The Atlas is new for 2018 – and is available as a 6 or 7 seater (the additional seat is the 2nd row center seat).
The Atlas – particularly in the 7-seater model – is a fabulous addition to the market. The highlights include 3 complete LATCH positions in the 2nd row – and all can be used simultaneously (assuming you pick car seats that are narrow enough). Where it really stands out is with the “car seat safe” tilt feature that allows you to have car seats installed 3-across in the 2nd row and still have complete access to the 3rd row without disturbing the installation of the car seat. This tilt works so long as the car seats in 2D & 2P are installed with the lower anchors – it will not work if they are installed with the seat belt as the seat belt is attached to the frame of the vehicle and will prevent the tilt feature from working – whereas the lower anchors are attached to the vehicle seat itself and allow the car seat + vehicle seat to tilt for 3rd row access. 2C’s seat belt is attached to the vehicle seat – so a car seat installed in 2C can use either the seat belt OR lower anchors and the tilt will work. Because there are weight limits to the lower anchors, it can be wise to arrange who sits where such that the child who has exceeded the lower anchor weight limit for their car seat is placed in 2C with a seat belt installation if you need 3rd row access from both sides (driver and passenger).
Of the 3-row SUV’s currently on the market, the Atlas is in our opinion the most versatile for families – much more so than the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Acura MDX, and Ford Explorer, which are its closest price and size competitors.