2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2021 Toyota Highlander Comparison in Columbus, OH

Midsize SUV models like the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas and 2021 Toyota Highlander are more popular now than they've ever been. Drivers love their combination of size and style without being huge and burdensome. But, in order to figure out which one offers the most for drivers like you, we're going to take a closer look at the 2021 Atlas and 2021 Highlander side-by-side. We'll look at the key categories that drivers care about like performance, interior space, standard features, and more.

interior third-row seating of 2021 volkswagen atlas

2021 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2021 Toyota Highlander: Interior

When taking a walk around both vehicles, a couple of things are likely to jump out. Both vehicles feature 18-inch alloy wheels, 8-inches of ground clearance, and heated side mirrors, but only the Atlas comes standard with roof rails and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Both the 2021 Atlas and 2021 Highlander are three-row SUVs with the ability to seat up to seven passengers, but that doesn't mean they offer the same amount of space. The 2021 Atlas has 154.0 cubic feet of passenger volume while the 2021 Highlander has just 141.3 cubic feet. Plus, the 2021 Atlas has more room for luggage with 20.6 cubic feet of standard cargo space that can expand to 96.8 cubic feet. The 2021 Highlander can't compete, only going as far as 84.3 cubic feet. And, we haven't even mentioned the luxurious available amenities inside the 2021 Atlas like the panoramic moonroof and V-Tex leatherette seating surfaces.


side profile of front seats of 2021 volkswagen atlas

2021 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2021 Toyota Highlander: Technology

Drivers that love their smartphone apps will appreciate that both the 2021 Atlas and 2021 Highlander offer Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ standard along with Bluetooth® streaming and phone connectivity. But only the 2021 Atlas offers the Volkswagen Car-Net mobile app standard with functions like remote start & stop and Family Guardian Alerts so drivers with families can always keep an eye on how the rest of the household is driving behind the 2021 Atlas. For most models, you'd have to open the wallet for an expensive package to get technology features like the Volkswagen Car-Net, but it's standard on all 2021 Atlas models.

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front and side profile of 2021 volkswagen atlas on road

2021 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2021 Toyota Highlander: Performance

Both the 2021 Atlas and 2021 Highlander are equipped with powerful and durable engines, but only the 2021 Atlas offers the Tiptronic® mode, which allows drivers to switch out of the automatic transmission and take manual control with the steering wheel paddle shifters. Also, the entry-level 2021 VW Atlas outperforms the cheapest 2021 Highlander with 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque compared to the 186 hp of the Highlander. And, if you need an SUV that can tow the family boat or camper, the 2021 Atlas can get the job done with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.


interior seating of 2021 volkswagen atlas with passengers

2021 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2021 Toyota Highlander: Safety

Safety always comes first in the minds of drivers, and both the 2021 Atlas are among the elite when it comes to crash-test safety and both have received a five-star overall safety score from the NHTSA, the highest score possible. Both the 2021 Atlas and 2021 Highlander offer all-wheel drive upgrades, as well as some of the most advanced driver-assist technologies drivers can get their hands on today. However, only the 2021 Atlas has the standard Blind Spot Monitor and Intelligent Crash Response System that automatically turns off the fuel pump and unlocks the doors. With the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas, drivers don't have to pay extra when it comes to safety.

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2021 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2021 Toyota Highlander: Price & Value

Before we end our comparison, we have to talk about perhaps what's the most important factor in deciding between two models: the price. Volkswagen has a commitment to not only quality vehicles, but making them as affordable as possible. That commitment is evident in the low starting MSRP of the 2021 Atlas at just $31,555. The 2021 Highlander, even though it doesn't match up with the 2021 Atlas in some key areas, can't compete when it comes to price either with a starting MSRP of $35,085. Whatever you're looking for in a midsize SUV, the 2021 Atlas can offer it at an affordable price.

Ready to experience the 2021 Atlas first-hand? Get in touch with our staff at Byers Volkswagen in Columbus, Ohio, to learn more about this midsize SUV or to take it for a test drive, today.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas2021 Toyota Highlander
$31,555Starting MSRP*$35,085
258 lb-ftStandard Torque263 lb-ft
5,000 lbs.Max Towing Capacity5,000 lbs.
7 PassengersStandard Seating Capacity7 Passengers
154.0 Cubic FeetTotal Passenger Volume141.3 Cubic Feet
20.6 / 96.8 Cubic FeetCargo Capacity (Standard / Maximum)16.0 / 84.3 Cubic Feet
StandardApple CarPlay™ & Android Auto™Standard
StandardBluetooth® Phone CompatabilityStandard
StandardRemote Connect (Remote Start & Stop)Available
StandardBlind Spot MonitorAvailable
5/5 StarsNHTSA Overall Safety Score5/5 Stars

*Prices exclude destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

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