2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium R-Line - A decent SUV with fussy tech stuff


I remember a time when German automakers disparaged cup holders. Cup holders! They added nothing to the driving experience and they were, or they represented, a distraction to the job at hand - driving. Boy how times have changed. Take the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas SEL for an example. Not that it is the only example.

I reviewed a VW Atlas back in September and my opinion about, and frustration with, all the tech stuff has not changed. 

I am still enamored with the 2.0-liter, 269 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder. That's enough power to move the over 4,600 lb Atlas from a dead stop to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. The test Atlas SEL Premium R-Line had AWD, and the only transmission available is an 8-speed automatic. 

I also like the fact that the drive mode doesn't automatically revert to Economy. When I got the Atlas it was in Sport mode and it stayed that way until I switched to Economy. Thank you. 

I think the Atlas is good-looking. Yes it is a little derivative of other SUVs but so what? VW has used styling tricks to make it look more massive than it really is. The beltline, the bottom of the windows, is raised which makes the sides and front seem bigger. 

Yes that's a trailer hitch below the bumper. Even with a 4-cylinder the Atlas can tow up to 5,000 lbs. 

The Atlas SEL Premium R-Line is not the most frugal SUV out there but at 19-mpg city, and 25-mpg highway it is darn good. 

The 2024 VW Atlas SEL Premium R-Line starts at $52,890. A base FWD SE is $37,995. If you're a techie type maybe all the controls won't bother you. Just please don't try to operate anything that diverts your attention from driving while in motion. 


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