2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2020 Chevrolet Tahoe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Atlas has a standard Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

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 Tahoe doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Atlas SEL Premium has a standard Overhead View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Tahoe only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

For better protection of the passenger compartment, the Atlas uses safety cell construction with a three-dimensional high-strength frame that surrounds the passenger compartment. It provides extra impact protection and a sturdy mounting location for door hardware and side impact beams. The Tahoe uses a body-on-frame design, which has no frame members above the floor of the vehicle.

Both the Atlas and the Tahoe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

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

Atlas

Tahoe

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

198 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

33/218 lbs.

167/244 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

285

Neck Injury Risk

33%

34%

Neck Stress

180 lbs.

199 lbs.

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

74 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

156/231 lbs.

97/333 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 Volkswagen Atlas is safer than the Chevrolet Tahoe:

Atlas

Tahoe

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

107 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

18 inches

HIC

279

355

Hip Force

800 lbs.

893 lbs.

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

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 198 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Tahoe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Atlas comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Tahoe’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Tahoe’s (7/100,000 vs. 6/100,000).

Volkswagen pays for scheduled maintenance on the Atlas for 2 years and 20,000 miles. Volkswagen will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Chevrolet only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Tahoe.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

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

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Atlas have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Tahoe.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

As tested in Motor Trend the Volkswagen Atlas V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Tahoe 5.3 V8:

Atlas

Tahoe

Zero to 60 MPH

7.3 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

16.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

90.8 MPH

87.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

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

MPG

Atlas

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/24 hwy

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

4WD

3.6 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

Tahoe

2WD

5.3 DOHC V8

15 city/22 hwy

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/23 hwy

4WD

5.3 DOHC V8

15 city/21 hwy

6.2 DOHC V8

14 city/22 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Atlas’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Tahoe doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

For better stopping power the Atlas’ front brake rotors are larger than those on the Tahoe:

Atlas

Tahoe

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

13 inches

The Atlas stops shorter than the Tahoe:

Atlas

Tahoe

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

137 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Atlas’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tahoe LS/LT’s standard 65 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Volkswagen Atlas has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Tahoe has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

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 Tahoe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Atlas’ wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the Tahoe (117.3 inches vs. 116 inches).

The Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion handles at .84 G’s, while the Tahoe Premier 4x4 pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Atlas SE executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Tahoe Premier 4x4 (27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Tahoe’s (38.1 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Atlas has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Tahoe (8 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the Atlas to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Volkswagen Atlas may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 850 to 1100 pounds less than the Chevrolet Tahoe.

The Atlas is 3 inches shorter than the Tahoe, making the Atlas easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Unibody construction lowers the Atlas’ center of gravity significantly without reducing ground clearance. This contributes to better on the road handling and better off-road performance and stability. In addition, unibody construction makes the chassis stiffer, improving handling and reducing squeaks and rattles. The Tahoe uses body-on-frame design instead.

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Atlas has 1.7 inches more rear headroom, .2 inches more third row headroom and 8.9 inches more third row legroom than the Tahoe.

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

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

Atlas

Tahoe

Behind Third Seat

20.6 cubic feet

15.3 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

55.5 cubic feet

51.7 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

96.8 cubic feet

94.7 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 Tahoe’s liftover is 35.9 inches.

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

Atlas

Tahoe

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

23.8”/53”/85”

11.1”/43.2”/79.9”

Max Width

61.6”

n/a

Min Width

45”

49.3”

Height

37.5”

33.9”

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Atlas’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Tahoe’s parking brake has to released manually.

The Atlas’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Tahoe’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. The driver of the Tahoe can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Tahoe doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Tahoe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Atlas offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Tahoe doesn’t offer cornering lights. The Atlas SEL/SEL Premium/R-Line also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The Atlas SEL Premium’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Tahoe doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Insurance will cost less for the Atlas owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Atlas with a number “5” insurance rate while the Tahoe is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Atlas is less expensive to operate than the Tahoe because it costs $200 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Atlas than the Tahoe, including $185 less for a muffler and $189 less for a fuel pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volkswagen Atlas will be $6052 to $10403 less than for the Chevrolet Tahoe.

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

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