The refreshed 2024 VW Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport saw a number of improvements such as a punchier four-cylinder and nicer interior. But it also apparently got some important safety improvements. While the outgoing versions completely missed out on the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, the new ones have managed to score the ultimate accolade from the organization: Top Safety Pick+.
Looking at the scores, the improvements are in headlight and forward collision prevention technology. The headlights on all 2024 Atlas models have the top rating of “Good,” eliminating the previous standard lights that only were “Marginal,” and held back the old model. Additionally, forward collision prevention tech (automatic emergency braking and driver warnings) have scored better. Previously, the standard systems only got the “Basic” rating when reacting to pedestrians, both during the day and at night. The new SUVs are rated at “Advanced,” the minimum required for the Top Safety Pick+ award.
It’s important for these VWs to score high in safety. Not only are they family vehicles, but there’s lots of competition in the segment, and many of those competitors have this top rank. Not having it would be a real handicap in attracting customers. Among those top ranked competitors are the Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Jeep Grand Cherokee (and L), Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-90, Nissan Pathfinder and Toyota Highlander.