their time with their vehicles. So, let’s see how the 2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport and the 2022 Ford Edge compare in terms of cabin ambiance.

Crafting an Aesthetic

Before we can properly compare the atmosphere of these two models, we have to set our parameters for what makes a vehicle aesthetically pleasing. It is not simply about slapping a bunch of nice features inside a vehicle. As nice as any one of these features may be, if there is no order behind their implementation, the car will be a scattered and messy piece of machinery—and a very expensive one at that. So, no, good looks aren’t just about merely implementing nice features; it is about using those nice features to craft a consistent aesthetic that entices the eyes. So, how does one craft such an aesthetic?

Well, for our purposes today I will set two parameters: colors and lighting. Colors so drastically affect our mood and the way we perceive certain places or objects. Colors and lighting are two of the main factors that work together to craft the atmosphere of any given setting, especially the inside of a vehicle. So, now that we understand our criteria, let’s dive into these vehicles.

A view of the lift gate of a red 2022 Ford Edge Titanium is shown.


Of course, color begins with the cabin’s base color. However, anyone with the remotest interest in vehicles (or design) knows that the base color is only the beginning; If the base color was the only color, a vehicle would quickly feel bland and void of any personality. This is why it is important to a vehicle’s atmosphere that it includes contrasting colors by way of accents.

The VW Atlas Cross Sport is way ahead of the game on this one, offering both V-Tex Leatherette and two-tone Vienna leather. Now, the “two-tone” feature of this leather does not come simply in the form of a thin stitching accent, but in a sweeping flush of color on the seatbacks. With Titan Black and Jet Black as the foundational colors, drivers have access to complimentary colors of dark beige, stone blue, and dark burgundy. Of the three options, stone blue and dark burgundy are the most exciting ones; the stone blue option lends a cooler, cleaner, and efficient mood while the dark burgundy makes for an edgier, adventurous, and fiercer ambiance. Now, if monotone colors really are your thing, then you can have just Titan Black; but it really is amazing how much personality these color combinations give the vehicle, and how different the vehicle feels depending upon which color combination drivers select.

The 2022 Ford Edge is less focused on color and doesn’t go too far beyond its base colors. While it offers a few different color schemes and some creative seat-stitching, it doesn’t offer anything as dynamic as the two-tone seats of the Atlas Cross Sport. To be fair, the Edge does offer seat-stitching accents, but it is just that—seat stitching—rather than two-toned seats, making it less significant of a contrast, and therefore less impressive an aesthetic.

The Edge, of course, offers a typical black color scheme, but its beige color scheme gives the vehicle a much more refined atmosphere, distinguishing it as a luxury vehicle. But, if a really unique and well-contrasted atmosphere is the name of the game, then the game is the VW Atlas Cross Sport.

A couple is shown driving a 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.


Ah, lighting makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? That’s why so many people have lamps in rooms that contain overhead lights; the lamps are not strictly necessary, but they help to cultivate a mood that can’t be cultivated through stark, white, ceiling lighting. Well, no solution to stark, industrial lighting is better than natural light, which is why the VW Atlas Cross offers a panoramic sunroof that is almost five feet long! The panoramic sunroof is a major benefit; there’s nothing like soaking up the golden hour rays, though there’s something really special about the nighttime views through these sunroofs when the stars come out and soft light pours into the vehicle. Combine that soft starlight with the Atlas Cross Sport’s available ambient lighting, and you’re in for a soothing (and even romantic) cruise.

Now, the 2022 Ford Edge also offers ambient lighting! What it lacks, however, is the panoramic sunroof, meaning that it does not offer the same opportunities for naturally lit drives. This does not diminish the significance of the available ambient lighting. However, it is important to recognize that atmosphere is, to a certain degree, developed cumulatively.

What do I mean by this? Well, the Edge’s ambient lighting is great and will surely help to craft a nice atmosphere in the vehicle. But, since the VW Atlas Cross Sport offers the aforementioned two-tone seats, panoramic sunroof, and ambient lighting, these features all work together to cultivate a truly unique aesthetic. As discussed at the beginning, atmosphere is not merely about any one appealing feature; it’s about the overall ambiance when these elements work in harmony.

The Accumulation

Thinking of atmosphere in this cumulative sense, based on the parameters I have set, it is clear that the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is pulling out some special stops in terms of design. Colors and lighting are two factors that can make or break the atmosphere of a vehicle cabin. When executed well, drivers want to stay in their vehicle, spend time in it, and engage with it; when not done well, though, nobody will be too keen on spending much time in a vehicle, let alone purchasing it. This is not to say that the Ford Edge does coloring and lighting badly; quite the opposite—the Edge provides nice color options and nice lighting.

The VW Atlas Cross Sport, however, goes above and beyond and crafts an overall cabin aesthetic that is truly unique and offers a dynamic atmosphere. So, this is not a question of good vs. bad, but rather good vs. extraordinary. Volkswagen has always excelled in the area of creative design, especially when it comes to color schemes (I mean, we’re talking about the brand that invented the Bug, after all). They certainly don’t back down with the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport.