2021 Volkswagen Atlas vs. 2021 Ford Explorer

2021 atlas vs ford explorer

Searching for the perfect 3-row SUV for your family in Scottsdale? If you’re here to compare the Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas, you’re right to have these competitors at the top of your list. Both offer the impressive capability, advanced convenience features, and spacious cabin you’re looking for — but which is the best match for your unique needs? Keep reading for a closer look at the VW Atlas vs. Ford Explorer specs, and then check out new SUVs for sale on our lot in Phoenix!

2021 VW Atlas


2021 Ford Explorer


Starting MSRP


Top Trim MSRP


Trim Levels

235-hp 4-cylinder

Base Engine

300-hp 2.3L turbo I4
5,000 lbs

Base Towing Capacity

5,300 lbs
96.8 cu-ft

Max Cargo Volume

87.8 cu-ft

VW Atlas vs. Ford Explorer: Price Range

The 2021 VW Atlas price ranges from $31,555 MSRP* for the base trim to $47,225 MSRP* for the top SEL Premium. That’s lower across the board than the Ford Explorer, which ranges from $32,225 MSRP to $54,480 MSRP for the range-topping Explorer Platinum. It’s also easier to customize the Atlas to fit your needs and budget, thanks to its more numerous trim options — seven, compared to five for the Explorer. Compare Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas pricing here:

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Price Range

  • Atlas S — $31,555 MSRP*
  • Atlas SE — $34,905 MSRP*
  • Atlas SE with Technology — $36,945 MSRP*
  • Atlas Se with technology R-Line — $39,745 MSRP*
  • Atlas SEL — $42,325 MSRP*
  • Atlas SEL R-Line — $44,025 MSRP*
  • Atlas SEL Premium — $47,225 MSRP*

2021 Ford Explorer Price Range

  • Explorer Base Trim — $32,225 MSRP
  • Explorer XLT — $34,000 MSRP
  • Explorer Limited — $45,005 MSRP
  • Explorer ST — $52,605 MSRP
  • Explorer Platinum — $54,480 MSRP

VW Atlas vs. Ford Explorer: Interior Dimensions

The 2021 VW Atlas cabin is built to please, offering spacious seating and high-quality materials that will keep your passengers happy on long days of driving in Cave Creek. There’s a total of 154 cubic feet of passenger space, and up to 96.8 cubic feet of cargo space with both back rows folded down.

Inside the Ford Explorer, you’re limited to a max 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Additionally, less front-row headroom and significantly less legroom for third-row passengers make it harder for taller passengers to stretch out.

VW Atlas vs. Ford Explorer: Performance

Before you compare Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas performance specs, ask yourself what you need your SUV to do. Towing a mid-size boat or popup camper? Either SUV can tackle the job. If you’re looking for an excess of acceleration on your Paradise Valley commutes, the Explorer base engine has the edge in terms of power. Still, the base Atlas delivers 235 hp — plenty of power for sporty driving around Fountain Hills. Compare Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas performance specs below:

VW Atlas Performance Specs

  • Base 235-hp 4-cylinder engine
  • Available 276-hp V6 engine
  • Base towing capacity of 5,000 lbs

Ford Explorer Performance Specs

  • Base 300-hp 2.3L turbo I4 engine
  • Available 322-hp V6 hybrid engine
  • Available 365-hp twin-turbo V6 engine
  • Base towing capacity of 5,300 lbs

Compare Ford Explorer and Volkswagen Atlas Specs with Volkswagen North Scottsdale

Read to move forward with a new VW Atlas for sale in Phoenix? Contact our team of friendly auto experts for more information, or pre-qualify for financing online today!

*Starting MSRP of $31,555 for a 2021 Volkswagen Atlas S 2.0L TSI® with 8-speed automatic transmission. Prices exclude transportation, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.

Volkswagen North Scottsdale 33.6506072, -111.9297524.