Trucks & SUVs

Avoid the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas if You Actually Want to Like Your Car

If you’re on the hunt for a three-row SUV, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas might seem like a good option. It’s certainly a handsome looking SUV. It offers a wealth of interior space too. But does that mean you’ll be happy with it? Not necessarily. Unfortunately for the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, it struggles when it comes to both reliability ratings and owner satisfaction ratings. So, if you actually want to like your next car, it might be best to avoid the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas altogether.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas parked in a scenic area
2021 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas isn’t reliable

Odds are that you want your next car to be reliable. And why not? You’re going to be spending a good chunk of change on it. It makes sense to want your investment to be reliable. If that’s the case, though, then you should probably skip the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas because, unfortunately for this SUV, reliability isn’t its strongsuit. 

According to Consumer Reports, this year’s new Volkswagen Atlas struggles when it comes to reliability ratings. This year’s model earned itself a one out of five predicted reliability rating, which makes for a pretty low score. U.S. News & World Report also gave it a three out of five reliability rating, which might be a tad higher than Consumer Reports’ rating, but isn’t that much better. 

But the Atlas’ subpar reliability ratings shouldn’t be much of a surprise. While Consumer Reports didn’t rate the 2020 model, it did give the 2019 Volkswagen Atlas a two out of five reliability score. It also gave the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas a one out of five reliability score. So, when it comes down to it, it’s pretty fair to say that you shouldn’t expect the Volkswagen Atlas to be all that reliable. 

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Owners of it have had plenty to complain about

And if low reliability scores don’t have you convinced that this is an SUV to be avoided? Then take into account what current owners have to say about it. “I leased a 2021 Atlas and the blue tooth and voice command stopped working within 4 days of the lease. It’s been over 45 days that the car is sitting in the dealership and yet there is no ETA on the part,” reads one review listed on Edmunds. That’s not the only questionable review that the Volkswagen Atlas has received either.

While one poor review of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas may not be all that convincing, consider that Consumer Reports also gave it a three out of five predicted overall owner satisfaction rating. What contributed to its low rating? Well, Consumer Reports predicts that not all owners of the Atlas will be happy with its acceleration and handling. Consumer Reports predicts that styling will also be an issue for some.

Overall, however, Consumer Reports says that of those who have bought the Volkswagen Atlas, one 61% would considering buying it again. Unfortunately for the Volkswagen Atlas, that doesn’t make for a great recommendation.

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Consider these options over the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

Fortunately, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas isn’t the only SUV out there. If you’re after a highly rated SUV that’s stock full of people pleasing features, consider the Kia Telluride. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Kia Telluride is significantly more reliable than the Atlas, and earned itself a five out of five reliability rating. It also earned a five out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating.

And if the Kia Telluride isn’t quite your style? Consider the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. While it didn’t land a perfect reliability rating, Consumer Reports did give it a four out of five predicated reliability rating. It also gave the 2021 Hyundai Palisade a four out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. When compared to the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, those scores aren’t so bad.