2019 Toyota Sienna vs. 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Sienna Limited Premium FWD’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Atlas doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Sienna are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Sienna has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Atlas doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Sienna and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Sienna is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:







5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

260 lbs.

441 lbs.

Neck Compression

50 lbs.

51 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Sienna is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars





Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

586 lbs.

800 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.


The Sienna comes with free roadside assistance for 2 years 25000 miles. Toyota will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump-start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Atlas.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Sienna for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Volkswagen doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Atlas.

There are over 89 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Sienna’s warranty.


A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Sienna’s reliability 56 points higher than the Atlas.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Sienna third among minivans in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Atlas isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 24th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Volkswagen is ranked 16th.


The Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 61 more horsepower (296 vs. 235) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (263 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Sienna’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (296 vs. 276) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Toyota Sienna is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.9 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

18.1 sec

20.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.1 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.7 sec

3.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93 MPH

89 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Sienna gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas:








3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy



3.5 DOHC V6

18 city/24 hwy




3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy



3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Sienna uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Atlas requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Sienna has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (20 vs. 18.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The Sienna stops much shorter than the Atlas:





60 to 0 MPH

121 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Sienna can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Atlas doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Sienna has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Sienna has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Sienna flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Sienna’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Atlas (119.3 inches vs. 117.3 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Sienna AWD’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Atlas’ (37.4 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The Sienna’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Atlas’ (37.5 feet vs. 38.1 feet).


The design of the Toyota Sienna amounts to more than styling. The Sienna has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Atlas (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Sienna get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Sienna offers optional seating for 8 passengers; the Atlas can only carry 7.

The Sienna has 10.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Atlas (164.4 vs. 153.7).

The Sienna has .4 inches more front hip room, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 8.1 inches more rear hip room, 3.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row legroom, 5.2 inches more third row hip room and 6.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Atlas.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Sienna’s middle and third row seats recline. The Atlas’ third row seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Sienna is 1.3 inches lower than the Atlas (16.7” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

The Sienna’s cargo area provides more volume than the Atlas.




Behind Third Seat

39.1 cubic feet

20.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded


55.5 cubic feet

Third Seat Removed

87.1 cubic feet


Second Seat Folded

117.8 cubic feet

96.8 cubic feet

Max Cargo Volume

150 cubic feet

96.8 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Sienna easier. The Sienna’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 23.6 inches, while the Atlas’ liftover is 29.7 inches.

The Sienna has a standard Split & Stow 3rd Row third row seat, which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Atlas doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Sienna Limited FWD’s third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Atlas doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Payload and Towing

The Sienna’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (3500 vs. 2000 pounds).

The Sienna has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Atlas (1380 vs. 1213 lbs.).


The Sienna Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Sienna has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Sienna Limited has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Sienna has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Sienna owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Sienna will cost $60 to $2780 less than the Atlas over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Sienna is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because typical repairs cost much less on the Sienna than the Atlas, including $213 less for a water pump, $361 less for a muffler, $78 less for front brake pads, $185 less for a starter, $95 less for fuel injection, $304 less for front struts, $16 less for a timing belt/chain and $631 less for a power steering pump.


Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Sienna as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Sienna outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by 47% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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