2019 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2019 BMW X7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Volkswagen Atlas 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 BMW X7 doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has standard Maneuver Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The X7 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Atlas and the X7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Atlas the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 155 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X7 has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The Atlas comes with a full 6-year/72000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The X7’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 22000 miles sooner.

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

Reliability

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the X7’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Atlas gets better fuel mileage than the X7:

MPG

Atlas

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

X7

AWD

xDrive40i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/25 hwy

xDrive50i 4.4 turbo V8

15 city/21 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Volkswagen Atlas uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The X7 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

The Atlas’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The X7 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is 4.7 feet tighter than the X7’s (38.1 feet vs. 42.8 feet).

Chassis

The Volkswagen Atlas may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1150 pounds less than the BMW X7.

The Atlas is 5 inches shorter than the X7, making the Atlas easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Atlas has 1.7 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row headroom, .4 inches more third row legroom and 7 inches more third row shoulder room than the X7.

The front step up height for the Atlas is 2 inches lower than the X7 (18” vs. 20”). The Atlas’ rear step up height is 2.5 inches lower than the X7’s (18” vs. 20.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The Atlas’ cargo area provides more volume than the X7.

Atlas

X7

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

48.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

90.4 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Atlas easier. The Atlas’ cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the X7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Atlas’ cargo area is larger than the X7’s in every dimension:

Atlas

X7

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

23.8”/53”/85”

18.5”/45”/81.5”

Max Width

61.6”

48”

Min Width

45”

43.5”

Height

37.5”

32”

The Atlas’ liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X7’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Atlas SEL/SEL Premium’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The X7 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its tailgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics

The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Atlas is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The X7 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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