2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Review, Pricing, and Specs

Overview

Fortunately, removing the third row of seats and taking a pair of garden shears to the roofline of the Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t have a large negative impact on the cargo space of the 2023 Atlas Cross Sport. Unfortunately, those changes fail to make the Atlas Cross Sport a more engaging vehicle to drive. A turbocharged four-cylinder comes standard, along with front-wheel drive. A V-6 and all-wheel drive are both optional. Much like its three-row sibling, the Atlas Cross Sport’s interior is a comfortable and practical space to be in, though it will leave luxury-seekers wanting. Buyers in search of a more well-rounded mid-size SUV should check out alternatives such as the Kia Telluride and the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

What’s New for 2023?

Now in its fourth model year, the Atlas Cross Sport lineup sees no significant changes for 2023. The only trim level that receives any revisions for the technology package-equipped SE, which adds Volkswagen’s 10.3-inch Digital Cockpit gauge display screen.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

We’d spec the SE model and tack on the optional Technology package, which includes automatic climate control, faux-leather upholstery, passive entry, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Based on our most recent instrumented testing we wouldn’t opt for the V-6 over the standard turbocharged four-cylinder because the two deliver almost identical performance. But we would choose the all-wheel-drive system because it improves the ability to go in snow. Shoppers who plan on pulling anything with the Atlas Cross Sport will want to get the more torquey V-6 along with the Towing package, however.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

A 235-hp turbocharged four-cylinder is standard and a 276-hp 3.6-liter V-6 is available as an option; both engines are offered with either front- or all-wheel drive. With the V-6 and front-wheel drive, the Atlas Cross Sport hit 60 mph in 7.5-seconds in our testing. That’s slightly quicker than a similarly equipped three-row Atlas we tested but 0.1-second slower than the all-wheel drive model with the turbo four. During our test drive, we found the Cross Sport lacks the sporty driving dynamics that its fastback looks would suggest. The ride quality is less refined than expected, too, with the wheels clumping over imperfections and potholes.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The four-cylinder Atlas Cross Sport comes with EPA fuel-economy ratings of 21 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive model and 20, 24, and 22 mpg, respectively, for the all-wheel-drive version. The V-6 is thirstier, with ratings of 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined for both the front driver and models with the optional all-wheel-drive system. On our 75-mph highway loop, the front-drive V-6 Atlas Cross Sport averaged 25 mpg, and the turbo four model delivered 26 mpg. For more information about the Atlas’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Those familiar with the three-row VW Atlas will find the Cross Sport’s interior familiar despite an updated steering wheel and stitched door panels. Adults will find comfortable seating positions in either of the SUV’s rows but unlike the regular Atlas, the Cross Sport offers only a bench for its second row. In our testing, the Cross Sport held 30 carry-on suitcases with the rear seats folded and 14 with the rear seats in use. Those results are better than the Ford Edge (29 cases with seats down and 12 with seats up) and the Hyundai Santa Fe (27 cases with seats down and 12 with seats up).

Infotainment and Connectivity

All Atlas Cross Sports come with a touchscreen infotainment display providing both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration; a reconfigurable digital gauge display is also standard across the lineup. Navigation is optional, as is SiriusXM satellite radio. VW’s Car-Net connectivity app allows for remote starting and analytics. Plus, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot lets occupants remain connected to the internet while on the go.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Volkswagen is equipping all Atlas Cross Sports with automated emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring, but if you want more advanced driver-assistance features, you’ll have to go with one of the higher trim levels. For more information about the Atlas’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
  • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert
  • Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

While most mainstream brands start with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty, Volkswagen offers a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper policy. The powertrain warranty falls behind others, which stretch to five or even 10 years. As some consolation, VW covers the first two years of scheduled maintenance.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for two years or 20,000 miles

Specifications

Specifications 

2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 2.0T 4Motion
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE

Base/As Tested: $36,730/$46,395
Options: SEL trim (20-inch wheels, adaptive cruise, sunroof, memory seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch center screen, auto high-beams, SiriusXM radio), $7870; R-Line package (dark wheels, R-Line bumpers and badging, leather steering wheel), $1400; Aurora Red Metallic paint, $395

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 121 in3, 1984 cm3
Power: 235 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1600 rpm

TRANSMISSION

8-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.2-in vented disc/12.2-in vented disc
Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse
255/50R-20 105T M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 117.3 in
Length: 195.5 in
Width: 78.3 in
Height: 67.8 in
Passenger Volume: 112 ft3
Cargo Volume: 40 ft3
Curb Weight: 4435 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 7.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.7 sec @ 90 mph
100 mph: 20.0 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 8.0 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 116 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 169 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.85 g

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 19 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 26 mpg
Highway Range: 480 mi

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/City/Highway: 22/20/24 mpg

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport SE

VEHICLE TYPE

front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED

$40,710 (base price: $39,765)

ENGINE TYPE

DOHC 24-valve V-6, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection
Displacement

220 in3, 3598 cm3
Power

276 hp @ 6200 rpm
Torque

266 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm

TRANSMISSION

8-speed automatic

CHASSIS

Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.2-in vented disc/12.2-in disc
Tires: Goodyear Assurance Finesse, 255/50R-20 105T M+S

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 117.3 in
Length: 195.5 in
Width: 78.3 in
Height: 67.8 in
Passenger volume: 112 ft3
Cargo volume: 40 ft3
Curb weight: 4285 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 7.5 sec
100 mph: 19.3 sec
110 mph: 24.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.9 sec
1/4 mile: 15.7 sec @ 90 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 116 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 175 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g
Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

C/D FUEL ECONOMY

Observed: 21 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 25 mpg
Highway range: 460 miles

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Combined/city/highway: 19/17/23 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

More Features and Specs