Chicago Auto Show 2020

Refreshed Volkswagen Atlas gets bolder design, interior upgrades for 2021

Volkswagen has made upgrades to the Atlas, filling it with high-tech features.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen has refreshed its seven-seater SUV, the Atlas. For the 2021 model year, the model has gotten a bolder face, interior enhancements, and high-tech upgrades.

"The Atlas has been a huge success story for Volkswagen of America, helping us to position the brand with a greater emphasis on the family-friendly SUVs that consumers are buying," said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America. "This refreshed model brings all the functionality of the previous model, and ups the ante with new technology and more style."

2021 Volkswagen Atlas The Atlas is three-inches longer for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

While the Atlas's underpinnings are the same, the 2021 model is three inches longer than the 2020 version because of new front and rear bumper designs. There's also new headlight and taillight designs that include LEDs. Unique bumpers, side skirts, 20- and 21-inch wheels, and R-line badging are available.

VW has also upgraded the Atlas's interior saying that it's now more comfortable than before and it delivers a more connected user experience. The long list of upgrades includes: a new steering wheel, available contrast-stitching on the leather seating surfaces and door trim, and an 8-inch Composition Media infotainment system on all models but the base S trim. Other available features include the Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, Fender Premium Audio System, ambient lighting, tri-zone Climatronic climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, wireless charging, and remote start.

The SUV also comes with VW's next-gen Car-Net telematics system. The system includes an updated mobile app, a long list of no-charge services for five years, and a variety of subscription options for customer flexibility—including in-car Wi-Fi capability when you subscribe to a data plan. The Car-Net hot spot connects with up to four devices simultaneously.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas V6 Atlas models can tow up to 5,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen offers the Atlas equipped with a number of standard driver assistance technologies including forward collision warning and emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keeping assist, park distance control, park steering assistant, a bird's eye view camera, traffic jam assist, and dynamic road signs display are available.

Buyers can choose between an Atlas equipped with a new 235-horsepower turbo-four engine or a 276-horsepower V6 one. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available with both engines. V6 models can tow up to 5,000 pounds, when equipped with the V6 Towing Package.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Volkswagen has upgraded the models comfortability.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

More details and pricing will be announced ahead of the launch in the Spring of 2020.

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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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New SUV

New Jeep Compass Coming Soon

The Compass gets a major update for 2022.

Stellantis/Jeep

The Chicago Auto Show is happening now, which means we've already seen a few new models and concepts. Just yesterday, Jeep introduced the new 2022 Compass compact SUV. It gets a new design inside and out, updated tech, and a load of new available driver aids. The Compass' refresh comes as new models from Ford, Subaru and others could cut into Jeep's off-road dominance.

As it was in previous model years, the new Compass is powered by a 2.4-liter "Tigershark" four-cylinder engine that makes 177 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. It's good for up to 31 mpg on the highway in 2WD models and can deliver a max towing capacity of up to 2,000 pounds in 4WD models. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard for Compass Sport and Latitude 4X2 models, while all others get a nine-speed automatic transmission that can handle the 20:1 crawl ratio setting in the Trailhawk model.

An all-new Latitude LUX trim joins the Compass lineup for 2022 as well. It features leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, an eight-way power driver seat, a seven-inch full-color gauge cluster, and the larger 10.1-inch screen.


2022 Jeep Compass The new Compass is more upscale than its predecessor.Stellantis/Jeep


The Compass comes with a class-leading 8.4-inch infotainment touchscreen, but higher trims get an even larger 10.1-inch unit. It offers standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and runs Uconnect 5, a colorful, responsive infotainment system with advanced features and tech.

Several new safety features make an appearance, but most are added-cost options. The highway assist system offers a semi-autonomous driving feature, which Jeep says will become available later. Other tech includes traffic sign recognition, standard pedestrian/cyclist automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parallel and perpendicular parking assist, and a long list of more traditional advanced driver aids like blind spot monitoring and parking sensors.

The Compass lineup for 2022 includes five trims: Sport, Latitude, Latitude LUX, Limited, and Trailhawk. Pricing for the new Compass starts at $26,490, including a $1,495 destination charge. At the top of the lineup, the Trailhawk and Limited models both start at $32,890. It's expected to start arriving on dealers' lots in fall 2021.


2022 Jeep Compass New color schemes highlight the Compass' interior.Stellantis/Jeep

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