Atlas the Titan was condemned by Zeus to carry the weight of the heavens on his shoulders. Atlas the SUV carries the weight of families in its spacious confines, but is condemned by poor fuel economy.
Updated for 2021 with a rugged Basecamp appearance package, a bolder design, and a turbo-4 now available with all-wheel drive, the Volkswagen Atlas three-row crossover SUV seats up to seven people and plenty of gear.
But when it comes to efficiency, Atlas shrugged. The V-6 with all-wheel drive I tested had an EPA-rated 18 mpg combined. That’s worst in the mid-size three-row SUV class. No wonder the irascible Zeus did what he did. It’s one reason the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas earned a middling TCC Rating of 5.6 out of 10.
Putting that rating to the test in the 2021 Atlas V6 SEL Premium, I found that its large, quiet cabin and smooth, gentle ride offset the lack of…