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Infotainment is a term that 20 years ago, wasn’t in anyone’s vocabulary. Some of you may remember the days when in-dash tech was cool only if you could load more than one compact disc. Fast forward to 2020, and many new vehicles come fully equipped with voice command pairing capabilities and turn by turn navigation.

Apple CarPlay is one technology we’re starting to see as a standard feature with new models. But, not all vehicle models and trim levels have made the upgrade. If you’re looking at a Volkswagen Atlas, you may be wondering if it’s capable and ready to pair with your iPhone.

The genius features of Apple CarPlay

Apple calls CarPlay the ‘ultimate copilot.‘ It offers iPhone pairing capability to the vehicle but is smarter and safer than simple hands-free calling. The all-new dashboard integrates with the touchscreen, or knobs if you prefer, and connects you to Siri, maps, and driving, as well as traditional communication connectivity.

CarPlay will connect with your calendar to help you manage schedules and will allow you to listen to and reply to texts with voice commands. Jam out to all your favorite tunes, too, with voice search command searching by artist, album, or song title. Apple has designed the fully integrated app system to allow anyone behind the wheel, to keep hands in place and eyes on the road ahead.

Volkswagen Atlas hasn’t changed much since 2018

The Volkswagen Atlas was all-new in 2018, and not much has changed since then. You’ll enjoy third-row seating and tons of cupholders, with a sporty, non-minivan feel.

Trims and configurations keep things simple. Choose from an S, SE, or SEL and harness one of two powertrains. The Atlas comes standard with a 235 hp four-cylinder, or you can upgrade to the 276 hp V6. Fuel economy is acceptable with 24 and 27 mpg.

Plenty of safety and driver assistance tech

Every variety of the VW Atlas comes with significant safety tech. The National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration gives Atlas a five-star safety rating, and there are plenty of protective airbags throughout. You’ll enjoy a forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection. Auto emergency braking is also standard, as are the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning systems.

The Atlas even comes with a 6.5-inch screen with a rearview camera. Other driver assistance must-haves, like lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise, and auto parking, are also standard.

Does the Volkswagen Atlas have Apple CarPlay?

Car-Net 2.0 comes standard and is VW’s flagship infotainment system. Wi-Fi hotspot capability also comes standard. Base S model Atlas’ come equipped with the previously mentioned 6.5-inch touchscreen, as well as both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Bluetooth and audio pairing come on every trim level as well. Upgrade to an 8-inch screen, add more USB ports, more speakers, or SiriusXM satellite radio at SE and SEL trims.

The only real change for Atlas in 2020

From what we can tell, the only real change this year for the Volkswagen Atlas is the warranty. VW used to offer the industry-leading bumper-to-bumper warranty coverage at six years or 72,000 miles.

New for 2020, expect that to get shaved down to four years or 50,000 miles. To help consumers see past that reduction in coverage time, all 2020 Volkswagens now offer a two-year regularly scheduled maintenance visit, free of charge.

At the low end, the MSRP for a base Volkswagen Atlas is $32,565, which is pretty competitive considering all the amenities that come standard at that level. You can spend upwards of $41,815 with added extras and higher trim levels.

The good news is, your iPhone will connect at any level you choose. You’ll enjoy the best of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for that matter, should you change your device preferences down the road.