Stylish and Spacious: The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

The Volkswagen Atlas entered the seven-passenger midsize crossover space in 2018, then followed two years later with a five-passenger variant, the Cross Sport.

The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and its Atlas stablemate are revitalized for 2024, with fresh styling front and back, and a new engine. This model’s exceptionally roomy interior, including excellent storage capacity, makes it a strong competitor in a saturated segment.

See Also2023 Volkswagen Tiguan Review

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is available in five primary trims, starting with the SE model priced at $36,895.

Additional options include the SE with Technology Package for $41,090, the SEL at $47,870, the SEL R-Line for $49,320, and the top-tier SEL R-Line Premium at $51,880. A destination charge of $1,425 applies to all models.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport trims
Click to enlarge (Credit: Volkswagen)

Except for the highest trim, front-wheel drive comes as the standard configuration, with an option to upgrade to all-wheel drive for an additional $1,900. The vehicle is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with an automatic transmission that delivers power to the wheels.

For those interested in the three-row Atlas variant, most trim levels are available with a $1,010 increase in price.

Besides fresh exterior styling, the 2024 VW Atlas Cross Sport now features standard driver-assist technologies. Also, the previous V6 engine is gone, replaced by a turbocharged four-cylinder motor.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport side

Exterior Highlights

In terms of styling, we very much like the Cross Sport’s design. It is similar in every way to the three-row Atlas, but with one important distinction: a rakish roofline. Along with a confident stance, the Cross Sport projects elegance and strength, doing it better than its competitors in our opinion.

This model’s bold, upright grille includes attractive lighting accents. A broad hood, strong pillars, and wraparound rear lighting advance the polished look. The available 21-inch wheels and embedded exhaust sports are sporty touches we like.

Interior Highlights

When the 2018 Atlas rolled out, we attended a Volkswagen media event, which also showcased the new VW Tiguan. The Atlas quickly became our favorite, particularly when a German engineer agreed to sit in the third-row seat. His 6-foot-8-inch frame fit comfortably, a feat no other crossover matched. 

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport front seats

With the Cross Sport, VW employs a similar seating strategy for five adults. There is no penalty seat in play, although we would agree that the middle second-row seat is not as plush as the others. Still, there is sufficient hip room and despite the sloping roofline, ample headroom. 

The cargo capacity behind the second row is 40.3 cubic feet, expanding to 77.8 cubic feet when the seat is folded. While these figures are slightly less than those of the standard Atlas, due to the increased second-row space in the two-door model, the Cross Sport still provides ample storage space.

It offers more cargo room than its competitor, the Hyundai Santa Fe.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear seats

The Cross Sport’s interior is roomy and comfortable. In higher trims, it even compares to some Audi models, featuring plush leather seats and soft details throughout.

The driver’s seat stands out for its exceptional support for the back, hips, and thighs. Additionally, the option for heated and cooled front seats enhances comfort.

Technology and Safety

The Volkswagen Atlas features two audio system options: a standard six-speaker setup and a 12-speaker Harmon-Kardon audio package exclusive to the SEL Premium R-Line. The vehicle also supports SiriusXM with 360L from the SE w/ Technology trim upwards, merging satellite and streaming, though it requires a subscription.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear interior

A 12-speaker touchscreen display comes standard. The icons are a bit confusing at first, but the system’s voice control helps minimize distractions.

Volkswagen’s Car-Net services offer connectivity through Remote Access, Safe & Secure, and Hotspot. Vehicles with a MIB3 system can access extra features via subscription.

Remote Access is free for five years post-purchase, allowing control over the vehicle through the myVW app. Additionally, Car-Net integrates with Amazon Alexa for voice-activated commands on Alexa-enabled devices.

Volkswagen equips all trims with its IQ-Drive safety package, incorporating both front and rear cameras and radar technology. Standard safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane-keeping assistance, and blind-spot monitoring.


Every Atlas model features a redesigned 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine delivers 269 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, marking a significant boost of 34 horsepower and 15 pound-feet compared to its predecessor.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport engine

Additionally, it matches the horsepower and exceeds the torque across a wider rpm spectrum (1600-4500 rpm) compared to earlier versions equipped with a six-cylinder engine.

This model has a standard towing capacity of 2,000 pounds when properly supplied. When equipped with a brake trailer and hitch, the Atlas Cross Sport pulls up to 5,000 pounds, beating the similar Ford Edge and its 3,500-pound limit.

The Atlas Sport is surprisingly thirsty, earning an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway for a combined 23 mpg. Some versions earn less.

Driving Highlights

Volkswagen and Audi are part of the Volkswagen Group and thus share several powertrains. Typically, Audi receives more powerful versions of each engine group, but the current Cross Sport engine may be an exception. 

We were surprised by the amount of power generated by such a small engine. This SUV enjoys steady step-off acceleration and excellent passing power. The single-scroll turbo works with fuel injection work successfully to release near instantaneous power. No lag was detected. 

Electric-assisted power steering makes tight maneuvering a breeze. It is a speed-sensitive system which enhances tight turns. We found that the Cross Sport offers good handling and firm brakes. We do wonder, though, how the engine would perform with payload and towing maxed. Expect some loss of fuel efficiency under rigorous conditions. 

Almost all our driving time was on the highway and that’s where we enjoyed this model’s comfortable ride. The Atlas is equipped with an independent suspension system for each wheel.

At the front, it utilizes a strut setup accompanied by coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers, while the rear is designed with a multilink configuration, also including coil springs and telescopic shock absorbers.

2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport rear

Our test model came with all-wheel drive. Although the system is not quite the same as Audi’s heralded quattro technology, it still delivers above-average control as power shifts from front to back and from side to side as needed. Body roll keeps this model from excelling on the laps, but its cornering remains stable under normal circumstances.

Besides ride quality, this Volkswagen excels in the noise, vibration, and harshness category. The cabin is generously insulated from outside noise and absorbs most pumps with ease. 

Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Considerations

Additional two-row models in this space include the Mazda CX-70, Chevrolet Blazer, and the Nissan Murano.

We like that Volkswagen simply did not remove the third-row seat to form this model as it was developed with passenger comfort and cargo capacity in mind. However, if you need more room, we also recommend the three-row model.

We wouldn’t choose the all-wheel drive option unless it’s necessary. Our preferred pick is the SEL with Technology package, as it provides the greatest value for the money.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that incentives have returned. Since these offers frequently vary, we advise checking the company’s website to stay informed about the latest promotions. 

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

Matthew Keegan

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