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2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs Atlas Cross Sport

2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs Atlas Cross Sport

2021 Atlas vs Atlas Cross Sport - How do they stack up? What are the differences?

Immerse yourself into a sleek and sophisticated crossover with a comfortable feel when you take a seat behind the wheel of a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas or a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. Driver convenience features, similar styling attributes, and identical engines create an admirable driving experience in both models. The areas in which these models differ the most consist of their passenger seating capacity and innate size. Although these differences may set the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport apart, their distinctive look and feel remain much the same. In fact, many consumers who consider one of these models as a potential purchase candidate will likely evaluate the other, as well.

Starting off at prices that are very closely related, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport caters to the same class of buyers. Those who long for comfort and convenience in a stylish package typically consider these Volkswagen models as top options. Not to mention, their interior flexibility and utility components within the cabin show off this automaker's Scandinavian appeal that buyers appreciate. Different from all the rest, these two models put a modern spin on the traditional look of a family wagon. The Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport fall somewhere in between a minivan and an SUV, which allows it to differentiate itself from mainstream automotive options.

If you are looking for a unique way to transport your family in style, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are commendable selections to consider. You can appreciate the amenities within the cabin of these wagons, while standing out in a crowd with their distinctive styles.

Size and Styling

One of the main ways the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport stand out from one another is in their size. There is no doubt that both models have plenty of room to spare and create a comfortable driving environment within their cabin. Yet, the 2021 VW Atlas is much larger than the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport. So, buyers with this attribute at the top of their priority list for a new auto purchase should take note. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport can fit up to five passengers comfortably, while the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas raises the ante and adds seating for two additional passengers for a total of seven.

With so much extra space to bring several passengers along for the ride, we would expect these models to also have ample room for cargo stowage. The 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport meets our expectations in this area by fitting four suitcases behind the third row and 38 suitcases total with both rows of rear seats folded flat. This is substantially more space than we ever expected. The 2021 VW Atlas does not offer as much room for suitcases or cargo, but it still comes in with nearly 80 cubic feet of storage area compared to the Atlas Cross Sport's 96 cubic feet. This accurately fits in with the five passenger maximum the VW Atlas incorporates in its interior design.

If you enjoy the exterior styling of the 2021 VW Atlas or the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport, you will inevitably enjoy the outside look of both models. Nearly identical in their exterior appearance, the Atlas and the Atlas Cross Sport merely differ in their overall size. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is five inches longer than the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport and a few inches wider, too. This is the only difference you will notice between these two wagons, though, as they mirror the same front grille, LED headlights, and paint options.


Motivation and enthusiasm are not in short supply in the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas or the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is equipped with a Volkswagen signature amenity known as 4Motion all-wheel drive, which impresses us from the start. Whereas the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas can be outfitted with all-wheel drive as an upgrade but does not gain access to the innovative 4Motion setup. Aside from this variance, these two wagons mimic each other in all other powertrain contributes.

Engine options for the 2021 VW Atlas and the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport consist of a standard 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder with the ability to upgrade to a 3.6-liter V-6 engine. The four-cylinder can produce 235hp compared to the V-6 that can generate 276hp. Torque production also varies slightly among these engine selections with the four-cylinder maxing out at 258 lb.-ft. and V-6 topping out at 266 lb.-ft. Each of these motors is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission known for its smooth shifting and easy transitions.

Not only are these engines differentiated by the power and torque they can produce, but they also influence the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport's towing capabilities and fuel economy. Larger engines are thirstier from the extra work they must do, and this is the case with the V-6 of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport gets slightly lower fuel efficiency with the V-6 implementation than the 2021 VW Atlas. The four-cylinder averages better fuel economy for both models averaging 21 city and 24 highway mpg. In addition to this fuel economy difference, the four-cylinder can also tow less than the V-6. This known expectation allows the four-cylinder to tow up to 2,000 pounds with the V-6 reaching up to 5,000 pounds towing capacity.

Comfort, Options and Performance

Made for busy families and adventure seekers, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport have several interior highlights. Fitting adult passengers in the second and third rows comfortably is one of the major accomplishments these two models achieve. This space is decorated with several storage cubbies and nooks that are tucked away for convenient storage for personal items. From ample space for cargo stowage to miniscule compartments for personal belongings, you can fit anything you need to within the 2021 VW Atlas and the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport.

Practicality is rampant within the cabin of the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. Designed for easy family travel, the cabins of these models are simplistic and clean. Free from any complicated designs or confusing controls, the utility within the Atlas and the Atlas Cross Sport is applauded by those who crave candor inside their selected vehicle's cabin. A comforting mix of materials adds a bit of spice to an otherwise plain interior, as well. Breaking up the monotony of a single tone cabin, chrome accents and leather seats are must-haves.

What many interested buyers want to know is if the ride quality of one of these models is enhanced over the other. The answer is not quite as simple, though. The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas creates a refined ride and does a good job of soaking up shivers before they reach passengers in the cabin. It is responsive and grounded, as well as adept and nimble. In comparison, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport feels a bit more athletic in its handling. The smaller size of the Atlas Cross Sport is more agile, but it also allows passengers to feel more of the resounding vibrations from road imperfections. Some passengers may not be bothered by this, but others may prefer the smoother ride of the Volkswagen Atlas.

Although the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are minimalistic within their cabin, they both thrown in a few innovative technology attributes for passengers to enjoy. Volkswagen's signature MIB3 infotainment system is available as an upgrade for the standard 8.0-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated throughout all VW Atlas and VW Atlas Cross Sport models. A Volkswagen signature connectivity app, known as VW Car-Net, also allows wireless control of either model. This enhancement makes remote starting your Atlas or Atlas Cross Sport easier than ever before.

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.


As with all other attributes, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport boast the same safety features, as well. These models even gain identical rankings from safety rating agencies and crash test scores. Each one received a five star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is the highest possible accolade and is determined by crash test results attained from a serious of tests. Based on this achievement, the 2021 VW Atlas and the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport offer a safe method of transportation for multiple passengers and children. In the event of an accident, they are expected to fare well and diligently protect passengers.

Another safety rating agency is the IIHS, but neither model was named as a Top Safety Pick by this entity. Although this is a bit disheartening, we know each model does its best to protect passengers by providing a robust lineup of driver assistive safety features for implementation across most models. Not only are there many safety enhancements offered by the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport, but most of them are included as standard amenities. Features like forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, and blind-spot monitoring are standard for both models. Yet, adaptive cruise controls with stop-and-go technology and semiautonomous driving are only available as upgrades.

Which Model to Choose?

Comparing two different vehicle models to determine which is a better purchase option can easily be done by evaluating variations in their power, safety, design, and technology. Yet, with two vehicles that are almost identical in every aspect this task can be a bit more difficult. Every minute deviation must be examined, because it could mean one vehicle should be selected over the other. The 2021 VW Atlas and the 2021 VW Atlas Cross Sport are both exceptional choices for a family wagon. Realistically, most buyers would be satisfied with either one.

The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport are identical in price, so that will not be a differentiating factor between these two models. However, there is a variance in the number of passengers each of these models can accommodate, which will undoubtedly be the deciding factor for most shoppers. The Atlas Cross Sport is smaller with room for just five passengers, while the Atlas is more expansive and accommodates seven passengers. This unavoidably leads to a larger size for the Atlas in comparison to the Atlas Cross Sport, as well. Rolling into other elements that are affected by size variations, these models also handle a bit differently.

Another factor to take into consideration is that the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas also offers one more trim level option than the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. This does not make a substantial impact on most buyers, but some will take it into account. Overall, we would opt for the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas if we had to make a vehicle selection. It is identical features and power for the same price is an attractive selling point. You can also fit two extra passengers in this model, which is a benefit, too.

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