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I forgot, keep in mind the published VW engine HP ratings are NOT at the wheels, but at the engine crank. Once you add in the transmission, axles, etc. you will see less. Around 10-20% less.
VW didn’t do the 2.0T setup any favors by under rating it so much. People see 235HP and immediately write it off.

I drove eight 2021 Atlases with a mix of engines. The 2.0T and VR6 generally accelerate the same per the butt dyno. And there are scenarios where the 2.0T accelerates more effortlessly. Especially at elevation.


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VW didn’t do the 2.0T setup any favors by under rating it so much. People see 235HP and immediately write it off.

I drove eight 2021 Atlases with a mix of engines. The 2.0T and VR6 generally accelerate the same per the butt dyno. And there are scenarios where the 2.0T accelerates more effortlessly. Especially at elevation.


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The Vr6 is an old but some what reliable design. There’s a reason manufacturers aren’t making v6s anymore. They’re obsolete! When you can get a 4 cylinder engine that makes as much hp with a turbo and has better fuel economy. They sell what buyers want 🤷🏽‍♂️
 

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The Vr6 is an old but some what reliable design. There’s a reason manufacturers aren’t making v6s anymore. They’re obsolete! When you can get a 4 cylinder engine that makes as much hp with a turbo and has better fuel economy. They sell what buyers want 🤷🏽‍♂️
But!! You’re never gonna get a engine that sounds as good as the Vr6. That’s why I bought mine haha
 

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The Vr6 is an old but some what reliable design. There’s a reason manufacturers aren’t making v6s anymore. They’re obsolete! When you can get a 4 cylinder engine that makes as much hp with a turbo and has better fuel economy. They sell what buyers want
The biggest issue I had with the VR6 in the Atlas is the lazy transmission tuning. The box in the 2.0T version is much more eager to shift in D and that appeals to me.

The VR6 mills in both my Atlas and Touareg reeked of coolant after being shut off. And that was irritating.

V8 fuel economy was also irritating. The 2.0T manages low 20s in normal semi-spirited driving.

Hopefully I didn’t derail the thread too much. But the OP has a chance to get a 2.0T SEL-P brand new. If he doesn’t need 5K towing it’s the better choice based on my experience.


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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Thanks for this feedback, I think I need to decide if stock will work or if I need something with more push.

With that being said, perhaps I should get the Tiguan SEL R-Line since it has most of the features of the Atlas SEL-P R-Line and also has the 2.0L Turbo engine. My wife leased the Tiguan a few years ago (new body style) and loved the car, but the lack of power was a turn-off for me. If tuning the 2.0L Turbo is possible to get 300+ HP, maybe that's the right option for me.

Besides the physical size difference and the lack of heated 2nd row seats, is there anything that the Atlas has that the Tiguan lacks?
 

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Thanks for this feedback, I think I need to decide if stock will work or if I need something with more push.

With that being said, perhaps I should get the Tiguan SEL R-Line since it has most of the features of the Atlas SEL-P R-Line and also has the 2.0L Turbo engine. My wife leased the Tiguan a few years ago (new body style) and loved the car, but the lack of power was a turn-off for me. If tuning the 2.0L Turbo is possible to get 300+ HP, maybe that's the right option for me.

Besides the physical size difference and the lack of heated 2nd row seats, is there anything that the Atlas has that the Tiguan lacks?
The Tiggy has the budack EA888 and I am not a fan. Not the slightest.


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I definitely miss the wookie sounds. But the surprisingly-good Fender system is able to drown out the lousy 2.0T noises with no problem.


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Honestly sometimes I feel like this borla doesn’t do it enough justice. It’s very quiet in “d” but when you switch your transmission to “s” it turns heads haha
 

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The biggest issue I had with the VR6 in the Atlas is the lazy transmission tuning. The box in the 2.0T version is much more eager to shift in D and that appeals to me.

The VR6 mills in both my Atlas and Touareg reeked of coolant after being shut off. And that was irritating.

V8 fuel economy was also irritating. The 2.0T manages low 20s in normal semi-spirited driving.

Hopefully I didn’t derail the thread too much. But the OP has a chance to get a 2.0T SEL-P brand new. If he doesn’t need 5K towing it’s the better choice based on my experience.


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Yeah I wanna say the 2.0 Atlas shares the same transmission as the golf so that kinda makes sense.
My MPG in my Passat is trash. I get about 18 city and 22mpg highway with my roof rack off.
 

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One last perk of the 2.0T that I’d like to mention… is that it’s a bit more agile due to less weight over the front axle. It’s no Macan, that’s for sure. I once owned an S2000 as well. But the 2.0T’s agility is what sealed the deal for me. I do a lot of back road driving to avoid the highways.


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Yeah I wanna say the 2.0 Atlas shares the same transmission as the golf so that kinda makes sense.
My MPG in my Passat is trash. I get about 18 city and 22mpg highway with my roof rack off.
To the best of my knowledge both the VR6 and 2.0T Atlas have the same transmission. Only the torque converters differ between the two versions.


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Biggest issue I see is more with the transmission. It’s always searching for a higher gear. They need a transmission tune, but since it’s not a DSG, that’ll never happen.


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Is the OP tied to the Atlas? There are other 3 row options with a V8 (Durango) or staying within the VW family and want to stay around the Atlas SEL-P price point, find a used Audi Q7 with the 3.0 turbo. You will get what you want from the factory. The downside is that you end up with a slightly smaller vehicle and I still prefer the Atlas looks over the Q7. The Durango, eh, has some quality/reliability stereotypes associated with them, not that that should stop you as VW is in the same boat.
Explorer ST is also a little smaller but will have the power and features you are looking for. It costs a little more but once you start messing with the VW engine and trans tuning, none of which really seems to exist for this version of the VR6 and Aisin 8 spd, no idea that you will end up with what you want after trying to make it happen, or how much a custom solution might cost.
I would opt to go with the turn key solution. VW likely won't be going with a higher HP 6 cylinder in the near future either, the latest "sport" concept they showed had a turbo 4 from the Golf R.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Is the OP tied to the Atlas
To be honest, I was bouncing back between leasing a Yukon Denali and a Q7 Prestige. But given the market today, the lease costs are insane and I don't want to drop $90k on a car. In many cases dealers are asking for above MSRP on those with little room to negotiate. I'm not a fan of the look of the Durango nor Explorer. I was considering the Palisade but would prefer the Atlas over it.

Car Gurus shows exactly one 2021.5 Atlas SEL-P with white interior still available, but it's 1500 miles away. I need to give this some thought if I'm willing to buy it unseen.
 

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One last perk of the 2.0T that I’d like to mention… is that it’s a bit more agile due to less weight over the front axle. It’s no Macan, that’s for sure. I once owned an S2000 as well. But the 2.0T’s agility is what sealed the deal for me. I do a lot of back road driving to avoid the highways.
The Macan and Atlas aren't far off on weight distribution 53/47 for Macan, 55/45 for Atlas. Its about a 60lb difference between 2.0T and VR6 engines, anyone who optimizes a 60lb difference in nose weight around turns would certainly appreciate coilovers and brake upgrades because the OEM stuff is lacking. On the Atlas the Macan front brake caliper swap dropped 16lbs (arguably worth more as unsprung weight) and coilovers dropped a similar amount.
 
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