What Is The VW Atlas’ Towing Capacity?

The Volkswagen Atlas is a newer SUV model put out by Volkswagen and seems to be pretty capable, if you have the recommended equipment that comes from the factory. When looking online for the different towing capacities for the Atlas, I found the information to be inaccurate and incomplete, for the most part.

I decided to throw together this article to explain what I found along the way and to make somewhat of a resource guide on the subject, in order to fill that knowledge gap. I hope it is helpful to those of you out there that want to know!

Overview of the Data For the VW Atlas:

Engine Choices: Even though the engine configurations were not listed in any of the tow charts I found, I did find out that two different engines were offered for the Volkswagen Atlas' and these were: the 2.0L and 3.6L engines.

However, this seemed to make no difference in the weight ratings, according to the charts and the biggest two factors that affected the weight limits were what type of tow package you had installed on the vehicle and whether the trailer you are hauling had an independent braking system.

Configurations/Variables: There were no variables to take into account for the VW Atlas that affected the overall capacity numbers like I see with other vehicles, which made the tables easy to read.

These are usually things like manual vs automatic transmissions, 2WD vs 4WD models and engine options. These variables make the charts harder to read, due to all of the added options and configurations that were offered and can sometimes account for hundreds or thousands of pounds!

Towing Capacity: Overall, the average capacity for the Atlas was pretty easy to determine because there weren't many models made to date and because there were really only three different weight ratings that were listed.

These three ratings were listed as: 1,650 pounds, 2,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds and I found these specs in the owner's manuals. So I guess most people would sum that up as having an average towing capacity range of between 1,650 lbs.-5,000 lbs, even though they were static figures.

2018-2020 Models:

The towing capacity for the 2018-2020 Volkswagen Atlas ranged from 1,650 pounds to 5,000 pounds, in general, but like I mentioned earlier, there were three static weight limits that were stated in the manuals: 1,650 pounds, 2,000 pounds and 5,000 pounds.

2018-2020 VW Atlas Image

The capacity listings were divided into two different categories and these were models that had a factory installed tow package or an aftermarket one installed. Both examples used trailers that had integrated braking system's built-in and trailers that did not have any type of brake systems in place.

The maximum weight limit for a trailer that did not have a brake system was 1,650 pounds, no matter whether you had a factory installed tow package or an aftermarket one installed. 

The big difference was seen on trailers that had their own brake systems and the capacity numbers were 2,000 pounds for vehicles that had an aftermarket package installed and a much larger 5,000 pound capacity for vehicles that had a factory installed tow package.

2018-2019 VW Atlas Towing Chart

Do I Have A Tow Package Installed?

A "tow package" is a pretty common phrase nowadays but remember that VW does state that there is a difference between a factory installed package and an aftermarket package.

Usually, finding out if you have any tow options that were offered by the manufacturer mounted on the vehicle is quite the task and usually requires taking the vehicle in to a dealership to have them take a look and verify for you.

This is also the case with the Atlas, but it also states this in the owner's manual, as well so if you are unsure if your vehicle had one installed, then your best bet is to take it in.

A Few Safety Notes I Found:

There were a few different things that Volkswagen pointed out that you should be aware of and these can be easily overlooked if you don't carefully read through the manual yourself.

I was scouring through one of the manuals and found these three little tidbits of information that fall into that "additional information" category I was talking about. Even though these three notes talk about different topics, they all revolve around weight limits and how those limits can affect your warranty, safety, etc.

VW Atlas Warning
VW Atlas Warning 2
2019 VW Atlas GVWR

Resources For The Volkswagen Atlas:

I like to include the resources I used to gather the information and for the Volkswagen Atlas, the owner's manuals were the go-to material for my research.

Not only did I find all of the different weight ratings, but there was also a lot of other good information that was tow related, that I think would be beneficial to most people.

Last updated on May 2nd, 2021 at 04:29 am

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