2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2019 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash


For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Volkswagen Atlas doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Atlas doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Atlas doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Traverse and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:





5 Stars

4 Stars




Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

198 lbs.

441 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

53/40 lbs.

33/218 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 Chevrolet Traverse is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

204 lbs.

345 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

39 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

34 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

554 lbs.

800 lbs.

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


The Traverse comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Chevrolet 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.

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Traverse’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 12th.


The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 75 more horsepower (310 vs. 235) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (266 vs. 258) than the Atlas’ standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (310 vs. 276) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Traverse is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:



Zero to 30 MPH

2.5 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.5 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.3 sec

20.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.8 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

130 MPH

116 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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




3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

18 city/27 hwy


3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/25 hwy



2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/26 hwy

3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/24 hwy


4Motion 3.6 DOHC 6-cyl.

17 city/23 hwy

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

The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (21.7 vs. 18.6 gallons).

The Traverse has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Atlas doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.


A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Chevrolet Traverse, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Atlas.

Brakes and Stopping

The Traverse stops much shorter than the Atlas:



60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Traverse has larger tires than the Atlas (255/65R18 vs. 245/60R18).

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Volkswagen Atlas only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Traverse has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Atlas doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than on the Atlas (120.9 inches vs. 117.3 inches).

The Traverse RS AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Atlas SEL 4Motion pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Traverse RS AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).


The front grille of the Traverse uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Atlas doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Traverse uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Atlas doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the Traverse High Country AWD is quieter than the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Atlas can only carry 7.

The Traverse has .6 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear legroom, 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room, 3.4 inches more third row hip room and 2.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the Atlas.

Cargo Capacity

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



Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

20.6 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

55.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

96.8 cubic feet

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


The Traverse Premier/High Country’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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.

On a hot day the Traverse’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Traverse LS/LT/RS/Premier/High Country’s available exterior PIN entry system. The Atlas doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Traverse 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 Traverse Premier/High Country 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 Traverse 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Traverse Premier/High Country has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Atlas doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Traverse owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Traverse will cost $710 to $3350 less than the Atlas over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Traverse is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because typical repairs cost much less on the Traverse than the Atlas, including $196 less for a water pump, $402 less for a muffler, $340 less for a starter, $84 less for fuel injection, $327 less for front struts, $171 less for a timing belt/chain and $604 less for a power steering pump.


The Chevrolet Traverse outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by over two to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos