Cars.com conducted a week-long challenge between SUV’s with 3-row seating for 2017. Expert judges and a ‘shopper’ drove the vehicles on the same route for a fair comparison. They compared interior quality, in-cabin storage, powertrain, ride quality, engine noise, visibility, value for money and multimedia.
The winner of the test is the all-new Volkswagen Atlas. The Atlas is a brand new vehicle that Volkswagen released this year. It’s available in front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) can seat up to 7 adults. Other vehicles included in the test were;
The Chevrolet Traverse came 2nd in the challenge. A previous winner the Honda Pilot fell short this year falling to 3rd place. The Toyota Highlander comes in 4th.
Why the Volkswagen Atlas won
I have to agree with Cars.com judges on this one. It seems like took Volkswagen forever and a day to build a 3rd row SUV, so long I named it the Atlast. It was worth waiting for though, Volkswagen has done a great design job, by including all the latest technology and safety features. The design isn’t mind blowing (well the way the 2nd-row folds is) but its comfortable, functional, simple and it works.
The cars.com verdict is;
“Volkswagen’s new three-row SUV hits the mark with its refined driving manners, ample passenger and cargo space, and easy-to-use technology”.
My own personal favorites on the Atlas are the touchscreen and technology. AppleCarPlay and AndroidAuto with MirrorLink make connecting a smartphone easy to use. This gives drivers the ability to use apps from a smartphone such a messaging and music. The layout is super easy to navigate, fast at loading. Oh, and the screen is pretty. Did I even just say that about a screen? Ok yeh I did, it looks modern, clean and uncluttered. Brian Wong, Cars.com Los Angeles Bureau Chief also said, “sharp screen, intuitive menus, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay waiting in the wings if you prefer those interfaces”.
Car seat heaven
Another really awesome feature on the Atlas is the ability for the 2nd-row seats to fold forward even with a child seat in place. The 2nd row reclines, can slide 7.7″ as well as 3 sets of child seat latches in the 2nd row. This makes the Atlas a great family vehicle with easy child seat fitment. Anyone with children in car seats knows that car seat problems can be a headache, so this is a huge plus. The VW Atlas gets a 5-star safety rating is listed on the Car Seat Check Honor Roll.
A warranty that’ll make other car makers cry
Another reason the Volkswagen won by a good margin is that warranty offered is way longer than any other manufacturer. Most bumper to bumper warranties are about 3 years or 36,000 miles, whatever comes first. The VW Atlas has a 6 year, 72,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty!
Wiesenfelder, Joe. “2017 Three-Row SUV Comparison – Cars.com Video.” Cars.com, Cars.com, 30 Oct. 2017, www.cars.com/videos/2017-three-row-suv-comparison—cars-com-5625939125001/.
Wiesenfelder, Joe. “What’s the Best 3-Row SUV for 2017? | News from Cars.com.” Cars.com, Cars.com, 30 Oct. 2017, www.cars.com/articles/whats-the-best-3-row-suv-for-2017-1420697442087/.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: