1. Reviews
  2. 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

Source: www.vw.com

Sporty and comfortable midsize SUV

Price From $35,755 – To $52,920

by | Apr 6, 2023


Volkswagen introduced the Atlas Cross Sport in 2017. Belonging to the midsize crossover SUV segment, this vehicle has some pretty stellar competitors, and standing out in such a saturated market is undoubtedly difficult. The German automaker focused on styling and offering a semi-luxury feel, but the current lineup needs quite a bit of improvement.

In our 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport review, we’ll analyze this two-row midsize SUV from multiple angles. We’ll take into account its engine options, performance, interior, ride quality and comfort, safety, in-car entertainment, market pricing, warranty coverage, and more, and help you decide if this is the vehicle you’ve been looking for.

Refined styling with an outdoorsy image
Wide range of standard safety and driver-assist features
Roomy cargo space
Spacious interior with premium faux-leather seats
Infotainment system is easy to navigate
Sporty driving experience
Slow acceleration
Poor fuel economy
Use of tacky plastic materials at certain places in the cabin
V-6 engine doesn’t meet expectations

Performance, Engine, and Comfort


When you’re making a big purchase like a car, it’s important to understand what’s under the hood, how it performs on different road conditions, and how it’s going to make you feel when you sit inside. Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is a thoughtfully designed SUV as it has tried keeping the major pain points of customers in mind, except in a few areas, such as pricing, tacky interior material at some places, and low fuel economy.

Engine & Performance


The 2023 Atlas Cross Sport has powerful engine options, however, the V-6 isn’t standard. It performs well on city roads, but highway performance could have been more refined. Handling is seamless—this is an SUV that you’d love to drive on family road trips. It offers an ideal blend of sporty handling and smooth rides.


The lineup is powered by a 4-cylinder turbo engine with an output of 235 hp @ 5400 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque @ 1600 rpm. This one is the base engine. There is also an optional 3.6-liter V-6 engine available, with an output of 276 hp.


The engines pair with 8-speed automatic shiftable transmission.


Atlas Cross Sport comes with front struts and multilink rear suspension. Four-wheel independent suspension is available as standard.


The SUV comes with tilt and telescopic electric power steering. Cruise control and audio control are located on the steering wheel for easy access. It comes covered in leatherette for a premium feel. Despite its large dimension, the vehicle offers accurate steering and smooth handling.

Safety & Reliability


2023 Palisade is IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+. The automaker offers a generous number of safety and driver assist features for all trim levels, which goes on to show that they have actually prioritized driver’s and passengers’ safety.


Hyundai Palisade is equipped with 13.4-inch vented disc for front brakes and 12-inch discs for rear brakes. The brake pedal works smoothly.


Dual front side-mount airbags, dual rear side-mount airbags, and head airbags for front, rear, and third row, and airbag deployment notification are available as part of the SUV’s standard safety features.


Some of the notable electronic driver-assist and safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, driver attention alert, rear cross-traffic alert, pre and post-collision safety systems, and stability control, among others.


Daytime running lights, dusk sensing headlamps, and LED headlamps are standard.

Traction control

Traction control is available as a standard safety feature in this lineup. It helps the driver keep the wheels under control on slippery roads.

Fuel Economy


Fuel economy is not the strongest suit of this Volkswagen midsize. It fails to deliver good economy numbers in both city and highway, and there is no hybrid or electrified option either to compensate for this drawback. It’s 2023 and as a buyer, you’d want some form of fuel efficiency from an expensive purchase such as this, but you’ll be disappointed in this regard.

Engine size 

There are two engine options, one is a 2-liter turbocharged inline-four (standard), and the other is a 3.6-liter V-6 (optional).

Gas per mileage consumption

The base 4-cylinder engine offers 21 mpg/25 mpg/23 mpg on city, highway, and combined respectively, when equipped with all-wheel drive. As for the V-6 engine, the fuel economy goes down to 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. With front-wheel drive, the base engine offers 26 mpg on average, while the V-6 offers 24 mpg.



The interior is spacious and comfortable. With an easy-to-use infotainment system, plenty of storage space, and quality upholstery, you’ll feel like you’re riding an upscale vehicle, but you may not appreciate the use of cheap plastic.


Atlas Cross Sport has a seating capacity of 5. With 39.4 inches headroom and 41.6 inches legroom in the front seats, and 37.8 inches headroom and 40.4 inches legroom in the rear seats, there is ample space inside the vehicle to make you feel comfortable during long rides. An 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and height adjustment, multi-level heating, and leatherette upholstery are standard for the front seats. The rear seats come with a reclining feature and have a folding center armrest.


Atlas Cross Sport’s exterior design is simple yet stylish, but there is nothing special or distinctive about it. The rugged image tries to attract off-road enthusiasts, but it’s not capable enough to take you down the adventurous roads confidently like the Jeep Grand Cherokee would.


If you’re looking for in-car entertainment, this lineup is adequately equipped. It comes with a standard 8-inch display with a 10.3 inch Digital Cockpit touchscreen display available, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, 6 speakers, and 4G LTE wifi hotspot. Volkswagen has its own app using which you can start the vehicle remotely.

Overall height and space

The vehicle is 195.5 inches long, 78.3 inches wide, and 68.2 inches in height.

Trunk space

When all seats are in place, the vehicle has 40.3 cubic feet of storage space, expandable up to 77.8 cubic feet.

Price and Extras


The base trim justifies their pricing, considering the comfort and safety features it carries along. However, the middle and top tiers seem to be overpriced. The interior, despite being well-equipped, has plastic elements, taking away the luxury feel. The V-6 engine is available as optional, whereas if you look at competitors like Honda Passport, the V-6 engine is part of the standard offering.

Market Price

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport comes with 5 trim levels—SE, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL R-Line Black, and SEL Premium R-Line. The entry level SE itself is a good deal if you’re looking for a budget-friendly midsize SUV. The base engine is promising, but if you’re seeking towing ability, you can opt for the towing package and the more powerful V-6 engine. From 2023 onwards, SE models will come with a 10.3 inch Digital Cockpit touchscreen display, which will make things extra convenient inside the cabin.

Trim Level Base Price
SE $35,755
SEL $45,525
SEL R-Line $47,475
SEL R-Line Black $49,225
SEL Premium R-Line $52,920


Front-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels, and all-wheel drive is optional.


Volkswagen’s warranty front is ahead of its competitors. The lineup comes with a limited warranty coverage of 4 years or 50,000 miles, a powertrain warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles, and complimentary maintenance for the first two years of purchase or 20,000 miles.


When equipped with the right package, Volkswagen Atlas can tow up to 5000 pounds. Its maximum payload capacity is 1091 pounds.


As you can understand by now, the 2023 Atlas Cross Sport is a family-friendly car with plenty of practical features. But at the same time, it fails to meet expectations in terms of pricing. The midsize segment already has top performers such as Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford Explorer, and Hyundai Santa Fe, and the Atlas Cross Sport doesn’t have what it takes to give them a tough competition. It’s a well-built vehicle for sure, but efficiency, pricing, and lack of finesse in the interior materials bring down its appeal. However, if you don’t mind the downsides and you’re looking for a spacious vehicle with smooth rides, this one would be a good choice.