2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. Its Competition

2018 Volkswagen Atlas image
Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor

We've recently named the Chrysler Pacifica (for 2017) and the Honda Pilot (for 2017) our Best Car To Buy winners—and for good reason.

Both are exceptionally good at hauling the whole family in comfort.

But there are other good choices in this class, especially the upmarket Toyota Highlander, which might as well be a Lexus, and the versatile Nissan Pathfinder that, like the Pacifica and Atlas (and nothing else currently) allows kid seats to be kept in place when their second rows are folded forward for "way back" access.

The Ford Explorer is also worth a look as its big size is on par with the Atlas.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas image2018 Volkswagen Atlas
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2018 Chrysler Pacifica image2018 Chrysler Pacifica
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2018 Ford Explorer image2018 Ford Explorer
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2018 Honda Pilot image2018 Honda Pilot
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2018 Nissan Pathfinder image2018 Nissan Pathfinder
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2018 Toyota Highlander image2018 Toyota Highlander
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Quick Specs
The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas does little wrong, but it's light on personality and a little low-rent inside—and it guzzles fuel. It's worth a look, but mostly rivals do more for less.
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a winner, combining our favorite minivan with a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain and useful 33-mile electric range
The 2018 Ford Explorer has pulled off a graceful transition from clumsy off-roader to genteel family wagon.
The 2018 Honda Pilot ranks among the very best three-row crossover SUVs; it’s all about the packaging.
The 2018 Nissan Pathfinder should be on the list for shoppers looking for a large crossover. The Pathfinder is highly functional, but not entirely interesting.
The 2018 Toyota Highlander delivers much of what families want in a three-row crossover at a reasonable price; the Highlander Hybrid is icing on the cake.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small SUV 2WDMinivans 2WDStandard SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilityPassenger VanSport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODCVT w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2018 Chrysler Pacifica2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2018 Ford Explorer2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2018 Honda Pilot2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2018 Nissan Pathfinder2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2018 Toyota Highlander