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Compare Trim Levels • Configurations

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

What do you get with each? Find out below..
2020 Volkswagen Atlas Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: S vs SE, SEL, R-Line & Premium

What 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

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If you like choices, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas is happy to oblige. In addition to the S edition, there are three SE editions and three SEL editions. This includes two R-Line models. Then there are V6 editions and V6 with 4Motion editions.

There are eight color choices, too. Shoppers who want a true color will appreciate two different blues, a vibrant red, and a handsome Terra brown.

Larger than any other Volkswagen today, the Atlas has 153.7 cubic feet of passenger space. It measures 79 inches wide and 193 inches long. Surprisingly, this big ride has a low coefficient of drag due to its trim and muscular design. Ground clearance is a generous 8 inches. If your aim is to stray off the pavement, the Atlas can go there.

This there-row SUV seats seven, and it doesn't cheat on legroom. The second row offers a generous 37.6 inches. Adding flexibility, the second row bench has a 14-degree backrest recline. The 60/40 split bench can slide separately up to 7.7 inches. For easier entry and exit, VW engineers designed an innovative mechanism that tilts and slides the second row. You won't need to remove a child seat to do it either. Adding an interior choice, you can drop back to six with two center passenger chairs on certain editions.

Of course, both the second and third row fold flat for cargo hauling. The 20-cubic foot hold can expand to 55 cubic feet or even 96.8 cubic feet. That's ample space for a family's gear.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas S vs V6S with 4Motion Trim Levels: What is the Difference?

All S models have a quilt-like cloth upholstery. The well-designed cockpit offers an ergonomic design that makes a driver feel more comfortable. Dual-zone climate controls include a second-row panel to help rear passengers adjust their own temperature.

Volkswagen has introduced its next generation of the Car-Net audio system. Capacitive touch makes the MIB III screen more like a tablet. The standard Composition Color display is 6.5 inches. There are dual USB ports, an SD card, and Bluetooth on board. Adding value, the S comes with three coveted capabilities: Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and exclusive Mirror Link.

All models have internet connectivity with a Wi-Fi data plan subscription. There are complimentary subscriptions to other Car-Net Services such as Remote Access and Safe & Secure.

Standard safety features on all models include pedestrian monitoring and a forward collision warning. Either can trigger automatic braking to help the driver avoid an accident. During an accident, exclusive Automatic Post-Collision Braking reduces the chances of a second collision. Intelligent Crash Response improves visibility and safety after a crash.

Trying to prevent common mistakes, VW includes a standard blind spot monitor. This system utilizes radar to show you when an approaching vehicle enters the driver's blind spot. In reverse, the Atlas driver benefits from both a Rear Traffic Alert system and a rearview camera. These are vital systems in such a big SUV.

S exteriors include 18-inch alloy wheels and full LED front and side lighting. Rain-sensing wipers and heated side mirrors help drivers with weather difficulties.

The powertrain is a 2-liter turbo four. Helped by an eight-speed automatic transmission, better fuel economy doesn't sacrifice power in this rig. The engine generates 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Stop-start technology reduces waste by pausing the engine during long stops. The maximum tow rating is 2,000 pounds.

Trading up, a 3.6-liter V6 powertrain cranks out 276 horsepower and 266 pound-feet of torque. If you add a factory-installed hitch, you can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Front-wheel drive is upgraded to S 4Motion with the V6S. An advanced all-wheel drive system can move torque evenly between the two axles. 4Motion models have a rotary knob and push button that activate the different driver settings. Active Control lets you switch between regular and four-wheel needs. For normal conditions, you can choose normal, sport, comfort or individual. For bad weather conditions or off-roading, you can choose snow, offroad or custom offroad. On the infotainment screen, the driver can refine these even further.

In snow mode, the system adjusts for excessive wheelspin. It helps the Atlas gain grip when icy conditions are causing the wheels to slip. In offroad mode, the start-stop system is cut off. Shifting is altered to take into account the torque needed for moving slowly over rough terrain.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas S vs SE Trims: What is the Difference?

SE models have a smooth V-Tex leatherette upholstery. Front seats add power-heat functions. The driver's seat has 10-way power adjustment with power lumbar. It also picks up a second-row armrest and cupholders. A Tri-zone Climatic system allows the front two positions to regulate their temperature automatically. The back rows can be regulated as well. Another upgrade, the SE dash wears an 8-inch Composition Media touch display. This bigger system allows you to access more entertainment features.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SE vs SE w/ Tech: What is the Difference?

SE w/ Tech edition picks up bigger 20-inch alloys. It also has a power liftgate. The windshield wiper nozzles have a power-heat function. This model retains the SE V-Tex leatherette, heated seats, and 10-way power chair. It offers the exciting panoramic sunroof to keep kids entertained naturally.

As part of this edition's technology, Adaptive Cruise Control utilizes forward-facing radar. Able to slow or accelerate as needed, it can maintain a set speed at a set distance from traffic. This driver aid is very helpful in busy traffic.

Lane Assist works with the blind spot monitor to help you avoid side-traffic accidents. Elements include lane straightening, countersteering, flashing warnings, audible alerts, and steering wheel vibrations. The goal is to help the driver stay out of harm's way by staying in the lane lines.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SE w/ Tech vs V6 SE w/Tech R-Line: What's the Difference?

SE w/Tech R-Line models share the aforementioned list of basic amenities and safety features with the regular SE w/Tech model. Forgoing the inline four completely, the R-Line comes only with the V6 engine.

Setting it apart, the R-Line has a more distinctive look than the other SE models. Stylish air intakes make the front bumper look different. A rear diffusor is painted in a glossy black. Side skirts and special badges complete the racier look. The R-Line foglights have a special low-speed cornering capability. This helps you see more of the road ahead even when conditions are poor.

Changes continue inside the cabin with an R-Line steering wheel clip. Stainless steel pedal caps are another standard. Opening up the cabin, the panoramic sunroof has two glass panels. The R-Line also adds Easy Open to the KESSY keyless system. With the key nearby, the driver can open the tailgate with a kick under the bumper.

Another new R-Line feature is Park Distance Control. It has front and rear sensors to help you manage parking better. Maneuver braking knows when the Atlas needs to stop. It can recognize obstacles within the range of the front or rear bumper. Drivers have the option of deactivating the system.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SE w/ Technology R-Line vs SEL: What's the Difference?

While the SEL loses the R-Line styling, it retains the cornering foglights. It also gets LED taillights. It too has a standard panoramic sunroof. You can get center captain's chairs and/or choose from a variety of wheel packages.

Furthermore, by stepping up to the SEL, you get the most advanced Digital Cockpit by Volkswagen. This 10-inch instrument cluster is fully digital. You can customize it to match your needs. Also, SEL models have the most advanced entertainment tech. The Discover Media 8-inch touchscreen has built-in navigation with voice destination entry. Other aspects include four USB ports, SMS text messaging, a JPEG viewer, and HD radio.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SEL vs SEL R-Line Trim Levels: What is the Difference?

These two share the same safety extras and interior luxuries. As previously noted, the R-Line is a racier edition of the Atlas. Like the SE R-Line, the SEL R-Line has air intakes, a special rear diffuser, and side skirts.

Compare the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas SEL R-Line vs V6 SEL Premium with 4Motion: What's the Difference?

The SEL Premium model drops the R-Line extras for some extras of its own. The model has 21-inch wheels, replacing the 20-inch alloys on the R-Line. The high beams have an automatic function that raise and lower them to match conditions. An overhead camera shows the driver four views around the SUV's perimeter.

As the most upscale of the models, the SEL Premium has two rows of heated seats in a rich leather upholstery. Front seats can be ventilated, keeping parents cool in the summer. There is more ambient lighting to help children feel safer on dark nights. Making life easier, the driver's seat and mirrors have memory capability.

For audiophiles, the SEL Premium has 12 speakers. Working with Panasonic, Fender designed this system to make you feel like your music is a live performance. An innovative center channel speaker, door woofer speakers, and multiple tweeters are on the first two rows. A subwoofer and two wide-frequency speakers are on the third row. This 12-channel system generates 480 watts of sound.

SEL Premium models always come with both the V6 and 4Motion. You truly get it all in this luxurious package.

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, 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.

Which Trim to Choose?

The infotainment features on the S make a persuasive case to stop there. You don't pay extra for the navigational tools that come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Plus you get MirrorLink which is offered on few rivals. If safety is a big concern like it is for many parents, the S covers that aspect fairly well.

However, the SE w/Technology has the maximum safety systems for the money. It has sensors watching the front, sides and back. Active features relieve driving stress and reduce the chances of a bad accident. You can also get the panoramic sunroof as an extra on this edition.

Those who want the most stylish exterior will have to go for one of the R-Line models. However, there is nothing quite like the interior luxury of the SEL Premium edition. Who doesn't like heated and ventilated seats?

For nervous drivers, you will almost certainly want to get some or all of the parking systems available. This points you toward the SEL with Park Distance Control. If that's not enough, the SEL Premium has that wonderful overhead camera.

If the six-seat model is your aim, you only have to go for the SE to get that option. After that, every model lets you opt for captain's chairs. It's definitely a reason to skip the S.

For those who like to bring big toys with them, any model with the V6 will be a priority. The six-cylinder powertrain handles a 5,000-pound load. That's an extra 3,000 pounds compared to the inline four models.

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2020 Volkswagen Trim Level Buying Guides:

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Previous Volkswagen Atlas Trim Configurations:

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