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The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas recently received a refresh from the German automaker, and this refresh has made some tangible improvements to the midsize SUV. That being said, not all changes are inherently positive, and sometimes, automakers can end up making their cars worse with the addition of new features. Here’s a look at the refreshed 2024 Volkswagen Atlas, the biggest “hit” that VW scored, as well as the automaker’s biggest “miss”.

A brief overview of what Volkswagen changed about the 2024 Atlas

J.D. Power wrote a review about the updated Atlas, and this recent refresh changed a lot about the SUV, both on the inside and on the outside. As is the case with most refreshes, the German automaker changed how the Atlas looks. It has a new grille and fascia design, the headlights are new, and the front and rear logos are illuminated now. 

Volkswagen also made aesthetic changes to the Atlas’ interior, notably by completely restyling how it looks. Overall, it has a more premium feel than before, and this is further improved on the top trims.

For example, there are new quilted leather seats that are available on the top trims. There’s a new trim to think about, too. That new trim is the Peak Edition, and it’s essentially the off-road trim for the midsize SUV.

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas has a new engine, and it’s a ‘hit’

One of the biggest changes that VW gave the Atlas is also the SUV’s biggest improvement overall. The old version of the Atlas had two engine options. It started with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder that got 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Owners could swap that out for a 3.6-liter V6 that got 276 hp and and 266 lb-ft of torque.

For the 2024 model year, Volkswagen ditched both of those engines and now, the Atlas has a single engine option. It’s an improved version of the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, but now it gets 269 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. That’s much more powerful than the old four-cylinder, and it essentially has the same horsepower output as the V6. However, it gets a bit more torque than the V6 got.

This new engine doesn’t turn the Atlas into a sports car, but it does improve the car’s acceleration. With all-wheel drive equipped, it goes from 0 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds. On top of that, since it’s a smaller engine, it’s more fuel efficient than the old V6. With front-wheel drive, it gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on highways, for 23 mpg combined.

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas has a ‘miss’ in terms of its new tech features

On the other end of the spectrum, one of the Atlas’ other big change is likely a downgrade for many car shoppers. This change has to do with the car’s interior controls and infotainment system. The midsize SUV now comes standard with a 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster display and a 12-inch touchscreen.

These big and long screens are an improvement from the smaller ones in the old Atlas, but VW also made changes to the car’s controls. Like many other automakers, Volkswagen has been reducing the number of physical controls and buttons that are in the car. Instead, the company has been putting those functions on the touchscreens. 

For example, most climate controls are only accessible by using the touchscreen. A lot of drivers are used to touchscreens by now, but many drivers still prefer the old fashion layout of buttons and physical controls. As such, for the many drivers who dislike relying on touchscreens, this move is bound to be a big “miss” for VW.


Buttons and Knobs Are Easier to Use and Safer Than Touchscreens