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Each year, gives out the prestigious Family Car of the Year award. This is an incredibly important title, as a large number of car shoppers are out there looking for the next family vehicle for their household. Winning Family Car of the Year in 2021 means the Volkswagen Atlas has already taken this award twice since its recent debut in 2018. 

A dark blue Volkswagen Atlas on display at a car show side view photo
Volkswagen Atlas on display | Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Let’s take a look at the details and features of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. What is it about this three-row crossover SUV that keeps winning this significant award? In fact, how did it beat other contenders like the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Telluride, and Ford Expedition. 

What is the best family car of 2021? 

An image of a Volkswagen Atlas, one of the most discounted new SUVs according to Consumer Reports.
Volkswagen Atlas | Volkswagen

According to, it’s the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. In fact, this three-row crossover SUV gets the award this year for the second year in a row. However, it’s not uncommon for a vehicle to remain ahead more than one model year in a row. 

The Chrysler Pacifica, for example, earned the Family Car of the Year award in both 2018 and 2019. Before that, the Nissan Rogue held the title from 2016 to 2017. Now, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas has earned the award for the second time. 

The first time the Volkswagen Atlas won this award was last year, in 2020. For the 2020 model year, the official nominees included the 2020 Ford Expedition and the 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe

What is the criteria for the 2021 Family Car of the Year award from

Any model is eligible for the Family Car of the Year award. Regardless of the chronology of updates or the date a manufacturer introduces a vehicle, it’s fair game for this prestigious honor in terms of the best family car. 

Naturally, the way in which a vehicle accommodates people and their stuff plays a high part. Plus, safety features and crash tests are taken into account. In addition to this, a vehicle has to uphold a certain standard when it comes to “family-friendly features and overall excellence,” according to     

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is the winner for several reasons

Despite the fact that minivans are largely considered the ultimate family vehicle, the three-row crossover SUV has taken massive precedence over the traditional family van. Sure, the Chrysler Pacifica won in 2018 and 2019. But before that the Nissan Rogue prevailed for two years. It’s no secret that a large number of families is turning from the minivan to the family SUV instead. 

If the family car is indeed an SUV, then, it’s a good thing families have choices like the Volkswagen Atlas. bases the award on fundamentals like cargo space and passenger accommodations. The 2021 Atlas also saw some appealing styling updates for 2021. However, it would likely have won the Family Car of the Year award anway. It’s a shining star in terms of car seat accessibility. 

Shockingly, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas fits more luggage bhind its third row than a Chevrolet Tahoe. Plus, the Atlas three-row crossover SUV has excellent drivability and handling. In addition to that, the Atlas has good ride quality and offers gentle steering. 

A good family car


Volkswagen Has 2 Affordable Ways to Get a Vehicle With 3 Rows

Overall, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas (as well as the previous model year) is a superb family vehicle in all of the important ways. It also has fresh styling cues. 

While there are certainly other compelling options the 2021 Atlas has so much to offer any family. It’s a solid and high-quality three-row crossover SUV. Not only that, but it starts as low as $30,545 for the five-seat models (two-row) and $31,545 for the seven-seat models, according to U.S. News and World Report