2024 Volkswagen Atlas Peak Edition

Priced at under $60,000, the Atlas Peak Edition is one of the better value propositions in the three-row SUV segment
Priced at under $60,000, the Atlas Peak Edition is one of the better value propositions in the three-row SUV segment

by Jon Pangindian | May 30, 2024


When it comes to “bigger is better,” at least among midsize three-row SUVs, surely there has to be a limit. Some of the latest offerings, like the Mazda CX-90 and Toyota Grand Highlander, are simply massive. For those buyers who don’t need anything quite this large, the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Peak Edition is quite the reprieve. And with most midsizers pushing well past $60,000, the Atlas is one of the more budget-friendly options, too.

Volkswagen has refreshed the Atlas for the 2024 model year, bringing with it restyled front and rear fascias, an improved interior, a new powertrain, and this new-for-2024 Peak Edition model. It follows the trend of automakers dressing up their crossovers with an off-road-ready look, but the Peak Edition is aimed at people who want to look tough, and is better suited to rough cottage access roads rather than hardcore off-roading. The Atlas Peak Edition competes with the likes of the Kia Telluride X-Pro, Honda Pilot TrailSport, and the Nissan Pathfinder Rock Creek.

The Peak Edition sets itself apart over the standard Atlas with black 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, black accents around the wheel wells, roof rails, and mirrors, and contrasting silver accents on the lower bumpers and side mouldings. Peak Edition badges are found inside and out, too, including the dashboard, where it lights up. It’s actually kind of cool at night.

One of the biggest changes to the 2024 Atlas is the elimination of its V6 powerplant. It has been replaced with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 269 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The numbers are on the low end of the segment, but despite having less power than the old V6, the 2024 Atlas is actually quicker in a straight line than the outgoing model. Plus, peak torque being available much earlier than the V6 is a pleasant upgrade, allowing the Atlas to pull away from stoplights with urgency, though there’s a bit of turbo lag if you punch it too quickly. Towing capacity remains the same at 5,000 pounds, and an eight-speed automatic and AWD are standard across all Atlas models in Canada.

The Atlas’ driving dynamics certainly live up to the Volkswagen badge. It feels quite solid and rides well over the roughest potholes, and body roll is well-controlled, making the Atlas feel quite tossable for its size. The big windows and light steering made navigating through tight spots a breeze. Fuel economy ratings are commendable on other Atlas trims, though the Peak Edition is thirstier due to the knobby tires: it’s rated at 13.0 L/100 km city, 9.7 highway, and 11.5 combined, versus 12.2 city, 9.2 highway, and 10.8 combined for the Comfortline trim. Over my week with the Peak Edition, I managed a still-impressive 10.2 combined, and regular-grade fuel is recommended, surely easing the sting.

The 2024 Atlas’ interior is a big improvement over the outgoing model. It won’t win any awards for its overall design, and competitors like the Hyundai Palisade and Mazda CX-90 feel notably more upscale, but the Atlas’ interior is functional and no longer feels bottom-of-the-barrel. The 12-inch touchscreen is easy to use once you get the hang of it, but the lack of physical switchgear may be a turn off for some. What you do get is wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, which is still something the Palisade and Telluride haven’t figured out. The Atlas’ cabin is spacious throughout; at six-foot-three, I could comfortably sit behind myself with the driver’s seat set to my liking. With captain’s chairs in the second row, third-row access is a breeze, but it’s best suited for children or short trips.

Starting at $53,278 for the Comfortline and topping out at $63,278 for the fully loaded Execline trim, the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas tops out at $57,278 as-tested. That represents good value in the midsize three-row SUV segment, offering a roomy interior, excellent driving dynamics, and an attractive price tag over most of its competition. For those who want something different than the default Japanese, American, or Korean choices, the Atlas is a great alternative.


Vehicle Specs
Midsize crossover
Engine Size
2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower (at RPM)
269 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
273 lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
1571 L
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Jon Pangindian

Staff Writer

An experienced detailer and diehard car guy, Jon brings a creative eye to his new vehicle road tests. Aside from writing, Jon spends most of his time tinkering with new detailing products and experimenting with ceramic coatings.

Current Toy: ’13 650i Gran Coupé