VW puts a $30,500 base price on 2018 Atlas SUV

AWD is only available with the range-topping engine, though

After a long wait, VW has finally announced pricing for its all-new Atlas midsize seven-seat SUV.

Built in the U.S. and designed for American consumers, the Atlas is essential in VW's strategy to turnaround its operations in the United States. That's why the new SUV is priced rather competitively, with the base model starting at $30,500.

That's a similar price to other midsize, seven-seat SUVs like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. However, $30,500 will get you an Atlas with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine (S trim level).

There are five grades (Atlas S, Atlas SE, Atlas SE with Technology, Atlas SEL, and Atlas SEL Premium). The base Atlas S offers decent equipment that includes 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with LED DRLs, a rearview camera, stainless-steel roof rails, cruise control, a 6.5-inch Composition Color touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, Car-Net App-Connect, and a six-speaker audio system.

At the other end of the range, the Atlas SEL Premium gets the 4Motion AWD system and the 3.6-liter VR6 engine as standard. For $48,490 you get a 12.3-inch Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, 20-inch alloy wheels, navigation, LED taillights, power-folding door mirrors, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic High Beam Control, and ambient lighting. The Atlas SEL Premium also comes loaded with driver assistance and infotainment features, including Parking Steering Assistant (Park Assist), Area View camera, and the 12-speaker Fender Premium Audio System.

The entry-level 2.0-liter TSI engine delivers 235 hp and 258 lb-ft (349 Nm) of torque, while the optional 3.6-liter VR6 unit makes 276 hp and 266 lb-ft (360 Nm) of torque. Both engines are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The cheapest AWD Atlas starts at $33,700 (S grade with the six-cylinder unit).

The 2018 VW Atlas will arrive in U.S. dealerships in May.