2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse

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

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 Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer height-adjustable front seat belts.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Both the Atlas and the Traverse 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, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

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 Traverse:

Atlas

Traverse

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

138

333

Chest Compression

.7 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk

33%

35.2%

Neck Compression

46 lbs.

51 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

156/231 lbs.

258/133 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 Traverse:

Atlas

Traverse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

57

69

Chest Movement

.5 inches

.9 inches

Abdominal Force

48 G’s

161 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

527 lbs.

716 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

14 inches

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

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 Traverse’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 Traverse’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 Traverse.

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 Traverse’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Atlas has a standard 680-amp battery. The Traverse’s 600-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Traverse:

Atlas

Traverse

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

The Atlas’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Traverse are solid, not vented.

The Atlas stops shorter than the Traverse:

Atlas

Traverse

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

135 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

For better traction, the Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Traverse (265/45R21 vs. 255/65R18).

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 Traverse’s standard 65 series tires. The Atlas SEL Premium’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Traverse’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas SEL Premium offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Traverse’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

© 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’ 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 Traverse doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

The Atlas’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.1% to 44.9%) than the Traverse’s (56.6% to 43.4%). This gives the Atlas more stable handling and braking.

The Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion handles at .84 G’s, while the Traverse High Country AWD pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

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

For greater off-road capability the Atlas has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Traverse (8 vs. 7.6 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 Atlas is 3.3 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Atlas easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 .5 inches more front legroom, .1 inches more front hip room, .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room, .1 inches more third row headroom and .2 inches more third row legroom than the Traverse.

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

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Atlas. The Traverse doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

© 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 towing capacity is much higher than the Traverse’s (2000 vs. 1500 pounds).

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’ 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 Traverse’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its front windows open automatically.

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 Traverse can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Atlas’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Traverse 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 Traverse 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 SE/SEL/SEL Premium has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The Traverse doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

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 Traverse doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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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 Traverse 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 Traverse because it costs $127 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Atlas than the Traverse, including $43 less for front brake pads and $124 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 $285 to $681 less than for the Chevrolet Traverse.

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

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