- The two-row SUV gets a significant refresh for 2024 with a more powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
- New premium standard features include a 12-inch touchscreen and ventilated front seats.
- Read out to find out what we think about the total package.
Refreshed 2024 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport Scales Up the Features and Styling
A more premium interior and more four-cylinder power give the Atlas Cross Sport added appeal
Volkswagen launched its Atlas Cross Sport back for the 2020 model year as the stylish sidekick to the seven-passenger Atlas. Now it's back for 2024 with an updated Cross Sport that changes up pretty much everything on the midsize SUV from the styling to the interior, and even under the hood.
VW will also be adding a bunch of standard features to its five-passenger 2024 Cross Sport. Traditionally premium features like ventilated front seats and tri-zone climate control can now be found on every Cross Sport, from the base SE to the line-topping SEL Premium R-Line. (Volkswagen says the trim levels are unchanged.) All trims also come with a 12-inch touchscreen and 10.3-inch instrument cluster display. Safety features have been enhanced, with rear seat-belt detection and a vehicle exit warning system now added.
On the outside, the 2024 Cross Sport has an updated look for its headlights, grille and bumper. An illuminated VW logo and a LED light bar that lights up across the grille are standard on all but the base trim. In back, there's a similar styling refresh that also includes an illuminated bar/logo across the tailgate.
What's under the Atlas Cross Sport's hood?
Last year's turbocharged four-cylinder and V6 engine options bite the dust. In their place is a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that's standard on every Cross Sport trim. Volkswagen didn't offer details on what exactly is different on the new engine from the previous turbo-four but we know that it's way up on power: 269 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, versus 235 hp and 258 lb-ft. This is similar power to what the V6 made (276 hp, 266 lb-ft).
Volkswagen says the Cross Sport is now about half a second quicker from 0 to 60 mph with the new engine than it was with the old V6. This is a welcome update as we've previously critiqued the Cross Sport for its lackluster acceleration. An eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard, as is front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is an option.
EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers weren't available at the time of our review's publication but we expect they'll be similar to those for last year's four-cylinder. For reference, the 2023 Cross Sport got 21 city/25 highway and 23 mpg combined with front-wheel drive.
How's the Atlas Cross Sport's interior?
Volkswagen's minimalist motif that it's been applying throughout much of its lineup arrives for the 2024 Cross Sport. The look is undeniably sleek but we're not fond of the touch-sensitive controls. As we've learned from the ID.4 and Golf GTI, these touch-sensitive controls are distracting to use while driving. Some features are buried deep in menus that we'd like to have easier access to. Underneath the touchscreen are sliders for the climate control temperature and volume, but like in our long-term ID.4 they are not illuminated at night, making them difficult to use.
The dashboard is now covered in synthetic leather and there's a cool illuminated Cross Sport graphic over in front of the passenger. In the center console, the shifter has been redesigned to allow space for a new storage cubby underneath that's an ideal place to stash a small purse or bag. Adjustable 30-color ambient lighting is optional, as is leather upholstery with a diamond-quilted pattern on the seats.
The 2024 Cross Sport gets a pretty compelling upgrade by way of its added standard features and more powerful four-cylinder engine. But we're less enthusiastic about the new interior control layout. This might be a case of two steps forward, one step back.