Look-a-like: VW Atlas and…

When the VW Atlas was finally revealed after what felt like the longest gestation period the main responses that could be heard were those of disappointment. “This is it?”, most people said, “it’s way too conservative”, said others. And then there was a sizable group of people who thought the Atlas was straight-up ugly, mainly because of the character line that runs down the side of the car. In fact, not only is the concave/convex line controversial, it’s also very reminiscent of the side-treatment another less-than-beautiful SUV received a while back…

…the Mitsubishi Endeavor. The ill-fated SUV came at a time when Mitsubishi was still trying to offer a whole lineup of cars, and the Endeavor was the brand’s attempt at a mid-sized crossover market. Based on the Galant chassis, the Endeavor tried to stand out from the norm by donning on a butch bodykit that included a strong semi-shoulder-line whose shape is very similar to the VW Atlas. Then as now, it did not go down well with customers, and the Endeavor was one of the least popular car in its class.

What’s even more baffling is that VW actively chose to add this design element to the Atlas, seeing as the concept version of the car, the Crossblue, did not have it. If I was to play devil’s advocate I could imagine what the VW designers were thinking, in that the character line does break up the visual bulk of what is a gigantic car by class standard, but I really feel like it could have, and should have, been better executed. 


About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he’d moved to the US. In college he promised himself he’s buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman…
You can find all his articles Here.


  1. Radek says:

    Hi Krzysiek!
    Most people is based on what? Who is the most people? Thanks

    • Krzysztof Wozniak says:

      @Radek – most car journalists, people I’ve spoken to and comments I’ve read – you know, a large, representative sample 🙂

  2. Losange says:

    Just another example why brands shouldn’t change their concepts that much. The Crossblue isn’t good looking imo, but it’s less bad than the production car.

  3. Fokker says:

    Its not ugly for a SUV, just a bit bland. In the SUV era ugly is the new normal.

  4. Christos says:

    Can I just come out and say it: the styling is too American.

  5. Rick M says:

    In May, the first 1400 are sold i/t USA. Hope the owners will be reasonable happy with this Teutonian Beast

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!