Think of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport as a standard Atlas minus the third row. Get inside and you’ll find that this five-seat midsize crossover is incredibly roomy and can accommodate a lot of stuff while still seating five passengers in total comfort. Even with a roofline that descends quicker and less boxy greenhouse, there still a lot of room because the crossover is essentially a three-row with the rear cut off.
You get to choose the same two engine options found in the larger three-row Atlas: a 2.0-liter turbo-four or a naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter V6. Both are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and can be had with FWD or AWD regardless of which powertrain combo you choose. Be prepared to take a hit in fuel economy, though. The Atlas Cross Sport may be smaller than its three-row sibling but its barely more efficient. The four-cylinder models are EPA-rated at 21/24/22 city/highway/combined in FWD guise while AWD models drop to 20/24/22 mpg, which is similar to the three-row Atlas.
There’s also another problem: the price. Even though it slots below the three-row Atlas, the Atlas Cross Sport is still pretty pricey. A loaded one will cost you nearly $50,000 if you go for the range-topping model, meaning it’s nearly the same price as its more practical sibling.
0 to 60 mph: 7.1 seconds
60 to 0: 118 feet
Cabin noise: B-; 72 dB
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