Difference Between Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUV

October 11th, 2022 by

The Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs| Photo Courtesy: Aaron Gold; MotorTrend


It wasn’t too long ago when Volkswagen introduced the Volkswagen Atlas into their large SUV lineup. A few years later, the automaker brought a smaller version into the mix – the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. While the Cross Sport is closely related to the Atlas (similar names, after all), there are still several significant differences between the two, which can certainly be a help when deciding which SUV is best for you.


Both the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport are boldly styled with unique LED headlights, daytime running lights, and tail lights. However, you will quickly notice that the Atlas Cross Sport is 5.2 inches lower than the Atlas and fitted with a lower roofline and steeply raked back window. While the front and rear fascias differ in 2020 models, Volkswagen announced back in 2020 a refreshed 2021 Atlas with updated styling which strongly resembles the Cross Sport.


The Atlas Cross Sport caters to a different type of buyer than the Atlas. With the Atlas being a more family-oriented SUV, Volkswagen jazzed up the interior of the Cross Sport with eye-catching door-panel stitching and two-tone color schemes.

One of the most notable differences in the two SUVs are cargo space. With the Atlas being a three-row SUV (remember, its catered towards families), the Cross Sport has two, which helps open up a lot of extra cargo space.

Mechanical Differences

Mechanically, the Atlas and Cross Sport are virtually identical. Both SUVs offer a choice between Volkswagen’s 235 hp 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and its 276 hp 3.6 liter V6. The Cross Sport is a couple hundred pounds lighter than the seven-seat Atlas, but acceleration is comparable and the ride and handling are pretty much the same.


As one can imagine, the slightly smaller Cross Sport has smaller price tag than the Atlas. The starting MSRP for the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is $33,910 with the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas not much higher, with a starting MSRP of $34,600.

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