2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
Posted on July 30, 2020
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Volkswagen Atlas are two midsized SUVs that are - surprisingly - both built right here in North America. Chattanooga, Tennessee is home to the all-new Atlas, and the Grand Cherokee hails from Detroit, Michigan. Although these vehicles come from the same continent, they're vastly different. Which one is right for you?
Both the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2018 Volkswagen Atlas have plenty of positive attributes, making it hard to choose between the two. Fortunately, we've done some research to help you decide.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Volkswagen Atlas are very different machines. These are the areas where they diverge the most:
There's one gigantic difference between the two SUVs: The Jeep Grand Cherokee is designed for the trail (except for the Trackhawk model, but we'll get to that later). The Atlas is not. Like other Volkswagen SUVs, it's fitted with all-wheel drive that's great for on-road rain and snow. On the other hand, the Jeep is equipped with four-wheel drive that prepares it for off-road adventure.
To say the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is the most powerful vehicle in its class is an understatement. No other SUV, including the Atlas, can compete with this purpose-built performance machine. The novel Jeep cranks out 707 hp and 645 lb.-ft. from a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine, making it the quickest SUV ever. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line Atlas only musters 276 hp and 266 lb.-ft. from a 3.6L V6. So, the Trackhawk puts out more than two and a half times the power of the top model Atlas.
Even though it's made in the U.S., the Volkswagen still has a European flair. The Jeep, on the other hand, has a square-jawed, all-American look. Both SUVs are handsome in their own right - what it comes down to is personal preference.
Of the two SUVs, the Atlas is bigger. It has a slightly longer wheelbase and offers seating for seven passengers, whereas the Jeep provides room for 5. But bigger isn't always better. If you don't need seven seats, it makes sense to go with the more agile and maneuverable Grand Cherokee.
These are the ways the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2018 Volkswagen are most alike:
Price is always a factor when choosing a new SUV. Both the Volkswagen Atlas and Jeep Grand Cherokee have a base MSRP of around $30,000, making them relatively affordable.
The Grand Cherokee and Atlas are both equipped with the latest connectivity and driver assistance technologies.
More than 70 safety and security features are offered on the Jeep. Also, technological amenities are found throughout, such as the award-winning Uconnect 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
As for the Volkswagen, it's available with a full suite of driver assistance functions, along with the advanced MIB II infotainment system.
The Atlas is well-mannered and well-equipped. It's a great vehicle for city dwellers looking for both European styling and refinement.
But the Volkswagen is not a real SUV. It's more of a crossover. If you need off-road ability - or in the case of the Trackhawk, insane on-road performance - the Jeep Grand Cherokee is for you.
The verdict: if you're looking for a run-of-the-mill crossover, check out the Atlas. If you're looking for raw power and legendary Jeep capability, stick with the Grand Cherokee.
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