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Trims and Powertrains

The three-row 2023 Volkswagen Atlas is offered in five trim levels: SE, SE with Technology, SEL, SEL R-Line, and SEL Premium R-Line. The first three get a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 235 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. The SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line move up to a 3.5-liter V6 (which is available for the SE with Technology and SEL) that cranks out 276 hp and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Both powerplants are linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and while front-wheel drive is the default in the SE and SE with Technology, all-wheel drive (which is standard in the other trims) is optional.

Towing and Fuel Economy

The ’23 Atlas with the V6 has a 5,000-pound towing max, while the turbo 4 can only tow up to 2,000 lb. Fuel economy is good for this segment: the FWD turbos return an EPA-estimated 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway and turbos with AWD fulfill 20 city/24 highway. The V6-powered Atlas with FWD achieves 18 city/24 highway, and with AWD, it pulls off 18 city/23 highway.


As the entry-level trim, the SE has a mix of the basics and some upscale features such as automatic LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors, black roof rails, 18-inch wheels, and keyless entry. The leatherette-clad seating consists of a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, a 60/40-split second-row seat, and a 50/50-split third-row seat.

In the tech department, this trim receives two USB-C data ports, an 8-inch digital gauge cluster (Digital Cockpit), and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming. A couple of IQ.Drive safety technologies are also standard: forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.

SE with Technology

The SE with Technology rises higher with remote start, a hands-free liftgate, a configurable 10.25-inch digital gauge cluster (Digital Cockpit Pro), a wireless phone charger, tri-zone automatic climate control, and 20-inch wheels, a 115V power outlet, three extra USB-C charging ports. Buyers can order a panoramic sunroof and second-row captain’s chairs (in place of the bench seat), which will reduce seating to seven. The SE with Technology also has a more deluxe multimedia system with an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and SiriusXM satellite radio. Meanwhile, the safety technology suite adds adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors.


The panoramic sunroof becomes standard in the SEL, but the captain’s chairs remain optional. Among its other improvements are an adaptive front lighting system with dynamic cornering lights, heated washer nozzles, silver roof rails, side mirrors with position memory and passenger-side reverse gear tilt-down, position memory for the driver’s seat, ambient interior lighting, a heated steering wheel, and built-in navigation. Volkswagen packs in additional safety tech, too, with dynamic road sign display, automatic high beams, a semi-automated hands-on driving system, and lane change assist.

SEL R-Line and SEL Premium R-Line

In addition to its standard trailer hitch, the SEL R-Line is given a more distinct exterior appearance with trim-specific bumpers and badges, plus black roof rails. At the top of the range, the SEL Premium R-Line comes with ventilated front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, leather upholstery for the first two rows, striking 21-inch two-tone wheels, silver roof rails, power-folding side mirrors, and a swanky Fender audio system with a center speaker and subwoofer. Its safety suite is topped off with automatic parking assist and an overhead monitor. The second-row captain’s chairs are available for both of these trims as well.


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