2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE 3.6L 4Motion (AWD) vs 2017 Ford Explorer XLT 3.5L 4WD

When it comes to third row SUVs, the most important thing is space. If you are going for that extra seat you either need to haul a lot in the back, or you are moving a lot of people. From there safety, maneuverability, and fuel efficiency are the most important factors. These two are equals in safety ratings, while the Atlas has a slightly better turning radius and fuel efficiency. In the real world, though, the two vehicles are essentially equal on these three factors. However, when it comes to space, though, the Atlas shines.

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Third Row Space

If you are comparing these two vehicles, then 3rd row space is essential in your decision. You want something that is going to have enough room for the people in the very back, and to have everyone in their own space. This is where the Volkswagen Atlas excels compared to the Explorer. With more head, leg, shoulder, and hip room, the Volkswagen Atlas is going to leave your passengers more comfortable.

Models3rd Row Leg Room3rd Row Head Room3rd Row Shoulder Room
Ford Explorer 32” 37.8” 50.8”
Volkswagen Atlas 33.7” 38.3” 54.9”

Cargo Room

The second piece, of course, with a larger SUV is the cargo space. This vehicle needs to be able to haul all your sporting equipment, weekend getaway gear, and everything else your family desires. With all three rows up the Explorer has ½” more space than the Atlas. Once you start moving seats down, though, there is no comparison. With the 3rd row down the Atlas has 11.7” more space, and with the back two rows down the Atlas has 16.1” more space, making the Atlas the superior gear mover.

ModelsCargo Volume to 3rd RowCargo Volume to 2nd RowCargo Volume to 1st Row
Ford Explorer 21” 43.8” 80.7”
Volkswagen Atlas 20.6” 55.5”” 96.8””