Does design really matter? I’m not asking if it really matters to you personally, but if it really matters in the big picture of automotive excellence. Take two vehicles of the same class, say 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport vs. 2022 Ford Edge— and you’ll find that one is definitely more savvy in the design department than the other.
But this does not say anything about the characteristics of the car. The leather seats do not affect the technique and therefore do not affect the characteristics of the car. So if design doesn’t affect a car’s ability to do its job, why do we spend so much time talking about it? Well, why do we decorate our homes? Four walls and a roof are all we really need; but we crave atmosphere because we crave something more than just functional.
The same applies to our vehicles. We want our cars to provide not only functionality, but also enjoyment. This is especially true in the cabin, where drivers spend most of their time with their cars. So let’s see how 2022 VW Atlas Cross Sport and Ford Edge 2022 compare in terms of the atmosphere in the cabin.
Before we can properly compare the vibe of these two models, we need to set our parameters for what makes a car aesthetically pleasing. It’s not just about installing a bunch of nice features inside the car. As nice as any of these features are, if there is no order behind their implementation, the car will be a scattered and messy car – and a very expensive one at that. So, no, good looks aren’t just about implementing nice features; it’s about using those good features to create a consistent, eye-catching aesthetic. So, how do you create this aesthetic?
Well, for our purposes today, I’m going to set two parameters: colors and lighting. Colors have a huge impact on our mood and how we perceive certain places or objects. Colors and lighting are two main factors that together create the atmosphere of any environment, especially inside a car. So, now that we have our criteria clear, let’s dive into these cars.
Of course, the color starts with the base interior color. However, anyone with even the slightest interest in vehicles (or design) knows that the base color is just the beginning; If the base color was all one, the car would quickly feel bland and devoid of any personality. That is why it is important for the atmosphere of the car that it includes contrasting colors in the form of accents.
The VW Atlas Cross Sport is way ahead in this regard, offering both V-Tex leatherette and two-tone Vienna leather. Now, the “two-tone” feature of this leather is not just a fine stitch, but a broad color on the seat backs. With Titan Black and Jet Black as the primary colors, drivers have access to the complimentary colors of Dark Beige, Stone Blue and Maroon. Of the three options, stone blue and dark maroon are the most exciting; the stone blue version creates a cooler, clean and spectacular mood, while the dark maroon creates a more edgy, adventurous and fierce atmosphere. Now, if solid colors are really your thing, you can only have Titan Black; but it’s really amazing how much personality these color combinations add to the vehicle and how different the car looks depending on which color combination the drivers choose.
The 2022 Ford Edge is less focused on color and doesn’t go too far beyond the base colors. While it offers a few different color schemes and some creative seat stitching, it doesn’t offer anything quite as dynamic as the Atlas Cross Sport’s two-tone seats. To be fair, the Edge does have seat accents, but it’s just seat stitching, not two-tone seats, which makes it less of a contrast and therefore a less impressive aesthetic.
The Edge, of course, offers the typical black color scheme, but its beige color scheme gives the car a much more sophisticated vibe, making it stand out as a luxury vehicle. But if the name of the game is a truly unique and well-contrasted atmosphere, then the game is VW Atlas Cross Sport.
Ah, lighting makes a world of difference, doesn’t it? This is why so many people have lamps in their rooms with an overhead light; lamps are not strictly necessary, but they help to cultivate a mood that cannot be cultivated through bright white ceiling lighting. Well, there is no solution, industrial lighting is better than natural light, so the VW Atlas Cross offers a panoramic sunroof that is almost five feet long! The panoramic sunroof is the main advantage; there’s nothing quite like soaking up the golden rays, although there’s something special about the night views through those sunroofs as the stars come out and the soft light pours into the car. Combine the soft starlight with the Atlas Cross Sport’s available ambient lighting, and you’re in for a soothing (and even romantic) cruise.
The 2022 Ford Edge now also offers ambient lighting! What it lacks, however, is a panoramic sunroof, which means it doesn’t offer the same opportunities for daylight travel. This does not detract from the importance of available ambient lighting. However, it is important to recognize that the atmosphere is to some extent developed cumulatively.
What do I mean? Well, the Edge’s ambient lighting is excellent and will certainly help create a pleasant atmosphere in the car. But since the VW Atlas Cross Sport offers the aforementioned two-tone seats, panoramic sunroof and ambient lighting, all these features work together to cultivate a truly unique aesthetic. As mentioned at the beginning, atmosphere is not just some attractive feature; it’s about the overall atmosphere when these elements work in harmony.
Thinking about the atmosphere in this aggregate sense, based on the parameters I set, it is clear that the 2022 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport makes some special moves in terms of design. Colors and lighting are two factors that can make or break the atmosphere of a car interior. When executed well, drivers want to stay in their car, spend time in it, and engage with it; however, if it’s done poorly, no one will be too interested in spending much time in the car, let alone buying it. That’s not to say the Ford Edge doesn’t do well with paint and lighting; quite the opposite – the Edge provides good color options and good lighting.
The VW Atlas Cross Sport, however, goes above and beyond and creates an overall cabin aesthetic that is truly unique and offers a dynamic atmosphere. So it’s not a question of good vs. bad, but rather good vs. awesome. Volkswagen has always excelled in creative design, especially when it comes to color schemes (we are talking about the brand that invented the Bug, after all). They certainly aren’t backing down with the 2022 Atlas Cross Sport.