The Canadian market’s appetite for all-wheel-drive vehicles is well known and automakers are adapting their lineups to reflect that.
Volkswagen is no exception and has announced that the all-new 2020 Atlas Cross Sport and refreshed 2020 Atlas will only offer all-wheel-drive versions when they arrive in Canada next year. VW will delete FWD entirely on its large SUVs, starting with the two-row Atlas Cross Sport in March 2020 and three-row Atlas in the second quarter next year.
The decision will mark the first time that an AWD variant of the Atlas is available with the smaller 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. Up until now, only the 3.6-liter V6 model offered all-wheel drive as an option.
VW’s local subsidiary motivated the decision with the fact that the take rate on front-wheel drive in these products is “really low” in this market. “At the end of the day, when it came time to drive it off the lot, [buyers] said ‘I’ll take the all-wheel drive,’” Thomas Tetzlaff, manager of public relations for Volkswagen Canada, told Autonews Canada.
He added that the introduction of AWD for the four-cylinder engine will allow VW to offer it at a better price point and cater to more buyers.
Both the 2020 VW Atlas Cross Sport and 2020 VW Atlas will offer the same engine lineup in Canada, consisting of a 235 HP 2.0-liter TSI turbocharged four-cylinder and a 276 HP 3.6-liter V6. Both will come with AWD as standard, whereas in the United States customers can also have them with FWD.