Three-row SUVs are stylish alternatives to minivans, but they have a significant shortcoming that often makes them less than ideal for many drivers. Their third row of seats is usually cramped and uncomfortable for anyone other than small children, which limits the versatility of their cabin and their ability to accommodate your passengers. There’s one exception to this, however, and that’s the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas, a midsize SUV that offers one of the most expansive cabins in the segment and makes it ideal for families of all sizes.
Aside from its spacious cabin, the Atlas is loaded with innovative technology and a suite of convenience and safety features that add to its value and make its affordable starting price of $33,475 one heck of a deal. What else can you expect from Volkswagen’s seven-seat midsize SUV? From Volkswagen’s Digital Cockpit and two available powertrains to cutting-edge technology, here’s everything you and your family will enjoy on the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas.
Go Ahead, Relax and Enjoy the Ride: Spaciousness
Offering seating for up to seven with 154 cubic feet of passenger volume, you won’t find any other midsize SUV that offers this level of spaciousness. The 2022 Atlas maximizes every inch of space in the cabin to deliver a comfortable ride, whether you’re in the driver’s seat or in the third row. Designed with families in mind, the second row can easily accommodate three child seats, while the third row offers ample room for adult passengers to relax and enjoy the ride. The dimensions speak volumes to this, with headroom measuring 41.3 inches in the front row, 40.4 inches in the second row, and 38.3 inches in the third row. Legroom measures 41.7 inches, 37.6 inches, and 33.7 inches, respectively.
The second-row bench seats are designed with a 60/40 split and offer a 14-degree recline function, the latter of which allows your passengers another opportunity to relax. The 60/40 split adds versatility to the cabin, while the bench’s folding mechanism is innovative, allowing the second row to tilt and slide forward without having to remove car seats or cargo. The third-row seat offers seating for two with a 50/50 split design. With both the second and third rows capable of folding flat, you’ll have plenty of room for groceries, luggage, gear, and anything else you can imagine with 96.8 cubic feet of room.
A Solid Performer: Power and Performance
Minivans have a reputation for being slow to accelerate and cumbersome to maneuver, which is exactly why so many drivers are turning to alternatives like the 2022 Atlas. Volkswagen allows you to tailor the Atlas to your needs with two available powertrains that give the SUV plenty of power, responsiveness, and stability. This power starts with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s lightweight and compact. Paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter delivers 235 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm. You’ll find a significant boost in power when you opt for the Atlas with the 3.6-liter VR6 engine, which pushes the midsize SUV to its limits to deliver 276 horses and 266 lb-ft of torque with a 5,000-pound towing capacity, the latter of which is a significant boost over the 2.0-liter’s 2,000-pound towing maximum.
Along with customizing the Atlas’ power to your needs, Volkswagen also gives you the option to extend the SUV’s capability and control on various types of terrain with the available 4Motion with Active Control all-wheel-drive system. Updated for 2022, the system constantly monitors the driving conditions and activates before tire slippage occurs to minimize traction loss and enhance your control over the SUV. Active Control extends this functionality by allowing you to select between four drive modes: Onroad, Snow, Offroad, and Custom Offroad. Onroad offers four sub-modes (Normal, Sport, Comfort, and Individual) that, like the other settings, tailor the Atlas’ responsiveness, steering, and drive systems to optimize its performance on the terrain at hand.
Confidence Engineered Mile After Mile: Safety and Driver-Assist
Safety is a top priority for families, and Volkswagen delivers with an expansive suite of safety and driver-assist tools that engineer confidence when you’re behind the wheel. With the 2022 Atlas’ active and passive safety features, you don’t have to think twice about your safety or your family’s when you’re on the road. Volkswagen has already done that for you.
The Atlas is built around a rigid safety cage with front and rear crumple zones that absorb energy during a crash. The cage itself distributes the force of the crash away from the driver and passengers to minimize injury. Also working behind the scenes is the Atlas’ Intelligent Crash Response System, which is a revolutionary feature that turns off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and activates the hazard lights when the airbags deploy, maximizing your safety. With this system taking over when the airbags deploy, the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System engages to minimize impact after the initial collision. Since not every collision brings a car to a stop, the system triggers the brakes to bring the Atlas to a stop and prevent additional collisions such as multi-car accidents or subsequent impacts with trees, road barriers, or other obstacles.
Aside from these collision-related tools, the Atlas also comes standard with a Rear View Camera System that gives you an expansive view behind the SUV and makes backing up easier by minimizing the risk of hitting objects or other vehicles. The Atlas’ tires are also important to your safety since overinflated tires can cause blowouts, and underinflated tires can dramatically affect your steering and stability. The Atlas’ Tire Pressure Monitoring System actively monitors the tire pressure in each tire and alerts you when it’s time to add air.
The Atlas also offers a variety of driver-assist tools that not only enhance your safety but make your time behind the wheel less stressful. Known as IQ.DRIVE, this suite of tools actively extends your view around the vehicle and minimizes the potential for collisions. These tools include Travel Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Side Assist, Rear Traffic Alert, Front Assist, Emergency Assist, and Lane Assist. So, what do these features do?
Travel Assist is a hands-on semi-autonomous driving tool that supports your steering and keeps the Atlas centered in its lane and cruising at a safe speed using a camera and sensors to monitor the traffic ahead. Adaptive Cruise Control extends the function of traditional cruise control by actively monitoring the speed and distance of traffic ahead to adjust the Atlas’ cruising speed as needed, whether that means speeding up or slowing down. Side Assist alerts you to traffic in your blind spots and can provide steering input if you attempt to change lanes when a vehicle is hidden in your blind spot. Rear Traffic Alert keeps an eye out for vehicles crossing behind you while Front Assist watches the front of the vehicle and can engage the brakes to minimize the potential for collision. Lane Assist helps you keep the Atlas centered in its lane, while Emergency Assist can bring the vehicle to a controlled stop if it detects you’re non-responsive behind the wheel.
Your Family Adventures Just Got Better
What are your top priorities in a family-friendly SUV? Spaciousness, performance, and safety are often the top three contenders, and for good reason. Volkswagen knows this firsthand and caters to those needs with the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas, a midsize SUV that offers seating for up to eight in one of the largest cabins in the segment. Also offering the choice between two capable powertrains, the 2022 Atlas is everything drivers are looking for in a family-sized SUV. It’s sophisticated and stylish without sacrificing performance, and it’s filled with cutting-edge technology and conveniences that don’t send the price sky-high. It’s everything you never knew you needed and wanted in a midsize SUV until now.