Volkswagen Atlas Luggage Test: How much fits behind the third row?

The VW Atlas was one of the first vehicles I luggage-tested for Autoblog, but I did so when I was still doing them in video form, so there’s never been an official, proper post. Until now! This luggage test also coincides with a significant update for the 2024 Volkswagen Atlas, bringing a controversial new interior among other changes. Cargo space is not among those changes. It still has 20.6 cubic feet when its spacious third row is folded. That’s exactly the same as our current segment luggage test champion, the Toyota Grand Highlander, and if you round up, the Kia Telluride (21 cubic feet). If my original video luggage test is any indication, it won’t be taking the Grand Highlander’s crown today. But I’m also a far more skilled luggage tester these days. Let’s see if me and the Atlas can do any better.

VW Atlas cargo behind third row

You can see why the Atlas has one of the bigger cargo areas. This is a deeper space than normal, the liftgate angle starts up high and there’s also lots of extra space behind the wheel wells.

But …

underfloor areaspare tire and subwoofercargo cover storage2

Unlike other three-row crossovers, there is no underfloor space that expands capacity for luggage. There’s a spare tire, which is a good, and a subwoofer distinctively filling it. You can also see (above right) that there is a space to store the cargo cover when the third row is being used. Nice.

Now, while the Telluride and Pilot take advantage of their underfloor spaces to stuff more bags than most, the Grand Highlander doesn’t, like the Atlas, and still packs ’em in better than anyone. 

As with every Luggage Test, I use two midsize roller suitcases that would need to be checked in at the airport (26 inches long, 16 wide, 11 deep), two black roll-aboard suitcases that just barely fit in the overhead (24L x 15W x 10D), and one smaller green roll-aboard that fits easily (23L x 15W x 10D). I also include my wife’s fancy overnight bag just to spruce things up a bit (21L x 12W x 12D).

Atlas max bags

I tried, but could ultimately do no better than James of 2019. This would be all my bags but the biggest gray bag. 

This is really good for a three-row crossover, but also falls short of the Grand Highlander (all bags), the Kia Telluride (all but fancy bag with some room left over) and the Honda Pilot TrailSport (full with all but fancy bag). So it doesn’t make the podium, but fourth place still ain’t bad.

Atlas max bags alternative nopedoes not fit

Now, I will say it came thiiiiiiiis close to be able to fit both of my biggest bags instead of the smaller green one, but it just wasn’t closing. This wouldn’t have changed the hierarchy, but would literally have been better. 

So there you go. The Atlas is now officially tested.

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