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The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is an interesting vehicle in a vehicle class saturated with run-of-the-mill SUVs. To the uninitiated, it may seem like the Atlas Cross Sport is simply a sporty trim level of the Volkswagen Atlas. Surprisingly, this is not true; the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are actually entirely different vehicles with only a few similarities.

The Volkswagen Atlas is a three-row SUV that is one of its class’s largest and most capable vehicles, especially for its low price point. The Atlas Cross Sport, on the other hand, is a two-row SUV that is around half a foot shorter than the regular Atlas. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport also has sleek and sporty styling elements that help it cater to a younger, more active consumer. If you are looking for a solid, sporty SUV, here is everything you need to know about the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and what Edmunds says about the newest model on the market today.

2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport price and specs

A blue 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport on the open desert road
2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport | Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a midsize two-row SUV that starts at just under $34,000 MSRP. The Atlas Cross Sport comes standard with front-wheel drive and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A four-wheel drive model and a V6 engine are optional for consumers wanting a little more capability.

With the optional V6 engine, the Atlas Cross Sport can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. By today’s standards, that is fairly slow, with the Toyota Camry base four-cylinder powertrain offering better performance.

The 2023 Atlas Cross Sport has a few undesirable traits

According to Edmunds, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a solid midsize SUV, but unfortunately, it is too average and uninspiring in a huge, oversaturated SUV market with many other exciting options to choose from. Edmunds did enjoy the Atlas Cross Sport’s interior with its uncomplicated design, athletic handling while driving, and straightforward infotainment system, but the Atlas Cross Sport’s slow acceleration and disappointing fuel economy make it a tough SUV to recommend.

As previously stated, the Atlas Cross Sport is slow, even with the optional V6 engine. This shouldn’t be an issue for many consumers, with hardly any SUV owners concerned about performance. Most SUV owners want comfort and capability with some style, but the poor fuel economy found with the Atlas Cross Sport ruins the experience.

The EPA estimates that the V6 Atlas Cross Sport gets around 20 mpg with combined city and highway driving. This is pretty unforgivable for a new vehicle in 2023, especially a smaller-midsize SUV. The 2023 Subaru Crosstrek, on the other hand, offers full-time all-wheel drive but still gets around 28 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

The Atlas Cross Sport’s smaller engine option, a turbo four-cylinder, does get around 21 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, but this smaller engine requires premium fuel, negating most fuel savings over the V6 option. The Atlas Cross Sport is not a bad midsize SUV, but there are too many better options on the market that you can get for a cheaper price.

There are a few reasons to buy the VW Atlas Cross Sport as well

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a crossover SUV; with that SUV designation, some extra capacity is expected. When it comes to towing, the Atlas Cross Sport can pull around 5,000 pounds when properly equipped with a V6 engine and the towing package.

Regarding other features, the Atlas Cross Sport has an infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a customizable digital gauge cluster, app-controlled remote start, and a 4G LTE hotspot. With standard automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control, the Atlas Cross Sport has received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

With two major flaws in performance but all of these positives, consumers have much to consider before purchasing the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.


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