Everything’s coming up roses for Volkswagen SUVs. As announced, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas has been crowned the Best 3-Row SUV of 2017 by Cars.com. The top ranking, based on a competitive test in 12 categories, comes on the heels of the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan being named the Best Compact SUV of 2017 in a similar Cars.com test.

The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas won by one of the wider margins in the history of the Cars.com Challenge.

The 2017 3-Row SUV Challenge tested attributes such as interior quality, front-seat comfort, ride quality, and multimedia (the latter category accounting for touchscreen-based interfaces). The price of the vehicles tested could not exceed $46,000. The Atlas – Volkswagen’s first SUV with a standard three rows of seats – unseated the 2016 winner, the 2017 Honda Pilot. Here’s how the contenders ranked:

  1. 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SEL 4Motion, 778 points.
  2. 2018 Chevrolet Traverse 3LT Leather, 680 points.
  3. 2017 Honda Pilot Touring, 674 points.
  4. 2017 Toyota Highlander, 559 points.

The Atlas won over our judges with its refined driving, ample passenger and cargo space, and easy-to-use technology. For instance, the vehicle’s multimedia earned high marks because of its intuitive menus and sharp screen among other features. Moreover, the judges found the Atlas to handle exceptionally well. In all, the Atlas beat competitors in most of the categories in which it was ranked.

Dealers should be ready for questions from customers who hear about the ranking. The judges’ in-depth comments (here) should be useful to that end.  Meanwhile, congratulations to the brands who ranked so well in our test!