My family was the family with the world’s ugliest cars…Seriously, awful. I was the fifth out of six kids, and that meant my mother always had to drive a full size van to get all of us around. Adding to the ridiculous fact that it looked like a box on wheels, my father, always eager to save a buck, refused to get a new car until ours was completely unfixable. So the two full size vans that plagued my childhood were riddled with rust from the Michigan winters, scratches from our careless door opening (and the one time I washed the van with steel wool), and countless dings and dents as my brothers learned to drive. One van also lacked a muffler after one of my brothers ran something over causing it to fall off. Needless to say, it was always a spectacle when my mother roared up at the curb and six of us would file out trying to sprint into the school before the van would grunt and sputter away.
As a mom now, I don’t have the same size brood, but with so many siblings, I am often giving them rides to holiday get togethers or picking up nieces and nephews. My husband and I also road trip frequently with friends and their kids for weekend camping or getaways. It can be difficult to find a vehicle that fits so many passengers and isn’t an ugly, gas-guzzling behemoth. When my husband suggested a van, I almost had a panic attack thinking about my own childhood, but it isn’t hopeless. Volkswagen has just introduced the 2018 VW Atlas, and it is an answer for those of us that need the space but don’t want the eyesore.
The Atlas is the biggest Volkswagen ever assembled in America (at the Chattanooga plant in TN), and it seats 7 passengers! That’s right, 7! There are three rows of seating, and the second and third rows fold down for easy access and more storage. Second row seating is actually large enough to accommodate three car seats at once. The seats move with the ease of just one hand, and you can even access the third row without moving your car seat from the second row. Just slide forward and slide back in place. When both rows are completely folded down, there is 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space!
Inside the Atlas you will also find a wide variety of amenities to accommodate those seven people you are always carting around. Diamond quilted design cloth seating surface offers durable and comfortable seating and USB ports are available in every trim level to keep everyone plugged in and happy. You will find 17 cupholders strategically placed in all the right places. The dashboard has a completely digital 12.3” display available that offers high resolution dials instead of a standard instrument panel, and the car can store up to four driver profiles, keeping all their preferences and settings. A standard 6.5” color entertainment screen offers an SD card reader and Volkswagen Car-NetⓇ App-Connect. You and your passengers can also enjoy a 3 month all access trial subscription to SiriusXMⓇ Satellite Radio through the 480 watt Fender Premium Audio System.
Safety is also a major consideration on the Atlas, and it is made with high strength steel featuring a safety cage that helps deflect crash energy away from drivers and passengers. It is also available with –
- Front Assist (Including Pedestrian Monitoring)
- Blind Spot Monitor
- Rear Traffic Alert
- Lane Assist
- Park Assist
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Park Pilot
Its sculpted design offers an athletic, modern exterior without being overwhelming in size. Available with two engine options, you can choose from a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder turbo (late availability) or 3.6 liter V6Ⓡ, which both have an eight speed automatic transmission. When properly equipped, it has a 5,000 lb. towing capacity so you can haul anything that won’t fit in the back. The Atlas even has a remote start feature available, a panoramic sunroof, as well as a hands-free easy open power lift gate. Starting around $33,000, the Atlas is available in 9 trim levels. Find a dealer near you for availability.
I was hosted for a press preview event. All opinions remain my own.