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Which 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is Right for You?

Find out which trim level of Volkswagen’s mid-size SUV is best for you.


The Volkswagen Atlas is the largest vehicle the German automaker sells in Canada. For 2021, VW’s mid-size 3-row SUV benefits from a mid-cycle refresh, highlighted by new front and rear styling that mimics its shorter (and fresher) Atlas Cross Sport 2-row mid-size SUV sibling.

There are 4 trim levels of the 2021 Atlas. The first trio—Trendline, Comfortline and Highline—is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder gas engine making 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Standard equipment includes such niceties as Autonomous Emergency Braking, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Traffic Alert, Android Auto/Apple CarPlay/MirrorLink smartphone integration and heated front seats.

If you need to tow, the topline Execline’s 276-horsepower and 266-pound-feet of torque 3.6-litre 6-cylinder comes standard with a tow package (trailer hitch and a more powerful alternator) and can tow up to 5,000 pounds (2,268 kilograms).

In standard form, the Atlas seats up to 7 passengers. With optional captain’s chairs in the 2nd-row, that drops to 6. Designed specifically for North American buyers, all Atlas occupants are treated to plenty of space inside. As one of the roomiest SUVs you can buy, there’s up to 2,741 litres of cargo space when the VW SUV’s 2nd- and 3rd-row seats are folded flat. The quality of materials is good, and a European sensibility is apparent in the look of the dash.

On the road, the Atlas’s ride quality is comfortable and not the least bit floaty. The 4-cylinder engine may seem small and possibly underpowered for such a large vehicle, but it’s up to the task due to its excellent low-end torque. The naturally aspirated V6 feels more relaxed in its duty, but fuel economy goes down a bit. Combined city and highway economy estimates range from a low of 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres for the 4-cylinder and 12.9 for the V6.

A smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic is the only transmission available, and the standard AWD benefits from Snow and Off-road modes. While the Atlas is by no means an off-roader, it performs well on muddy dirt roads. It also becomes your best friend when the steep driveway at your cabin is covered in snow. Ground clearance is a respectable 8.0 inches (203 millimetres).

To help you make the right call on your next new Volkswagen mid-size 3-row SUV, here's a breakdown of the various 2021 Atlas's trim levels:

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Trendline - Starting MSRP: $40,095 CAD 

Key standard Trendline features include:

  • 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
  • 8-speed automatic transmission
  • All-wheel-drive
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Blind spot monitor/Rear Traffic Alert
  • Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, MirrorLink smartphone integration
  • LED headlights/LED daytime running lights
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated front seats


2021 Volkswagen Atlas Comfortline - Starting MSRP: $44,695 CAD 

Includes or replaces Trendline features, plus:

  • Park Distance Control (Front and rear)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control/Stop & Go
  • Wireless smartphone integration
  • Satellite navigation
  • 18-inch Machined finish alloy wheels
  • Keyless access
  • Remote start
  • Power tailgate
  • 3-zone electronic air conditioning
  • Leatherette seating surfaces
  • Leatherette multi-function/heated steering wheel


2021 Volkswagen Atlas Highline - Starting MSRP: $48,995 CAD 

Includes or replaces Comfortline features, plus:

  • Power tailgate/Easy Open function
  • LED headlights/Adaptive Front-light System
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Panoramic power sunroof
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Power-adjustable/heated exterior mirrors/memory function
  • Heated rear seats
  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Leather perforated seating surfaces


2021 Volkswagen Atlas Execline - Starting MSRP: $55,595 CAD 

Includes or replaces Highline features, plus:

  • 6-cylinder engine
  • Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Assist and Emergency Assist
  • Fender Premium Audio System/12-speakers plus subwoofer
  • Park Distance Control (Front & Rear)/Park Assist
  • Automatic High-beam control
  • Trailer hitch

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