Specifications of Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 3.6 V6 (276 HP) Automatic
General characteristics of Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport 3.6 V6 (276 HP) Automatic
From behind the wheel, it's tough to tell the Cross Sport apart from the standard Atlas. The steering is extremely light, as is characteristic of Volkswagen products, but the front wheels respond quickly to driver inputs. There's decent body control for such a large vehicle, but we wouldn't call it sporty. As for the ride, it's pretty forgiving, but certainly on the firm side compared to other options in this segment. Even with the larger VR6 engine, the Cross Sport isn't the quickest in its class, nor is it the best for towing. The VR6 engine sounds rough at higher rpms, so we'd think about getting the smaller four-cylinder engine. We have to compliment Volkswagen on the eight-speed automatic transmission, which is one of the smoothest in this segment.
When driving on paved roads, the Atlas Cross Sport offers four drive modes: Eco, Sport, Normal, and Custom. There isn't a massive difference between any of them, but the Sport mode does come with the added benefit of tightening up the steering feel to a sportier level. Along with the traditional drive modes, the Cross Sport adds a winter mode and two off-road modes should you ever find yourself on a dirt trail. The Atlas Cross Sport is not a thrill to drive, nor does it leave you yawning.
Starting with a traditional SUV and trying to make it into a sporty coupe doesn't always result in success, but we think the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport gets the formula right. By starting with the standard Atlas and eliminating the third row, the Cross Sport maintains its practicality while also achieving a sportier design. It's not the most exciting vehicle in its segment and its engine options are far from perfect, but we think the Atlas Cross Sport is an acceptable combination of style, size, and features.
There are no shortage of other options in the mid-size segment, some of which offer a third-row seating option. The Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe are each cheaper than the Cross Sport, and the former offers seating for six or seven. The Honda Passport is a bit more expensive, but it offers more power, superior off-road capabilities, and slightly more cargo space. Meanwhile, the three American options (the Chevy Blazer, Ford Edge, and Jeep Grand Cherokee) all have more potent engines. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport may not stand out as the best vehicle in its class, but it's worth consideration.