There’s no doubting the huge popularity of SUVs and crossovers in the Canadian auto market. And while style and “trendiness” have a lot to do with the success of any vehicle class, SUVs offer immense practicality and are with out doubt the Swiss Army Knife of the personal transportation world. By their very nature, SUVs must be a boxy shape to optimize people-carrying and cargo capability but there are customers who prefer a sportier profile with a coupe-like look about them. Several automakers have filled this demand with some highly attractive offerings and the latest to take this step is Volkswagen with its 2020 Atlas Cross Sport. It transforms the basic Atlas with dramatic coupe styling, mostly achieved with a modified roofline and some external size-trimming. To add to its appeal, the new VW has added advanced connectivity and driver-assistance systems.
VW has managed to achieve an SUV with eye-appeal with minimal sacrifice of the Atlas’s roomy 5-passenger interior. The Cross Sport is 2.8-inches shorter and 2.3-inches lower than the standard Atlas so it’s certainly a little more compact and sporty. It still retains considerable amounts of cargo space on the rear load area and even more with the back seats folded. VW has also spruced up the cockpit with, among other features, a new steering wheel with more intuitive controls mounted on it.
The Volkswagen Car-Net suite of connected features is upgraded for the 2020 model year with an improved mobile app, a long list of no-charge services for five years, and new subscription options. For instance, Car-Net Remote Access gives owners the ability to interact with their vehicle from miles away via the mobile app. It is offered at no additional charge for five years from the date of vehicle purchase. Features include remote start and stop (if equipped), remote door lock and unlock, remote honk and flash of lights, last parked location, and remote vehicle status display, which provides information on fuel level, mileage, and door and window status.
According to Volkswagen, the Cross Sport will be available with a choice of two powertrains – a 276-horsepower V-6 and a 235-horsepower four-cylinder turbo. Both engines use an 8-speed automatic transmission. With the V-6 and tow package, you can tow up to 5,000 lbs, which is impressive for a rig like this. Eight trim levels are listed for this product – S, SE, SE w/tech, SE w/tech R-Line, SEL Premium. There really is something for everybody in the Cross Sport lineup.
The Cross Sport is an attractive addition to the Atlas line and is bound to draw even more customers than the basic model did. Several luxury SUV makers offer coupe styling on their products so its good to see VW following suit and offering this Atlas at a reasonable price. The Atlas Cross Sport is built in the US at VW’s Chattanooga plant.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door & hatch coupe-style SUV
ENGINE: 4-cylinder and V-6 variants available
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
TOWING CAPACITY: 5,000-lbs (with V-6 power)
FUEL ECONOMY: Not yet announced
PRICE: Other Atlas models start at $36,740. Check with dealer for Cross Sport price