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One of the most popular types of vehicles produced and sold today is the midsize SUV. These vehicles are characterized by their interior space and features, which include a variety of luxury, tech and entertainment features that make them fun to drive. When you are looking for a midsize SUV, there are many to choose from. Two of the top rated and most popular options continue to be the Volkswagen Atlas and Kia Telluride. When you are trying to decide between the two options with the 2021 model year, there are several factors to take into consideration.
Choosing a SUV with a good powertrain system is very important. This includes the engine performance, fuel efficiency and overall reliability.
2021 Atlas Powertrain
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas has a good powertrain, which rates well compared to the competition. The 2021 Atlas comes standard with a turbocharged engine that will produce around 235 horsepower. Those that are looking for more performance can also upgrade the Atlas to a faster V6 that provides just over 275 horsepower.
The Atlas will come standard with front-wheel drive, but is available as an upgrade to all-wheel drive with some of the higher trim levels. It also comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which will provide you with a smooth gear shift. For a mid-size SUV, the Atlas receives pretty good fuel efficiency or around 22MPG on a blended basis with the base engine option and 21 MPG when upgraded to the V6 and AWD.
Similar to other Volkswagen vehicles, the 2021 Atlas is considered to be quite reliable. It does come standard with a limited four-year warranty that will cover the vehicle up to 50,000 miles. This will give new owners some comfort that certain repairs and replacements will be covered.
2021 Telluride Powertrain
While the 2021 Kia Telluride only offers one powertrain combination option, it is impressive and comes with one of the strongest engines in the vehicle class. The 2021 Telluride comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and a powerful V6 engine that will provide more than 290 horsepower. This SUV will come standard with front-wheel drive, but can be upgraded to AWD for those that would like to have some more control.
Despite the strong engine performance, the 2021 Telluride still gets pretty strong fuel efficiency ratings. The 2021 Telluride will provide a driver with around 23 MPG on a blended basis. This declines slightly when upgrading to AWD. If you are looking for a SUV with a longer warranty, the Telluride is also a good option as the limited warranty is for five years and up to 60,000 miles while there is an additional 10 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Powertrain Comparison Conclusion
When comparing the overall powertrain package, the Telluride has more to offer. It has a stronger engine that is available with all trim levels while not sacrificing much in terms of fuel efficiency. It also has a slightly longer warranty although the Atlas continues to have good ratings in terms of reliability.
As you will be driving your midsize SUV frequently, you will want to know for sure that it is comfortable to drive. Both the 2021 Atlas and the Telluride offer some features that make them good SUVs to drive.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas Drivability
The 2021 Atlas has a variety of features that can make it fun and comfortable to drive and ride in. The base 2021 Atlas comes as a three row SUV that will be able to fit up to seven adult passengers comfortably. The seats are considered to be quite comfortable and can be upgraded to leather upholstery and heated seats in all rows with the higher trim levels.
The 2021 Atlas has a significant amount of cargo space when compared to most other SUVs in the same class. With all three rows up, there is around 21 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back row. This can then increase to nearly 100 cubic feet of space when the second and third row are folded down. Most SUVs in the class have far less space than this.
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is also loaded with features that help to make it easier to drive safely. The base trim levels come with a 6-inch display touchscreen that is used to control the infotainment system. There is also standard Bluetooth and smartphone integration, which can be used to connect to your preferred navigation system. Those that upgrade to the higher trims will receive a larger touchscreen, built-in navigation and push-button start.
2021 Kia Telluride Drivability
The 2021 Telluride was designed to ensure that all drivers and passengers would be comfortable. Depending on the model and trim selected, the Telluride can hold either seven or eight passengers. There is also considered to be plenty of legroom and headroom for taller adults. The driver will also enjoy a comfortable seat and will like the great visibility that they can receive at all times. Synthetic leather is standard, but it can be upgraded to full leather with the higher trim levels.
While it does not have as much cargo space as the Atlas, the 2021 Telluride still has good cargo capacity compared to other SUVs in the class. It has similar cargo space behind the third row as the Atlas, which is around 21 cubic feet. When the second and third rows are down, the Telluride has around 86 cubic feet of space. This can be accessed through the hands-free trunk lift.
The 2021 Telluride comes standard with many impressive features as well. The base trim levels all come standard with an eight-inch touchscreen display, which can be connected to any Apple or Android device. The screen is considered simple to navigate and offers various voice controls with the higher trims. The highest trims available have an even larger 10-inch touchscreen, an included navigation system and impressive audio system.
Drivability Comparison Conclusion
When it comes to overall drivability, both the Telluride and Atlas offer a good experience. The Telluride has more luxurious standard and technology features, including synthetic leather and a larger touchscreen. However, the Atlas is larger and offers more cargo space and legroom, which is an ideal option for those that need more space.
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No matter what type of vehicle you are buying, safety should be a top priority. The 2021 Atlas and Telluride each have good safety ratings and a variety of safety features that will give you comfort when behind the wheel.
2021 Volkswagen Atlas Safety Features and Rating
When you are in the market for a SUV that has good safety features and ratings, the Atlas is a great choice. The SUV comes standard with many different features including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and auto emergency braking. There are additional safety features available with higher trims including surround-view parking and lane keep assist. There are also six standard airbags that come with all trim levels.
The safety features that come with the 2021 Atlas have helped it to receive top safety ratings from both the NHTSA and IIHS. The NHTSA provided the Atlas with a five-star overall rating, which includes five-star ratings for side crash resistance and four-star ratings for frontal crash and rollover resistance. The IIHS provided Good ratings for all areas tested including side impact test, roof strength and rear crash protection.
2021 Kia Telluride Safety Features and Rating
With the 2021 Kia Telluride, you will receive many different safety features with the base trim levels. All trims come standard with a rearview camera that is displayed on the touchscreen, blind spot monitoring and drowsiness monitoring. Some additional features that come with the higher trims include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and emergency braking. It also comes with an impressive amount of airbags, which could be very helpful during any type of collision.
Similar to the 2021 Atlas, the 2021 Telluride has also received very positive overall safety ratings. The NHTSA has provided the same safety ratings, which include a five-star side crash rating, four-star frontal crash and rollover resistance ratings and a five-star overall rating. The IIHS has also provided very good overall ratings that include a Good overall rating and positive ratings in all areas including side impact crash, roof strength and front crash prevention. The headlight test provided Acceptable overall results.
Safety Comparison Conclusion
Overall, the safety features available between both SUVs are similar in both the standard trim and higher trim levels. The Atlas has slightly better overall safety ratings, although the ratings for the Telluride are also quite strong.
Which Has the Best Value?
When you are going to purchase any type of vehicle, you should consider it to be a form of investment. Along with this, getting a good value for your dollar is important.
2021 Atlas Value and Cost of Ownership
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is considered to be a good value. The price of the Volkswagen starts at around $31,500 MSRP for the base trim and engine option. If you would like to upgrade to the V6 engine, the price will start at closer to $38,000. However, there continue to be many different trim and technology options to choose from that can increase the price even more. If you are looking for a fully equipped Atlas, the price will approach $50,000. Most find the luxury and tech package in the SEL 4Motion trim to be more than sufficient, which costs just over $45,000. The total cost of ownership, which includes the cost of fuel, insurance and maintenance, typically is about 20-25% higher than the MSRP.
There are frequently great financing promotions available from Volkswagen that can reduce the cost of ownership. This includes 0% financing for up to 72 months and lease deals that start under $400 per month with no money due at signing. However, these promotions can vary based on the dealership and date that you are shopping.
2021 Kia Telluride Value and Cost of Ownership
The 2021 Kia Telluride tends to cost slightly less than the Atlas. The base trim level starts at just over $31,000 and the highest trim, which is the SX will cost around $44,000. The higher trim also includes almost all features available from Kia, which can make it practically fully-loaded and equipped with all-wheel drive.
While the starting MSRP with the Telluride can be lower, Kia does not always provide the same low financing rates that Volkswagen does. Kia’s top financing options typically provide APR of around 2% for up to 66 months and the best lease deals will normally start at around $325 per month but requires an upfront charge of nearly $3,500.
Value and Cost of Ownership Comparison
Overall, the Kia Telluride appears to provide a more affordable price than the 2021 Atlas. While the base trims are comparable in price, those that want to upgrade the Atlas to the V6 will need to get a higher trim, which costs more. However, the financing rates with Volkswagen are lower, which can make the true cost of ownership more comparable.
Which is Better?
When looking for a midsize SUV, both the 2021 Atlas and Telluride provide a variety of great features that help them to be among the best in the class. While the Atlas has slightly better safety ratings and much more cargo space, the 2021 Telluride offers a better deal and option for most buyers. The Telluride is a better option when it comes to engine performance, interior features and has a lower price point, all of which will appeal to buyers looking for a midsize SUV.