2020 Volkswagen Atlas Safety

MSRP $31,545 - $49,195

Ranked #10 in Suvs

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2020 Volkswagen Atlas: NHTSA and IIHS Ratings, and Safety Features

Updated on: July 20, 2020

John Bedrow's image
John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist


Overall Rating 5 star
Overall Front Star Rating 5 star
Front Driver Side 4 star
Front Passenger Side 5 star
Overall Side Star Rating 5 star
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings(Front Seat) 5 star
Combined Side Barrier and Pole Ratings(Rear Seat) 5 star
Side Barrier Driver 5 star
Side Barrier Rear Passenger 5 star
Overall Side Pole Star Rating 5 star
Rollover Star Rating 4 star
Overall Side Barrier 5 star
Small Overlap Front(Driver) Good
Small Overlap Front(Passenger) Good
Moderate Overlap Front Good
Side Good
Roof Strength Good
Head Restraints and Seats Good
Headlights Marginal
Front Crash Prevention Superior
Latch Ease of Use Marginal

Stepping out of its cocoon, Volkswagen has finally adhered to the American mentality with the all-new Atlas. Unlike typical VWs, the Atlas sports a massive footprint, three spacious rows and is exclusive to the US market only. VW claims that this SUV has been designed keeping in mind the needs of Americans, and indeed it is. Offering stupendous ride quality and practicality, the only drawback is the lack of power under the hood. And with the 2020 model, it delivers a stronger statement now with its refreshed feature-list and subtle enhancements to the exterior.

Living up to the expectations, VW’s unbeatable build quality is pretty much evident once you inspect the 2020 Atlas carefully. It is also the largest SUV to share Volkswagen’s MQB platform, which also does the duty on other “well-established” vehicles such as the VW Passat, Golf, Jetta and many more. Of course, this adds extra points to the Atlas’s scorecard. Furthermore, it has been loaded with a ton of safety features onboard to ensure the safety of its occupants at all times.

The Atlas is offered in “Seven” trims, that's right! On top of that, there are many optional packages on offer too. With so much flexibility on offer, the Atlas is surely a well-loaded utilitarian. To emphasize on the safety front, VW has made certain advanced driver-assist safety features standard across all trims. Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are some of the standard features on offer.

It is evident that VW has left no stone unturned in making the Atlas as hospitable as it can be. With a re-enforced chassis and a reliable MQB platform hidden beneath its skin, the Atlas surely manages to impress us with its top-notch build quality. Unfortunately, we do not have the official safety ratings for the 2020 model to back our claim. Nevertheless, let us present to you the ratings obtained by the 2019 Atlas from NHTSA and IIHS. Since both these models share the same underpinnings, the 2019 ratings should give you a proper gist of how well-built the 2020 model is.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA)

After intensive testing, the 2019 Atlas has managed to score an overall rating of “5 stars”. This rating is reduced to “4 stars” in case of “Rollover Rating”. According to NHTSA, the Atlas has a 13.60% chance of losing control when subjected to twisties. Given its size, “4 stars” is an impressive rating for an SUV of this stature. Refer to the table below to see how the Atlas performs in each crash test.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS)

The 2019 Atlas fairs equally well in the crash tests conducted by IIHS too. It has been awarded a rating of “Good” in the majority of parameters which is the maximum possible rating too. There are a couple of hiccups though, “Headlights” and “LATCH” parameters have reduced the rating to “Marginal”. According to IIHS, the headlights on the Atlas do no illuminate the road properly. Furthermore, the iso-fix child mounts are too deep into the cushions making it difficult to reach them. That said, the Atlas has performed excellently in all the other tests.

What features make the Atlas safe?

 As mentioned earlier, Volkswagen has christened the 2020 Atlas with a plethora of features to make it stand apart from its crowded segment. Let’s ponder upon a few of them:

Intelligent Crash Response System (ICRS)

 In the event of a collision, the ICRS disables the fuel supply, unlocks all doors and activates the hazard lights. Furthermore, it also offers step-by-step instructions to get out of the vehicle. This helps in the quick evacuation of passengers without having to wait for the emergency services.

Automatic post-collision braking system

 In case of an accident, this system applies the brakes in the Atlas to bring it to a halt post the crash, thus, avoiding any additional crashes. This helps in certain cases where the crash takes place at high speeds and the vehicle doesn’t lose momentum.

Forward collision Warning Assist

The Atlas comes equipped with forward collision assist which works in tandem with the autonomous braking system. What is it actually? It enables the vehicle to alert the driver in case, an anomaly suddenly appears in front of the car. If the driver doesn’t respond in time, the Atlas can automatically apply brakes and bring the car to a stop, thus ensuring your safety.

Blind Spot monitoring system

This system uses an array of sensors that are mounted on either side of the car to detect any obstacle which cannot be seen in any of the rearview mirrors. It helps in lane-changing situations when there is another vehicle in your blind spot. In case you fail to notice the symbols blinking on your mirrors, the Jetta will steer itself back into the lane.

Rear-Cross traffic alert

This feature uses the same sensors as the Blind Spot System, to monitor the vehicles crossing your path while you are backing up from a parking spot. In case the driver fails to react within time, your Atlas is “intelligent” enough to apply brakes automatically.

So, is the Atlas safe enough?

With Massive dimensions coupled with a fuel-efficient engine, no other vehicle comes close to the Atlas in terms of practicality in this price bracket. It is evident that with a fuel-efficient engine, performance takes a hit. If performance is what you seek, the Nissan Pathfinder and the Honda Pilot make more sense. For all other things, the Atlas surpasses both of them, hands down.

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Safety and Reliability

2020 Volkswagen Atlas Safety

Living up to the expectations, VW’s unbeatable build quality is pretty much evident once you inspect the 2020 Atlas carefully. It is also the largest SUV to share Volkswagen’s MQB platform.

Front Airbags

Knee Airbags

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