It’s no secret that sport utility vehicles have become the family hauler of choice among Americans, far outpacing sedans, wagons and minivans. Last year, just under half of all vehicles sold in the United States were some form of SUV, a trend that has only grown in recent years.
First introduced in 2017, the Atlas remains the largest Volkswagen ever sold in America, and, since its launch, also one of the best-selling.
Here are the key ingredients for the success and improvements for the 2021 Atlas model year:
Room for everyone
With seven seats standard, Atlas allows for the whole family to ride along comfortably, whether heading to school, a soccer game, or on vacation. For the warmer months, the large SUV has three-zone climate control, allowing passengers (including the kids) to adjust heating and cooling to their own needs.
If you are unaccustomed to driving with multiple children, the 17 available cupholders in the Atlas may seem a bit much. But those cupholders don’t just hold beverages; they also hold crayons, phones, snacks and everything else a child needs to stay happy and entertained along the journey.
A car-seat friendly SUV
Knowing families are on the go and car safety seats can be a hassle, the all-new Atlas offers easy installation of several styles of car-seats, including an average-size infant seat, convertible seat, harnessed booster and backless booster. Because of its bench-style seating in the second row and overall vehicle width, Atlas allows for three child seats in the second row, making it a welcoming SUV for young families. With an available built-in rear sunshade, kids can also grab some shut-eye on road trips without being disturbed by the sun.
To help protect occupants, the Atlas provides a combination of both passive and active safety systems. It features six airbags as standard, along with electronic safety systems such as an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Driver Assistance features
Standard driver-assistance technology includes Front Assist, which is designed to warn drivers of potential frontal collisions with vehicles and pedestrians, and in some cases provide automatic braking assistance. Available systems like Park Distance Control and Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist) – which can automatically steer the car into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces – help you when you arrive and depart.
The 2021 Atlas also broadens its available driver’s assistance technology to help make the commute easier. Traffic Jam Assist can make driving in stop-and-go conditions and traffic jams less stressful by using the available Lane Assist and ACC systems to help steer, accelerate and brake automatically up to speeds of 37 mph. Dynamic Road Sign Display can detect road signs, like speed limits, and display them for the driver.
Ample cargo space for today’s to-do list
Whether it’s hockey practice or heading out for the weekly grocery store run, the 20.6 cubic feet of cargo behind the third row of the Atlas ensures that families will have enough room for what’s on today’s to-do list. For those trips that require more luggage or gear, families can fold down the third row for access to 55.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
Peace of mind for parents of new drivers
Volkswagen Car-Net® comes standard on every Atlas and includes a variety of Remote Access services at no additional charge for five years. Family Guardian services and Roadside Call Assist provide added peace-of-mind to parents with teen drivers. Speed alert notifies the owner when the pre-determined maximum speed limit is exceeded, and boundary alert lets the owner know when the vehicle has traveled outside of a pre-set virtual boundary. Curfew Alert notifies the owner if the vehicle is driven outside the specified timeframe.
The Car-Net app allows users to control who receives notifications by designating primary and secondary users, with varying levels of control and functionality for each. Notifications can come in the form of text messages, emails, or push notifications from the mobile app itself. If the vehicle is disabled, Roadside Call Assist is available at the touch of the wrench button.
Entertainment for the ride there
With the available Car-Net Hotspot, the 2021 Atlas allows parents to provide entertainment to the kids during the ride. Car-Net Hotspot allows passengers to access the internet with up to four connected devices simultaneously, including compatible tablets, smartphones, laptops, gaming devices, and more— at 4G LTE-enabled speed. Existing Verizon Wireless customers with an unlimited mobile data plan can simply add their Volkswagen vehicle as a new line item to their existing plan, and non-Verizon customers can set up a prepaid plan for $20/month before taxes and fees.
To help keep the whole family’s devices up and running, the 2021 Atlas also boasts five available USB ports in the first and second rows.
Easy on the family budget
With the 2021 Atlas starting at $31,545 MSRP, families can get all these benefits and more for an approachable price.
 Child seat capacity in 2nd row depends on size and combination of individual child seats. Always ensure that the child restraint system is positioned correctly, is securely attached to vehicle, and does not contact any of the safety belt buckles. See owner’s literature for details.
 Airbags are supplemental restraints only and will not deploy under all crash circumstances. Always use safety belts and seat children only in the rear, using restraint systems appropriate for their size and age.
 Driver Assistance features are not substitutes for attentive driving. See Owner’s Manual for further details, and important limitations.
 Available on most MY20 and newer vehicles. Always pay careful attention to the road and do not drive while distracted. Certain services require trial or paid subscriptions, which may have their own terms and conditions. VW Car-Net requires vehicle cellular connectivity and availability of vehicle GPS signal, and not all services and features are available on all vehicles. Certain Car-Net services, such as Roadside Call Assist, connect out to 3rd party providers that may require additional payment. Standard text and data rates may apply for app and web features. Certain services may collect location and vehicle information. See Terms of Service, Privacy Statement, and other important information at www.vw.com/carnet.
 Standard text and data rates may apply. Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while distracted.
 Roadside Call Assist connects you to a Roadside Call Assist third-party provider and may require additional payment for services rendered.
 The Wi-Fi hotspot feature is intended for passenger use only. 4G LTE coverage is not available in all areas. See materials provided for terms, privacy, data security details. Requires trial or paid Wi-Fi plan from third party wireless provider.
 Requires pre-existing wireless data plan. Pairing feature not available with all wireless service providers, and eligibility is determined by wireless service provider. Wireless service provider terms and conditions apply.
 Starting MSRP of $31,545 for a 2021 Atlas 2.0-liter TSI engine and FWD. Price excludes destination, taxes, title, other options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.