4 Things Consumer Reports Likes About the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas

The Volkswagen Atlas returns for the 2023 model year, though it offers barely any changes. Every model now includes an upgraded digital instrument cluster. Otherwise, it’s still the same three-row midsize SUV with two engine options, room for up to seven riders, and a competitive starting price. Because it’s basically a carryover model, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas earns the same high praise as the 2022 version. Here are four features Consumer Reports likes the most.

1. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas provides a roomy cabin

2023 Volkswagen Atlas: Consumer Reports review
2023 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen of America, Inc. Newspress Limited

Consumer Reports testers like that the driver has plenty of room to get comfortable in the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas’ front seats. Also, the steering wheel and driver’s seat provide numerous adjustability options and huge cushions. Most trim levels have synthetic leather seats, but you can get real leather on the fully loaded Atlas SEL Premium R-Line.

The Atlas’ large windows and expansive windshield also give the driver great visibility. In addition, front door openings are wide enough to allow access for riders of any height. And according to CR’s measurements, the Atlas boasts over 50 cubic feet of usable cargo space.

However, CR testers weren’t as impressed with the interior quality. It provides a decent presentation, but it has several plastic elements, and some of the buttons feel chintzy.

2. Spacious third-row seating is another 2023 Volkswagen Atlas benefit

With a little adjustment, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas can accommodate an adult or two in its third row. In many similar three-row SUVs, the back seats are cramped and provide only marginal comfort for smaller passengers. In addition, third-row access is easy thanks to the second-row seats’ fold-and-slide function.

The second row also has spacious and supportive seats. The back doors are as wide as the front ones. Any trim can be optioned with heated second-row seats, and all come with standard reclining functions.

3. Consumer Reports likes the smooth performance and power

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas packs a standard turbo-four engine making 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Starting on the SE With Technology trim, you can get the V6, producing 276 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. 

Both engine options pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, but full-time all-wheel drive is an option. Getting the V6 also gives the Atlas a competitive towing capacity of 5,000 pounds if you add the towing package. 

Consumer Reports used the V6 model for this SUV’s road test. Testers appreciated the precise shifts from the transmission and the Atlas’ stability around corners. Exterior and interior noise remain at a delightful minimum, while the suspension easily absorbs the most troublesome pavement imperfections.

Given the SUV’s size, CR testers weren’t shocked the Atlas exhibited a sluggish acceleration time. It required nearly nine seconds to reach 60 mph. Fortunately, it handled well during evasive maneuvers and showed excellent braking distances by this segment’s standards.

4. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has user-friendly controls

The infotainment system in the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas has either a 6.5-inch or 8.0-inch touchscreen, depending on the trim. It boasts crisp graphics and intuitive menus. Consumer Reports testers had no problem locating essential controls, and the Atlas allows drivers to configure many options from the steering wheel.

The center stack includes physical tuners for audio and climate functions. And the digital gauge cluster has a simple layout. If your Atlas has navigation, you can even view your route from that display without having to glance at the center touchscreen.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas isn’t the fastest or most glamorous SUV. And most of its advanced safety features cost extra. Still, it’s one of the more practical and spacious vehicles for larger families.

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