2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport – Halifax, Nova Scotia
What do you do when you have a full-sized SUV in your line-up but want to reach out to a broader audience without introducing an all-new platform? In Volkswagen’s case, you shrink the Atlas seven-seater into a sportier five-seater for the families of Halifax.
The Atlas Cross Sport retains the same 2,979-mm wheelbase as the Atlas, but is 71 mm shorter overall, with shorter overhangs at both ends, but especially at the rear.
It’s also 58-mm lower, has a more aggressively styled front fascia and rocks a sloping rear roofline, all of which give it a sportier silhouette than the larger family-hauler.
Of course, the shorter body mandated the removal of the third row of seats, but there’s actually more storage space behind the last row of seats in the Cross Sport, at 1,141 litres versus 583 litres behind the third row in Atlas. Folding the rear seats down gives you access to 2,203 litres of total storage space, which is down 268 litres on the Atlas.
The interior has been slightly reworked, with a new steering wheel and a new selection of available trims. Vented front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, wireless charging, Wi-Fi and a 10.25-inch configurable instrument display are among the available frills.
The same two engines that power the Atlas are available in the Cross Sport. There’s the base 235-horsepower 2.0-litre turbocharged four; and the naturally aspirated 276-horsepower V6. Opting for the V6 gives you 5,000-lb towing capacity.
Either engine mates to an eight-speed automatic; however, unlike the Atlas which offers the four-cylinder only with front-wheel drive, the Cross Sport comes standard with AWD on both engine choices. Drive Mode Select, which includes Road, Off-road, Off-road Custom and Snow modes, is standard.
Three trims are available, ranging from the base Trendline; to Comfortline; to the top-tier Execline. You’ll get pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot alert on the bottom trim, but otherwise have to move up to Comfortline to get driver aids like stop-and-go cruise and autonomous braking. The Execline above that comes standard with lane-keep assist and parking assist.
So if you’re import-minded but want to support the home team at the same time, the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is worth more than just a look for the roads of Nova Scotia.