New Model News

Volkswagen unveils new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport fastback SUV

There is a new model in the VW SUV lineup, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen could not be restrained. In a vehicle design era where every two- and three-row luxury SUV is seemingly being re-conceived with a fastback design, it was only a matter of time before the Volkswagen Atlas got the treatment.

And here it is, the 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport.

"Building off the success of the Atlas seven-seater midsize SUV, we see an opportunity for a five-seater model that offers even more style and almost as much interior space," said Scott Keogh, CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. "We look forward to entering this growing segment with the Atlas Cross Sport, which offers outstanding Volkswagen technology, driver-assist features, style, and value."

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The front of the Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport is similar to the Atlas, but not identical.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The new SUV is 2.8 inches shorter than the current Atlas and 2.3 inches closer to the ground. It's the same 78.3 inches wide as the 2019 Atlas and rides on the identical 117.3-inch wheelbase.

At its front, the Atlas Cross Sport has a three-bar chrome grille and a distinctive new light signature. These looks are very similar to what was seen on the Volkswagen concept that was first seen at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The rear of the Atlas Cross Sport features a sloping roofline and less square appearance than the Atlas.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The look is rounded out with a sculpted rear bumper, and chrome accents on the lower body sides, rear bumper, and windows. R-Line models features more heavily sculpted bumpers with chrome and piano black treatments and available 21-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

VW is giving buyers the same powertrain options in the Atlas Cross Sport as they have in the Atlas - a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or the 276-horsepower 3.6-liter V6.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The interior of the Atlas Cross Sport is more premium than in the Atlas, alluding to what is coming in the larger model.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The model has interior upgrades over the Atlas. There's a new steering wheel and available stitching accents on the door inserts and seats. There's a more modern list of available features including wireless charging, heated rear seats and steering wheel, ventilated front seats, rear sunshades, and the Fender Premium Audio System with 12 speakers. The Volkswagen Digital Cockpit configurable instrument display is available on the SEL and SEL Premium trims.

It comes standard with forward collision warning with braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear traffic alert. Other safety and driver assistance features are available including adaptive cruise control, park distance control, traffic jam assist, and dynamic road sign display.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport The Atlas Cross Sport has a good amount of passenger and cargo space despite its sloping roofline.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Atlas Cross Sport has 111.8 cubic feet of passenger space. There is 40.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its second row seats and that number expands to 77.8 cubic feet with the second row folded. Though the new model has less space than the original Atlas SUV, it still has more space than many other three-row SUVs.

The Chattanooga-made 2020 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport will be available in eight trim levels: S, SE, SE w/Tech, SE w/Tech R-Line, SEL, SEL R-Line, SEL Premium, and SEL Premium R-Line. The model will go on sale in Spring 2020 with pricing announced closer to that date.

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The Bronze Edition model builds on the XLE trim.

Toyota

The Toyota Highlander entered its fourth generation for the 2020 model year, which brought sleek style, updated tech, and a premium-look interior. A new XSE trim joined the lineup for 2021, and for 2022, Toyota is adding a new hybrid-only Bronze Edition trim.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition adds useful features, such as a hands-free power liftgate.toyota

The new Bronze Edition Highlander builds on the XLE trim with:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Digital rearview mirror
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Memory driver's seat with 10-way power adjustments
  • Hands-free power liftgate

Toyota notes that the Bronze Edition previews features that will show up with the greater 2022 Highlander release. Among them are the new Wind Chill Pearl color, which replaces Blizzard Pearl from the previous model, and height/tilt passenger seat adjustments.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Highlander is a supremely comfortable SUV with room for the family.Toyota

The Highlander carries on into 2022 with a standard 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. A Highlander Hybrid is available, which mates a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors. Combined system output is 243 horsepower. With the V6 on board, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2022 Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition The Bronze Edition is available for Highlander Hybrid models.Toyota

All 2022 Highlander models get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, road sign assist, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane departure alerts, lane tracing assist, a sway warning system, and automatic high beams. Those features and the Highlander's excellent crash testing scores were good enough for the SUV to earn a Top Safety Pick + designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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The all-electric ID.4 will help its pilot and navigator tackle the grueling race route.

Volkswagen

Off-road racing and endurance races are nothing new, but the Rebelle Rally's approach is unique. The event is the first all-women event of its kind in the U.S. and takes participants through severely challenging terrain with no electronic aids allowed for navigation. This year, Volkswagen is bringing its new ID.4 EV to the event to be piloted by driver Mercedes Lilienthal and navigator Emily Winslow.

Volkswagen ID.4 Mercedes Lilienthal and Emily Winslow will pilot the ID.4.Volkswagen

Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing modified the VW with new suspension system, tubular control arms, fabricated skid plates, battery protection, and other off-road-ready kit. The crossover has also been fited with a Thule roof rack and Yokohama Geolandar A/T tires.

The ID.4's battery and electric motor will remain untouched. That means a combined output of 295 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The 82 kWh battery can deliver an EPA-estimated range of 249 miles on a charge, but keep in mind that the terrain the team will be tackling will have an impact on that number.

The 2021 event marks the sixth year for the all-women rally raid. Teams are faced with 1,400 miles of desert in Nevada and California, and must navigate the racecourse without the use of electronic guides, such as GPS or cell phones. From the start in Las Vegas to the finish in Glamis, CA, participants must use maps, compasses, and their own skill to navigate.

Volkswagen ID.4 Several modifications were made to the suspension and other components.Volkswagen

Even though it's the ID.4's maiden year on the market, the electric crossover has already had a successful run in motorsport. Earlier this year, another modified version of the vehicle competed in the NORRA Mexican 1000. It was also massaged by Tanner Foust Racing and Rhys Millen Racing, and VW notes that the ID.4 that we'll see in Rebelle Rally vehicle was improved using data from its first races.

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