What Are the Best Years for The Volkswagen Atlas?

Drivers looking for class, luxury, and stellar off-road performance will never be disappointed by the Volkswagen lineup. 

This German automaker has been at the forefront in the design and manufacture of vehicles of all body styles to capture a wide range of driving styles and lifestyles. 

Right from their sedans through to the SUV, the VW vehicle exudes style, opulence, and high-performance, both on- and off-road. 

Volkswagen Atlas has since been one of the VW’s impressive SUVs that has been loved and hated in equal measures by the VW enthusiasts.

Since its launch of the redesigned model in 2018, the Atlas has been the top-of-the-line SUV in many categories despite having a fair share of downside. 

Even with the minor flaws observed, some good model years of the Volkswagen Atlas have wowed its aficionados. 

What Are the Best Years for The Volkswagen Atlas? 

The 2019 and 2020 are the best years for the Volkswagen Atlas SUV based on the Consumer Reports reliability rating. Despite 2018 being the redesign year for the VW Atlas, its reliability score of 1.0/5.0 was below average. The 2019 and 2020 Volkswagen Atlas models that were released a year later had most of the issues resolved.

The Atlas engine and transmission have greatly improved in reliability for the model years 2019 and 2020

All-new 2021 Volkswagen Atlas has also received a discouraging projected reliability score of 1.0/5.0. 

However, the Atlas’ fuel system, body styling, and powertrain reliability have greatly improved in the past two years. Unfortunately, when compared with other brands, Atlas has never been on top of the list in many other aspects.

At a 13 percent reliability rating, this SUV is slightly lower than its close competitor like Subaru Ascent at 33 percent or the Kia Telluride boasting 62 percent. 

Atlas’s first model year was 2018, so Consumer Reports didn’t have a lot of information on this model. And therefore, the only way to get the reliability rating of the VW Atlas model is to compare it with other Volkswagen models of the same class. 

Best Years for The Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas performed slightly better than the VW Tiguan, which had a predicted reliability score of 1.0/5.0 at the time. 

Earlier models of the VW Tiguan had significant issues with engine and transmission reliability. 

Newer models have improved in these aspects, although they still fall behind in terms of powertrain, technology, body styling, and fuel economy. 

On the other hand, the VW Golf is comparable to the Atlas although it comes with a slightly higher predicted reliability rating of 3.0/5.0. This has remained stable over the years. 

Thus, since the 2019 and 2020 Volkswagen Atlas boast more features compared to the Golf, it passes to be more dependable when compared directly to the VW Golf.

Features that Make the VW Atlas Stand Out

Despite scoring low in reliability for the past years, the VW Atlas has a lot to show. 

The all-new 2021 model of the Volkswagen Atlas has the potential to be the top-of-the-line SUV in the VW SUVs models, thanks to its high-tech features and unique styling. 

Consumer Reports rates the VW Atlas 21st out of 26th in the lineup of Midsize Sport Utility Vehicles. 

The Atlas performed admirably in the road test done, earning it 84/100. 

However, its anticipated consumer satisfaction remained at 3.0/5.0. But, if compared to other three-row SUVs, the Atlas is reasonably competitive.

In terms of handling, the Atlas scored above average and offered a very quiet ride compared to other SUVs of the same class and size. Driving the Atlas SUV is fun and smooth with easier controls on the dashboard.

The interior design of the Atlas is plush, which gives it a prestigious interior ambiance and comfort. Additionally, when the second and third rows of seats are folded, the Atlas gives extra cargo space that greatly outstrips its rivals in the same class. 

Features that Make the VW Atlas Stand Out

The performance of the Atlas SUV in the city and highway is impressive. 

This midsize SUV can accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in 8.7 seconds. It offers a city fuel economy of 13 miles per gallon and gets 28 miles per gallon on the highway. 

If you are on a budget and wish to own a Volkswagen Atlas, the 2020 and 2019 model years are guaranteed to give you value for your money and an excellent user experience. 

Plus, the Atlas can offer comfort, space, and easy handling. Running costs and maintenance of the Atlas are much reduced, thanks to its fuel-efficient engine. 

Despite scoring low on reliability compared to other VW SUVs, it is recommended to purchase the 2019 or newer model years. 

The Volkswagen Atlas is an excellent choice for large families since it has more space in the cabin and even larger headroom and legroom. 

This SUV is adventure-ready and will carry your entire fishing and camping gear and still have power enough to tow along your boat or a small camper. 

Volkswagen Atlas Model Year to Avoid

If you are in the market for a three-row midsize SUV, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas looks like an excellent choice. 

It comes with an unquestionably stylish exterior with a comfortable and prestigious interior. 

Sadly, the 2021 Atlas model year performs poorly in terms of both reliability and consumer satisfaction. 

If you must buy this model, it is recommended to inspect the vehicle for the many complaints that have been lodged by genuine users.

Despite having the most sophisticated technologies and trim-specific features. This model year scores lower compared to other SUVs of the same class and price range. 

You most likely want your next car to be reliable. Consumer reports rank VW Atlas lower in terms of dependability.

The 2021 VW Atlas model has a reliability rating of 1.0/5.0, which is considered poor. The 2021 Atlas scored a 3.0/5.0 reliability rating on U.S News and World Report. 

This is slightly higher than CR but remains an abysmal score. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 

Is the Volkswagen Atlas SUV worth Buying? 

Yes, the VW Atlas is a reliable SUV, even though it scores slightly lower than its counterparts like the Palisade and Telluride. 

However, the Atlas scores better in terms of third-row space and trunk space compared to its rivals. 

The Atlas is less expensive and comes equipped with more options than all the other brands. 

Additionally, the Atlas has higher torque and maximum towing weight for daily driving compared to other SUVs in the VW lineup. 

Which year of the Volkswagen Atlas is reliable? 

The 2019 Volkswagen Atlas model year is the most reliable, according to consumer report rating. 

This model year scored 2.0/5.0 on reliability compared to the 1.0/5.0 score by other model years. 

Although the 2020 models were not graded, it is assumed to be the second most reliable midsize VW SUV. 

What kind of problems does the Volkswagen Atlas have? 

Besides the low-reliability scores of the Volkswagen Atlas, they have also received reports of some recurring problems. 

Some of the issues reported include faulty Bluetooth and voice command, poor acceleration, and poor handling. 

How many miles can the Volkswagen Atlas go for? 

This will depend on the model year and trim level you choose. 

But the VW Atlas comes equipped with a fuel tank capacity of 18.6 gallons, which offers a driving range of about 446 miles, depending on your driving style. 

The all-new 2021 Volkswagen Atlas offers more options to select from.


If you are shopping for a Volkswagen Atlas SUV for your next adventure trip or camping, the 2019 and 2020 model years will serve you better. 

These model years do not have the best of the lineup reliability score, but they are guaranteed to give you reliable service for the long haul. 

This excellent people and cargo hauler will offer you the best off-road driving experience while at the same time has the power to tow and carry your cargo. 

The all-new 2021 Volkswagen has not received the best reliability score on Consumer Reports so far. 

While its predecessor model, the 2020 model, did not receive a reliability ranking, it cannot be compared to 2021. Therefore, for the Atlas, newer is not always better. 

Consider checking the maintenance and service history before buying your next Atlas SUV. 

Since 2018 was the redesign year for the Volkswagen Atlas, it suffices to say that this model year came with more features and upgrades. 

But with new features come new problems, which made the 2018 model perform poorly on the reliability scale. 

The 2019 and the 2020 models performed better in terms of customer satisfaction since there was at least the 2018 model to compare with.

The Atlas is not the fastest or the most fuel-efficient mid-size crossover SUV, but it still strikes the top as the most spacious VW SUV with above-average ratings for providing unrivaled practicality, light chassis, smooth ride, and comfortable seating for seven passengers. 

These features, coupled with its latest safety features, like the driver-assistance technologies and infotainment systems, make the Atlas a go-to SUV for drivers on a budget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *