VW's Fortuner Rival Updated

2021 Volkswagen Atlas 01

VW’s intermediate-sized SUV adds some new bits.

Since its global launch in 2017, Atlas has been hugely successful, with most of its demand coming from North America and China.

Built on VW’s advanced MQB platform, it is the largest vehicle evolved from this Golf-sized structure. Positioned between Tiguan (which it shares a platform with) and Touareg, the Atlas would compete with Fortuner, if it were available in South Africa.

VW is readying a product update for the Atlas and some official sketches give us a clearer idea of what the facelift will look like when it is revealed in early in 2020.

Engineers and designers have created a new front bumper, which also reshapes the fascia and grille surround. This new bumper has special pedestrian safety impact absorption properties and is part of the 76 mm overall increase in length.

Measured bumper-to-bumper the new Atlas is 5 116 mm, which makes it a 630 mm longer than its MQB platform twin, the Tiguan.

Other discernible styling changes are LED headlights and around the rear, 2020 model year Atlas features a remoulded bumper design (framed by a full-length horizontal reflector strip) and revised light clusters.

Technical changes include additional driver assistance systems, such as road sign traffic detection and traffic jam assist. The latter is supported by adaptive cruise control, when triggered in severe traffic, at crawling speeds.

The only drivetrain change is VW’s decision to offer 4Motion all-wheel drive with the entry-level 2-litre turbopetrol engine. Previously, all-wheel-drive was only available on the 3.6-litre V6 Atlas.

VW expects to launch the new Atlas during Q1 of 2020.

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