2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2018 Acura MDX Comparison

Specs at a Glance

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

Cargo Space

  20.6 cu. ft.

Front Head Room

  41.3 in.


2018 Acura MDX

2018 Acura MDX

Cargo Space

  14.9 cu. ft.

Front Head Room

  38.1 in.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas vs 2018 Acura MDX

Serving Streetsboro, Kent, and Akron, OH

Arriving at the beginning of the 2000s, the Acura MDX landed at a time when the crossover SUV market truly began to pick up, as more people were drawn to vehicles that combined the benefits of SUVs (e.g., ample interior space) and sedans (e.g., maneuverability). Although the Volkswagen Atlas did not arrive until the 2018 model year—during the MDX’s third production cycle—it has been far from slow in impressing both buyers and experts with what it has to offer the general SUV segment. The Atlas and the MDX are similar in that they both present three rows of seats, which is the current standard maximum in their shared class. However, for the most part, that’s where the similarities end. Indeed, it can be argued that the 2018 Atlas is a better choice than the 2018 MDX. Here’s why:

Interior Space

Inside the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is a cabin that provides 153.7 cubic feet of passenger volume. Standard cargo space, which is measured between the third row and the liftgate, is set at 20.6 cubic feet. However, you can expand it to 55.5 cubic feet when the third row is folded. And there’s a maximum cargo volume of 96.8 cubic feet when both second and third rows are folded. The 2018 Acura MDX is nowhere as spacious. Passenger volume is measured at 132.7 cubic feet (21 less cubic feet). Standard cargo space is 14.9 cubic feet (5.7 less cubic feet), with the option of folding down the second row for an expansion to 38.4 cubic feet (17.1 less cubic feet) and folding down both rows behind front seating for 90.9 cubic feet (5.9 less cubic feet).

Seating Accommodation

Split into four trims, each of which is identified by an equipment package, the 2018 Acura MDX has a three-row format that typically seats the driver and a passenger in the front, a second-row bench-style seat that seats three people, and a third row that seats two people for a total maximum capacity of seven. The Advance Package, however, is the exception; it swaps the bench-style seat in the second row for a pair of captain’s seats, thus reducing maximum occupancy to six. By comparison, there’s always the ability to seat up to seven people on the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, regardless of what trim you choose.

Ride Quality

Although the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is larger than the 2018 Acura MDX, it surely doesn’t drive like it. The Atlas is notable for having minimal body lean around turns, thus making it feel like a smaller vehicle. And thanks to its independent front and multi-link rear suspension system, the all-new Atlas absorbs bumps and dips with great ease, thus enforcing a relatively smooth ride. Ironically, for a vehicle that is more geared towards sedan-like driving dynamics, the 2018 Acura MDX is not as praised as its Volkswagen Atlas for its level of ride quality.

Stop by our dealership in Streetsboro, Ohio today to test-drive the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and see how it compares with the 2018 Acura MDX. As a major dealer in the Cleveland-Akron metro area, we are known for providing top-quality customer service with our robust inventory and team of Volkswagen specialists. Call us today to set up an appointment.


* NHTSA Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportations New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).

** More information can be found at www.iihs.gov