2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs Honda Pilot

May 3rd, 2018 by
2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs Honda Pilot

A new large, three-row crossover SUV is probably going to be a big investment for most people, so you want to know you’re choosing the right one. Here we’re going to help by comparing the recently introduced 2018 Volkswagen Atlas with the beloved and enduring Honda Pilot.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs Honda Pilot

Desirability: Volkswagen Atlas

A Volkswagen might not have quite the kudos of most other German brands. Yet, despite its issues with diesel emissions, Volkswagen is still a name to be reckoned with that most people still consider to be synonymous with quality. The Atlas has that near-luxury-brand advantage over the Pilot right from the start, and the fact that the VW is the new kid on the block doesn’t hurt either. The Atlas’s initial appeal may be abstract, but it’s there nonetheless.

The Honda probably looks better the more you get acquainted with it, but choosing a car isn’t falling in love–it’s first date jitters. The Pilot looks stable, solid, and a smidge boring–and if you’re considering which vehicle you want in your driveway, the edge has to go to the shiny new Atlas.

Interior space: Volkswagen Atlas

The Atlas is the biggest passenger vehicle Volkswagen produces at the moment, and comes in at almost four inches longer than the Honda Pilot. Interior volume is almost identical between the two, though. The Atlas has front and third-row leg room but the Pilot seats up to eight people to just seven in the Atlas.

The Atlas noses ahead in cargo, though, which is a must-have for a vehicle of this size and passenger capacity. All of those people have a lot of stuff, and with more available space to stash it in every seating configuration, the Atlas is the three-row crossover to beat.

Handling and performance: Volkswagen Atlas

These crossovers may not be rigid body-on-frame SUVs, but it’s still not easy making something of this size drive like a crossover. Although the Atlas isn’t going to be winning many drag races, it does drive and handle like something considerably smaller.

The Pilot also handles reasonably well for such a big vehicle, but the steering and the shifting of the six-speed automatic transmission leaves something to be desired. All Pilots come with the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine, but the Atlas offers the choice between a 2.0-liter turbo-four and a 3.6-liter V-6. The power ratings are fairly similar, but the Volkswagen is definitely the better performer overall.

Interior comfort and quality: Honda Pilot

A lot of elements go into making vehicles like these comfortable, and the Atlas scores well for its space and access to its second and third rows of seating. As with all Volkswagens, the quality and fit of the interior is impressive to say the least. Then again, in terms of style it is a little unimaginative and perhaps even a touch austere at times.

It’s hard to find anything to criticize about the interior of the Honda Pilot though, from the amount of space to access, style, and quality of materials and build. Neither of these two are genuine luxury vehicles, but despite Volkswagen’s efforts to move more in that direction lately the Pilot still has the more comfortable and high-quality interior.

Learn More about the Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs Honda Pilot

Without paying the eye-watering prices of a luxury full-size crossover, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and the Honda Pilot are about as good as it gets right now. Although passengers might lean in the direction of the Honda, perhaps simply because it’s comfortable and well-known, we think buyers should opt for the Volkswagen Atlas instead.

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