2020 VW Atlas Tanoak Pickup Truck Review


Volkswagen group is preparing two major additions for the US market. Rumors about Audi pickup truck are very loud. Fans are keeping their attention on the news about the luxurious models. Well, this makes details about 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak somehow less interesting. But, it isn’t so. The German carmaker could bring its standard model before the Audi truck.

The new vehicle will be based on two siblings. Volkswagen is producing Amarok truck outside the US. Most fans expected from the carmaker to bring the same nameplate to the largest truck market. But, it seems like the company has other plans. They will base the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak on the SUV sibling with the same name. Well, both Atlas SUV and Amarok pickup will offer help for the new player on the market.

Prototypes are already out being tested. The company will start production in 2019. However, we still don’t know when. So, the first model to appear could be for this season. But, it is more likely that truck is coming as 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak. It will take the spot in the mid-size segment. Of course, Volkswagen is not going to deliver it with a diesel engine. Wounds of the emission scandal caused by this company are still fresh. The VW must go greener, so we will rather see a hybrid unit.

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak front view

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak Engine

The 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak is going to borrow the drivetrain from its SUV sibling. So, there will be a 3.6-liter V6 engine under the bonnet of the new truck. This unit is capable to deliver 280 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission sends power either to the front or all wheels.

Towing Capacity, Specs

For the SUV, this is good for 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. For the Tanoak truck, the company announced they will work on it. After the revise, the pickup will be able to tow up to 7,000 pounds. Special upgrades will make this possible.

Also, a V6 engine can accelerate to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. The SUV is lighter, and it takes less than 8 seconds to do the same. However, more ground clearance will allow the pickup to perform better off the road. Skid plates, special bumpers, and other upgrades will make it more durable.

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak side view

Fuel Economy

The truck will be heavier than the SUV. That means it will consume more fuel. Standard setup is front-wheel drive. With it, VW Atlas will consume 17/24 mpg. All-wheel drive is optional and it returns 1 mpg less for a highway drive. For the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak, the fuel economy will probably drop to 22 mpg. Well, competitors in the mid-size truck class also use a four-cylinder engine. These are fuel-friendlier, but can’t tow as much as V6. Also, buyers usually opt for a bigger drivetrain with more power.

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak Hybrid and PHEV Models

The latest two concepts from VW are almost ready for launch. One is 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak truck, and another one is Atlas Sport Cross PHEV SUV. We already said that the pickup and the sport utility vehicle are going to share some things. Well, do not be surprised if Tanoak gets the same plug-in engine shortly after its debut.

That is a 3.6-liter V6 petrol engine in combination with an 18-kWh battery. The total output of this system will be 355 hp. That will cut the time needed to reach 60 mph to 5.5 seconds (for SUV). Again, a heavier truck will need more time, but not above 6 seconds. Still, the company also plans a regular hybrid with less power. That will result with 310 hp total and 0-60 mph acceleration in 7 seconds. Details about towing and fuel economy are not available yet for the SUV. The truck will get the different setup with increased hauling capacity.

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak rear view

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak vs Volkswagen Amarok

The new 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak will be based on the SUV. The most important part that will be the same is the architecture. The new pickup will use a unibody platform, unlike its sibling from other markets. VW Amarok is using a body on frame concept that improves durability, towing capacity, and off-road capabilities. On the other hand, a unibody platform is better if you are looking for a safer vehicle with better handling.

However, the German company will use the existing MQB platform. The famous architecture is underpinning many VW and Audi vehicles. The next one to get it is a pickup truck. However, the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak will use nearly the same features as the Amarok. Body language, bed options, and other utility features are going to be shared between two siblings.

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak specs

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak Features and Options

The new truck is going to share trim levels and equipment with the SUV. Atlas is available with few packages that might be combined. So, we will have the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak SE, SEL, and R-Line models, and upgrades such as Technology or 4Motion packages. The SE model offers 8-inch display and zonal climate controls. Panoramic moonroof, parking sensors, and more driver assist features are available with SEL package. R-Line adds special bumpers and wheels, as well as extras inside the cabin. 

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak interior

2020 VW Atlas Tanoak Prices

So many options will make the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak pretty expensive. However, the entry-level model will come with the price similar to its rivals. Honda Ridgeline, as the only pickup truck using a unibody platform, costs $31,000. The 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak will take the similar price tag. Other rivals are starting around $25,000. Toyota Tacoma is using only a V6. Chevy Colorado starts with a four-cylinder engine, but it also offers a V6 and diesel drivetrains. The new Ford Ranger will get the power from a four-pot unit. In the future, it will also get a V6.

The release date of the 2020 VW Atlas Tanoak is still unknown. The company is late for the 2019 season, although we have reports from last year’s testing. Well, there are no reasons to worry about, since the VW will launch its pickup truck as soon as possible. The production will start immediately.

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