Car Buying Strategies
Search Car Buying Strategies Makes & Models Select a Make and Model Makes & Models Select a Make and Model New Cars Prices Buying Advice
Home | New Cars | Ford | 2021 Ford Explorer

2021 Ford Explorer vs Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Ford Explorer vs Volkswagen Atlas

2021 Explorer vs Atlas - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Families on the move are finding the perfect companion in modern SUVs. No longer overlooked, these spacious and comfortable vehicles have been rapidly increasing their presence on highways far and wide as most auto brands focus more of their attention to developing new models – including Ford and Volkswagen. The latter is even known for pioneering iconic “family wagons” that remain a hit today! Both companies may have had dabbles with SUV's before but now they're putting all eggs into one basket, so it looks like we can expect great things from them moving forward.

Ford and Volkswagen find themselves as the creators of two popular SUV models through the production of the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas. Both SUV options conquer the same purpose but are different in the way they approach it. The 2021 Ford Explorer is sporty and bold while drawing attention to itself wherever it roams. Yet, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is more conventional and laidback. Boasting a style that is easy and simplistic, this vehicle is perfect for busy families who already have enough to pay attention. Each of these SUVs seeks to create more space for customers who need it, but the Ford Explorer does so in a more modern way while the Volkswagen Atlas eases into it.

Each of these SUV models boasts their own strengths and downfall that potential buyers should consider. In the content below, we will look at each and point out where each one excels and where they also are at a disadvantage. Every buyer must decide as to which vehicle is the best choice for their circumstance. We hope these highlights will help each of you do just that.


The Powertrain

Although SUV shoppers are not necessarily interested as much in power as they are space and convenience, the powertrain each model entails certainly makes a difference to those who may find themselves occasionally towing objects, like boats, trailers, or campers. Ironically, the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas each offer multiple engine options to choose from. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas casually offers its duo of engines across all models.

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas provides a range of efficient and powerful options for the modern driver. From its standard 235-horsepower four-cylinder to an upgradeable 276 horsepower V6 - each coupled with an eight speed automatic transmission - there's plenty on offer in terms of performance potential. Rear or all wheel drive provide further choice when it comes to getting around quickly yet steadily!

If you are in search of something a bit bolder, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers a more adventurous outlook. The base model comes in with a standard 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that leads the way for power. A few models up are when potential buyers are introduced to a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that can produce up to 365 horsepower. Sitting at the top of the engine lineup for the 2021 Ford Explorer is a V6 version of the same engine that increases its horsepower to 400hp. Not only does the 2021 Ford Explorer offer all these options, but it also tops things off with an inclusive hybrid model that relies on a 3.3-liter V6 engine that is paired with an electric motor for an impressive 318 horsepower production.

Regardless of how much you drive, fuel economy is always a concern in any new or used vehicle purchase. Being able to estimate how much you will pay at the pump can help you budget for your new addition. The 2021 Ford Explorer performs much as you would assume, attaining up to 29 highway mpg in its hybrid layout and up to 27 highway mpg in its mid-level trim with a gasoline engine. Fuel efficiency for Explorer all-wheel drive models is also somewhat reduced. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas falls short of what the Ford Explorer has to offer. The VW Atlas averages 24 highway mpg in its rear-wheel drive models and 22 highway mpg in front-wheel drive options. We always assume SUV models will not be friendly on fuel, but the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is even less fuel efficient than we would think.


How do these vehicles match up in the ride quality they offer to passengers within? To start off, the 2021 Ford Explorer is agreeable enough and composed. Yet, this SUV falls short of what we would consider to be entertaining. The ST trim level raises the bar a bit with a sportier style of handling, and its additional power and stiff steering wheel response is appreciated. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas does not offer much more to look forward to, either. Oftentimes, it avoids a clumsy feel but replaces it with obedience to driver commands. Absorbing bumps well and adjusting to city streets and highway roads easily, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is a chameleon that plays into whatever environment you put it in.

Each of these models is quite accommodating for those who frequently travel with large groups of people. Third-row seating is offered in each, and this layout is complimented by plenty of cargo space for everyone within. Just four carry-on suitcases can be stowed behind the Explorer's third row with the seats folded up, which is quite depressing. Yet, when the third-row seat is folded down, a space large enough to carry 31 carry-on suitcases is showcased. Similarly, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas can hold just four carry-on suitcases with the third-row seat folded up, but upon laying it down 38 suitcases in total fit comfortably in this area. With way more space than we could ever imagine, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is quite impressive in its inclusive cargo area.

The tech elements of each of these models undoubtedly plays into their desirability. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is straightforward with a 6.5-inch infotainment screen in the base model that can be upgraded to an 8.0-inch screen in higher trims. Modern smartphone integration and SiriusXM satellite radio are the highlights of this model. Yet, the 2021 Ford Explorer offers a more sophisticated and flexible tech system configuration. An 8.0-inch touchscreen comes standard in this model, which can be replaced with a vertical-oriented 10.1-inch touchscreen. Voice-activated navigation is included in every model, as well as a cohesive entertainment system in the rear seat.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.


The 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas are more similar in their safety offerings than they are in any other facet. Both models achieved a five-star safety ranking from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but both also missed out on being named as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. Each of these SUV's offer a variety of driver assistive safety features, some of which are standard and others that are considered optional.

The Explorer and the Atlas both offer drivers a plethora of helpful features that come standard, such as forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and automated emergency braking. But for those looking to add extra ease when parking in tight spaces - or enjoy added convenience with lanekeeping assist - may find their perfect fit behind the wheel of an Explorer SUV which boasts self-parking assist at no additional cost! The VW Atlas also steps up its game by adding adaptive cruise control paired with stop and go technology as part of its base package.

Which Has the Best Value?

Make Ford Explorer your ultimate adventure companion! This dependable SUV houses a host of features for both long-distance journeys and everyday errands. It comes with an impressive array of safety functions, such as blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control - so you can drive confidently knowing that it has your back. Plus, there's plenty of cargo space to fill up with any supplies or souvenirs from the road trip ahead. Don't just take our word for it: make sure to compare models before deciding which suits you best!

The Explorer and Atlas are two SUVs vying for the top spot in their class. The rugged, reliable Explorers have a few advantages over the basic Atlases: they offer more features such as powertrain options and attractive styling - resulting in a slightly higher cost of ownership that many buyers find worth it. In terms of durability, both vehicles can withstand high mileage while remaining dependable; however, when comparing trim packages within each model on an even playing field across different vehicle trims costs between these cars remain similar overall. This is why drivers choose either one to be at the peak of SUV performance!

Which is Better?

The Explorer is sure to turn heads with its athletic design, sporty performance and integrated tech elements. Boasting modern technology in the cabin as well a statement making exterior styling - it doesn't break your wallet either! The affordable option for middle-class buyers also offers high end luxury through their highest trims. It's time to check out what all the fuss over this powerful offering from Ford is about!

The Volkswagen Atlas is a no-fuss motor vehicle for those looking to put function before fashion. Delivering all the necessary amenities, it also comes with an appealing price tag that's a few thousand dollars lower than its Ford Explorer counterpart — but don't let this discount mislead you; the VW Atlas can still store more items when compared side by side! Its simplistic and conventional design may not be as eye-catching as the Ford's bold styling, yet many drivers might value choice over extravagance in their purchase.

When comparing the Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas, one cannot overlook the charm and versatility of America's favorite SUV. The 2021 Explorer is a sure bet for anyone looking to make an informed purchase - from its impeccable styling to reliable powertrain and affordability, this vehicle checks all the boxes! However, while it faces stiff competition in form of VW's massive flagship Atlas , nothing can match up with what legendary SUV has been delivering since generations.

Save Money on a 2021 Ford Explorer:
Are you Shopping for a New Vehicle? Find the Best Deals with "Free - No Hassle" Prices Quotes.
Save money on new vehicles

Get up to 4 local dealers to compete for your business by offering free, competitive pricing. Know before you go to the dealer.

Every dealer offers a secret price. Find yours here.