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Are you searching for your next spacious midsize three-row SUV? The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas is one of its segment’s most underrated models. Providing all the best features with lower prices, the cheapest Atlas trims are also the best. It isn’t often you get the most value from the more affordable trim levels. That’s why it’s no surprise that experts recommend the same version of the Atlas. The best 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trims are the cheapest.

Cheapest 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trim

With most models, the cheapest trim is usually easily skipped because it doesn’t include any of the most essential features. However, the best 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trims are the most affordable. First, the SE base model is the cheapest in the lineup, starting at $36,445 MSRP. With a similar starting price to many similarly-sized SUVs, it’s surprising how many features are standard.

The bottom three trims use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood, good for 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Higher trims get a 3.6-liter V6 with an output of 276 hp and 266 lb-ft, but it’s optional on lower trims.

As previously mentioned, the SE base model is surprisingly well-equipped. For example, tech highlights like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, two USB-C ports, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, a digital instrument cluster, heated front seats, and a power liftgate are standard. Comfort and ease-of-use items like simulated leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and LED headlights are also standard. Lastly, the SE trim’s safety features include forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Best 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trim

A 2023 Volkswagen Atlas midsize three-row SUV, the best trims are also the cheapest.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

Although the most basic version of the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas offers surprising value, it isn’t the best trim in the lineup. The SE with Technology trim is one step above it, which experts agree is superior. For $40,065, the midsize three-row SUV has all the SE features plus more. Improvements include a hands-free liftgate, remote start, second- and third-row USB ports, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, voice controls, adaptive cruise control, and front/rear parking sensors.

Additionally, the best Atlas trim can get four options unavailable to the lower model. For example, all-wheel drive, a panoramic sunroof, and second-row captain’s chairs. Finally, SE with Technology models upgraded with a V6 engine can also get the Towing package. It gives the owners added capability, upping the towing capacity to 5,000 pounds.

Experts recommend the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology

A 2022 Volkswagen Atlas driving down the road.
2023 Volkswagen Atlas | VW Media

We believe the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas offers the most value with the SE with Technology trim. However, please don’t take it from us, as a few other experts recommend the same model. First, Edmunds says it’s the one to get because it “strikes the best balance of price and features.” Additionally, the publication mentions it’s the first model that can get the V6 engine, which is essential. Upgrading horsepower and towing capacity is vital to some midsize three-row SUV owners.

Next, Car and Driver also recommend the SE with Technology trim. C/D also thinks the Atlas is at its best with the V6 engine upgrade, so opt for that too. Furthermore, it agrees the model provides the best mix of features for the price. The reviewer highlighted an eight-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, three-zone climate control, and remote start. This expert also prefers second-row captain’s chairs and the Towing package.

Best 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trims are also cheapest

In conclusion, the best 2023 Volkswagen Atlas trims are the cheapest. The midsize three-row SUV is available in five trim levels, but some are too expensive. Lower options, like the SE and SE with Technology, provide all the best features for a much lower price. Additionally, more costly trim highlights, like the V6 engine and all-wheel drive, are available options for the cheapest models. Why spend more when the best costs less?


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