Volkswagen has revealed the mid-life update of its large Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport crossovers at the 2023 Chicago motor show in the US.

    The 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport will launch in the US early in the third quarter of this year, though it’s not on cards for an Australian launch any time soon.

    “The Atlas remains a US-focused model produced solely in left-hand drive,” said a Volkswagen Australia spokesperson.

    “Volkswagen Australia has no plans to add to our significant SUV line-up of T-Cross, T-Roc, Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg.”

    The Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport have never been sold locally and join the likes of the Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, Ford Explorer and Kia Telluride as left-hand drive-only crossovers.

    If they were sold locally they would compete against the Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Pathfinder.

    Volkswagen has axed the 3.6-litre VR6 engine, with the entire range now powered by a new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 200kW of power and 370Nm of torque.

    This is a similar amount of power (206kW) to the outgoing VR6 engine, and a slight bump in torque (361Nm).

    The updated four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic, with the crossovers available with either front-wheel drive or Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system.

    On the outside the updated Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport has a wide chrome four-bar grille that’s framed by LED headlights with standard Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).

    On all but the entry-level trims, there are full-width light bars on the front and rear. There’s also an illuminated VW logo on the front.

    Down back, both models have a larger spoiler, with Atlas Cross Sport models gaining a more aggressive rear diffuser.

    All trim levels get new wheel designs ranging from 18- to 21-inches with machined alloy and black finishes available.

    Inside, there’s a 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 10.25-inch Digital Cockpit Pro instrument cluster.

    New features include wireless smartphone mirroring, wireless phone charging, six USB-C ports with 45W fast-charging, and a storage cubby under the centre console.

    There’s also a heated steering wheel with shift paddles, ventilated front seats, climate control, and voice control as standard.

    On the safety front, the updated Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport get the full suite of IQ.DRIVE driver assistance technology with hands-on semi-automatic capability now standard.

    Optional features include adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

    As noted above, the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport won’t be launching in Australia any time soon as they’re only produced in left-hand drive.

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    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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