Between my daily 45-minute commute and pulling support and transportation duties on out-of-town photo and video shoots, we have been putting some miles on the Atlas. With 11,087 miles on the odometer, it was finally time to visit our local Volkswagen dealership to get the oil changed. In addition to changing the oil, they completed a software update and inspected the seatbelt latches as part of a recall. The latches must have appeared fine, as no update to them was needed at this time. With parts and labor, our final bill came to $80.40.
With all of that time the behind the wheel, I feel like this is a good opportunity to address the poor fuel economy that we’ve been observing; 18.1 mpg is not only on the low side of the expected EPA numbers of 18/25 mpg (city/highway), it’s lower than the EPA mileage of our all-wheel-drive long-term 2018 Subaru Ascent as well as that of my long-term Mazda CX-9.
On top of my normal transportation needs, driving is part of my job, and therefore the overall mpg rating is less important to me personally. Good range and miles between trips to the gas station are criteria I look for in a good car, and the fuel-gulping Atlas rates low in this department. A quick, non-scientific glance at the Atlas’ fuel log shows that most fill-ups happened around the 250-mile mark. Compare that to the CX-9, which usually made it to the 300-mile mark and beyond. Although 50 to 70 miles doesn’t seem like a big deal, it means an additional couple of days between fill-ups during the workweek or the ability to drive a few extra miles without stopping during a road trip. Given the poor mileage, I wish Volkswagen had fitted the Atlas with a larger fuel tank.
Read more about our long-term 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE:
- Update 1: Tire Killer!
- Update 2: Design and Packaging
- 6 Three-Row SUVs With Less Cargo Space Than the Volkswagen Atlas
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