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2018 VW Atlas won’t be easy to find as a 4-cylinder

Saving money by buying the base engine in the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas won’t be as easy as it looks on paper.

That’s because VW is making the base engine, which runs $1,400 to $1,730 less than the optional V-6 an order-only item for all but the very base model of the Atlas, its long-anticipated three-row crossover SUV. So if you visit a dealer lot to check out the Atlas, you won’t find a 4-cylinder model with anything higher than basic specification.

MORE: Read our full 2018 Volkswagen Atlas review

The Atlas is offered in S, SE, and SEL trim levels that all come standard with a 4-cylinder engine

Aside from the considerably lower price of entry, what makes the 4-cylinder Atlas appealing?

With 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, it’s not much less powerful than the 276 hp, 266 pound-feet V-6 engine. And, perhaps more importantly, it may wind up being a lot more fuel efficient than the rather unimpressive figures posted by the Atlas’ V-6. The V-6 model is rated at a not-so-impressive 17 mpg city, 23 highway, 19 combined. The EPA hasn’t released figures yet for the 4-cylinder, but we imagine it will add a few miles to those figures. 

But you’ll have to be pretty committed to the idea, since placing an order takes time and many dealers will want some sort of a down payment. 

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