The 2020 Volkswagen Atlas and the new VW Atlas Cross Sport will no longer be offered with front-wheel drive in Canada.
This means the 2020 VW Atlas and VW Atlas Cross Sport will be offered as standard with the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive, whereas the 2.0-litre engine was previously available with front-wheel drive only. In order to get AWD with the 2019 model, customers had to select the thirstier 3.6-litre V6 engine.
"Our customers were asking for 4MOTION AWD with the four-cylinder engine," VW spokesperson Thomas Tetzlaff explained over email. "Previously, we offered the four, but only with FWD, and customers were asking if they could have the turbo engine with AWD."
Tetzlaff also said VW Canada was selling very few Atlas models with FWD (exact numbers were not provided, though he indicated it had "low single digit" market penetration) and that since it was now offering AWD with the four-cylinder, the company figured "no one would miss the FWD version."
According to Automotive News Canada, this will also apply for the Atlas Cross Sport - a slightly smaller, two-row version of the Atlas set to launch next year.
The 2019 VW Atlas starts at $36,740 for the soon-to-be-discontinued 2.0-litre FWD model. It's not clear how much the price of the four-cylinder model may go up with the addition of standard AWD. Right now the cheapest V6 model with AWD is the Trendline 4MOTION model at $40,540.
Pricing for the Atlas Cross Sport has not yet been announced, either, though it will likely undercut the standard Atlas in price due to its smaller size.