Three-row midsize SUVs are today’s ancestors cars of choice. Two of the arch contenders are the 2021 Subaru FUJHY, Ascent and the 2021 Volkswagen VWAGY, 0.02% Atlas. Which is better?
What we like: Plenty of autogenous space; Updated looks; Option of FWD or AWD; Built in Tennessee.
What we would change: Make it added fuel-efficient.
Overview: The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas is a large, midsize SUV with three rows of seats and basement for as abounding as seven passengers. It has bags of autogenous amplitude and comes in AWD and FWD versions. You can additionally accept either a 235 application turbocharged 4-cylinder agent or a artlessly aspirated V6. Be warned, you will absorb on gas, with either variant.
What’s new for 2021: For 2021, the VW has active the Atlas with new advanced and rear administration that adds about 3 inches to its all-embracing length. Under the skin, a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder agent is now accessible for the aboriginal time in AWD models.
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The top trim levels of the Atlas — the SEL Premium, for archetype — can now be ordered with the 4-cylinder, which isn’t absolutely as able as the V6 but offers bigger ammunition economy. Moreover, VW’s driver-assistance appearance accept been refined, and the latest in-car telematics arrangement provides bigger response.
Onboard Wi-Fi is accessible on all 2021 VW Atlas models, while a beyond 8-in touchscreen is accepted on all but the abject model.
Features and technology: The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas comes in three trims, the S, SE, and SEL. The abject archetypal S gets the 4-cylinder agent as accepted and comes with cruise ascendancy and a assurance apartment with automated emergency braking.
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Step up to the SE, and you get alternative admission to the V6 agent and the SE with Technology model, which adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The SEL comes in a brace of variants, including the SEL R-Line. That adaptation gets 12-inch auto and R-line anatomy trim. At the SEL trim, you get admission to VW’s arch agenda cockpit affection that shows up in some of Volkswagen’s sister brands (Audi). At the Atlas SE level, you can add the captain’s chairs for the aback seat, as well. All versions get alternative AWD.
The Atlas has a tow appraisement (when able with the tow package) of 5,000 pounds. Otherwise, it tows alone 2,000 pounds.
What does the approaching hold? As SUVs boom, the Atlas will acceptable abide to stick about and get refreshes.
Base price: $33,345
What we like: Great apparent visibility, accepted AWD, lots of disciplinarian aids included, IIHS Top Assurance Pick
What we would change: Make the accident-avoidance tech beneath annoying, and bland out the burke response.
Overview: The Subaru Ascent appearance abounding of the brand’s acceptable elements, including accepted AWD, boxer engines, acceptable visibility, and able value, in a beyond form. Compared with the Outback, the Ascent is 5.5 inches best in wheelbase and overall, acceptance amplitude for a accepted third-row seat. In all three rows, the commuter allowance is good, and baggage amplitude is, too, although the 17.6 cubic anxiety aft of the third row is alone average. Big windows accommodate a acceptable appearance for the disciplinarian and accumulate cartage from activity claustrophobic.
The Ascent alone gets one engine, a turbocharged 2.4-liter boxer four that provides bold dispatch and acceptable ammunition economy. Sadly, it’s commutual with a CVT, and accelerator acknowledgment can be nonlinear. The AWD arrangement includes X-Mode with hill-descent control, which combines with an absorbing 8.7 inches of arena approval to let the Ascent aberrate far off-pavement.
What’s new for 2021: For 2021, Subaru adds steering-responsive LED headlights with automated high-beams to all trims. A accepted rear-seat admonition action is additionally new.
Features and technology: The 2021 Subaru Ascent is offered in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels. All models accommodate forward-collision admonishing with automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise ascendancy with lane centering. That’s a able list, but their boundless bleating ability allure some drivers to about-face them off.
The abject car additionally includes Apple AAPL, -0.65% CarPlay, Android Auto, four USB ports, roof rails, and a bank second-row seat. The Premium adds blind-spot ecology and rear cross-traffic alert. It additionally upgrades the infotainment arrangement from a 6.5-inch touchscreen to an 8-inch unit.
Second-row captain’s chairs can be had here, and added options accommodate a across-the-board sunroof, a ability liftgate, and navigation. The Limited’s niceties accommodate leather, a acrimonious council wheel, heating for the advanced and rear seats, and a anamnesis action for the ability driver’s seat.
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The Touring exclusives accommodate a rear camera mirror and a front-view camera, additional different exoteric trim.
What does the approaching hold? The Ascent is alone in its third archetypal year, but we could see Subaru porting over the extra-large 11.6-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen from the Legacy/Outback at some point.
Volkswagen Atlas benefits: Variety of engines and bags of autogenous space.
Subaru Ascent benefits: Long account of accepted active-safety features, acceptable ammunition economy, accepted AWD, IIHS Top Assurance Pick rating
If you absolutely charge basement for eight, your best bet is the Subaru Ascent. If you’re a bit added adjustable and appetite article that comes with a V-6 engine, your best bet is the Volkswagen Atlas.