Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Volkswagen Atlas VS 2017 Chevrolet Traverse Near New Bern, NC

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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2017 Chevrolet Traverse

Safety Comparison

The Atlas (except S) offers optional Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Traverse has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature which could reduce stopping distances.

The Atlas has standard post collision braking, 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 which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Traverse doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Atlas 4Motion’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Traverse doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 Traverse only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Atlas and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

The Atlas comes with a full 6 year/72000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck. The Traverse’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 3 years and 36,000 miles sooner.

The Atlas’ corrosion warranty is 4 years and unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (10/unlimited vs. 6/100,000).

Reliability Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas’ engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Traverse’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 Comparison

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








18 city/25 hwy

15 city/22 hwy




17 city/23 hwy

15 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 Traverse doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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




Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.8 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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 LS’ standard 70 series tires. The Atlas’ optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Traverse’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Atlas has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Traverse LS.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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.

For better maneuverability, the Atlas’ turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (38.1 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Atlas has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Traverse (8 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Atlas to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Volkswagen Atlas may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Chevrolet Traverse.

The Atlas is 5.4 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Atlas easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Atlas has 2.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Traverse (153.7 vs. 150.8).

The Atlas has .9 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more rear headroom, .8 inches more rear legroom, .2 inches more rear hip room, .5 inches more third row headroom and .5 inches more third row legroom than the Traverse.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

Ergonomics Comparison

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 driver’s window opens automatically. With the Traverse’s optional power windows, only the driver’s window closes automatically and only the front windows open automatically.

KESSY Keyless Access standard on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium allows you to unlock the doors, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Atlas SEL Premium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Traverse doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Atlas and the Traverse offer available heated front seats. The Atlas SEL Premium also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Traverse.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Atlas (except S) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Traverse doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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.

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