2023 VW Atlas R

Minor changes from 2021 are not enough. Fans want a full 2023 VW Atlas redesign. The current version still meets basic demands, but the German carmaker needs something special to keep up with the competition. The mid-size three-row SUV segment is becoming very crowded with recent launches. Even the new generation is not excluded.

Currently, the focus is on electrification. The 2023 VW Atlas is not becoming an EV. Smaller vehicles will be based on the ID concept. However, the biggest SUV in the lineup will get a fully electric drivetrain eventually. Volkswagen added a two-row version in 2020, called Atlas Cross Sport. It is positioned between the mid-size model and compact Tiguan.

The upcoming 2023 Volkswagen Atlas might hit the new generation. The first ever SUV with this name was launched back in 2017, as the 2018 YM. Still, Touareg was there before the Atlas. The European mid-size SUV also offers a special R package. That is something we would like to see on the US edition of the big rig.

2023 VW Atlas redesign

2023 VW Atlas Changes

The SUV is going to be closely related to the Touareg. The model for Europe was spotted testing the new version. We still don’t know if it will head into the new generation, or the SUV is going to introduce a refreshed look. Definitely, something is going on in this segment. Either way, the 2023 VW Atlas and Touareg will share a lot of things in common, but the two vehicles will be different. For now, Volkswagen is not unveiling details, but experts are sure that the new design language is on the way. Besides the big SUVs, other vehicles will also go through a mid-cycle update, since most of the flagship models were launched at about the same time as Atlas.


Inside the cockpit, the SUV was always pretty comfortable. Volkswagen is not a premium brand, but you can feel a German touch in the cabin. Everything is well-organized and simple to use. However, the 2023 VW Atlas interior will need updates, like the exterior. The base package will probably use the same options, but things are getting interesting at higher trim levels. The R-Line package is very cool. But, the potential launch of the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas R will stand out.

2023 VW Atlas interior

2023 VW Atlas Specs

The SUV is getting power from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It is not the most potent tuning with more than 300 hp. The 2023 VW Atlas will offer 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The redesign might include the revisiting of the drivetrain system, and adding more juice. Although it is a small displacement, the SUV is big and heavy, leading to poor gas mileage. Atlas can’t do better than 25 mpg. If you select an all-wheel drive, the fuel economy drops to 22 mpg combined.

A V6 is a better choice, for sure. A 3.6-liter mill is unique for the US market. Touareg uses a 3.0-liter mill. The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas V6 produces 275 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It also increases towing potential from 2,000 to 5,000 pounds. The same transmission is mated to both engines. A larger engine is also thirstier. Still, you will need it if you want the R-Line package.

Hybrid, Electric SUV

The company needs to make further improvements on the 2023 VW Atlas. A hybrid engine is something that can make the SUV more competitive. Just as the comparison – Toyota Highlander is a three-row SUV with the gas mileage of 35 mpg. Hybrid units are taking over the market. Still, the German carmaker knows it.

The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas R might not be exactly what we expect from this model. The most famous R package is available for the Golf hatchback. It creates 300 hp. For the Atlas, it will probably be a plug-in hybrid system, like the one we see on the Touareg. A 3.0-liter V6 is paired with electric motors. Together, the configuration cracks 455 hp and 515 hp, saving a lot of fuel at the same time.

2023 VW Atlas cross sport
Atlas Cross Sport is a 2-row version of the SUV

2023 VW Atlas Cross Sport

The special version of the SUV is a two-row model Cross Sport. It is 5 inches shorter and keeps the same wheelbase. The styling was initially different, but the latest facelift made two SUVs pretty similar. We still don’t know if vehicles are sharing the same plans for the 2023 season. The Atlas might be out first, and Cross Sport after a few months. Powertrains are the same, but the two-row SUV is lighter, returning slightly better gas mileage. It also costs about $1,000 cheaper, but you won’t find the R-Line if you don’t pick the 2023 VW Atlas.


The new SUV will add some value after the redesign. The MSRP will be closer to $34,000. It is not a surprise for this class. Heavily loaded, the 2023 Volkswagen Atlas can cost more than $55,000. We’ll see if the PHEV is coming, which will also affect the price.


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