The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport adds some American-made style to SUVs

For most households, buying a new car may be the second biggest purchase they ever make behind a house itself. And if you’re going to spend that money, shouldn’t your family vehicle look not just good, but great?

That’s the idea behind the newest Volkswagen in America, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport,1 revealed today in Chattanooga. Meant for those drivers who need five seats in an SUV instead of seven, the Atlas arrives with a strong sense of design that reflects what buyers most want in this type of vehicle.

“Building off the success of the Atlas seven-seater midsize SUV, we see an opportunity for a five-seater model that offers even more style and almost as much interior space,” said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “We look forward to entering this growing segment with the Atlas Cross Sport, which offers outstanding Volkswagen technology, driver assistance features, style, and value.”

Part of an estimated $340 million investment by Volkswagen at its Tennessee factory, the Atlas Cross Sport was developed by Volkswagen’s North American Region specifically for U.S. buyers.  It joins the Atlas and the Passat as Volkswagen’s models assembled in America – with more to come, as Volkswagen plans to assemble electric vehicles there in the future.

It’s not just that the Atlas Cross Sport carries a more aggressively sloped rear pillar and hatch that gives it a racing-inspired profile. Most of its design elements have been updated from the Atlas, in the spirit of the concept from the 2018 New York auto show, from a new grille with a full-width light signature to sculpted bumpers front and rear, along with a variety of wheel options, with dramatic looks up to 21 inches on the R-Line trim.

Inside, the Atlas Cross Sport also takes design in a new direction. A next-generation Volkswagen steering wheel makes its debut with more intuitive controls. The seats can be specified with color-contrasting inserts and matching door panels, along with stitching accents.

While the Atlas Cross Sport is 5.3 inches shorter than the seven-seat Atlas, the two share the same wheelbase (117.3 inches). That allows the Atlas Cross Sport to offer a cavernous interior for a five-seat SUV, with 111.8 cubic feet of passenger space and 40.4 inches of rear-seat legroom. For those who need to haul goods, there’s 40.3 cu. ft. of luggage space behind the second row, and 77.8 cu. ft. with the second row folded.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

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Along with the new design comes a long list of new technology, especially advanced driver assistance features. Two new features include Traffic Jam Assist, which helps keep the Atlas Cross Sport moving in stop-and-go traffic up to 37 mph, and Dynamic Road Sign Display, which works with the factory navigation system to display key road data like speed limits. The base S model has standard Forward Collision Warning with Autonomous Braking (Front Assist), Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Traffic Alert. Further up the trim walk, features such as Adaptive Cruise Control with a Stop and Go feature and Park Distance Control become standard.

And the new Car-Net® 2.0 with available Wi-Fi hotspot is standard, with a long list of no-charge services for five years, and new subscription options.

The Atlas Cross Sport offers the same engine options as the seven-seat Atlas: the 276-horsepower VR6 (late availability) and a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Both engines pair with an eight-speed automatic transmission and can come with Volkswagen’s 4Motion® all-wheel-drive system. The V6 is rated at 5,000 pounds for towing, when equipped with the V6 Towing package.

Whatever you haul, the Atlas Cross Sport will offer a more stylish way to do it when it arrives on the roads early next year.