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When the Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp concept showed up to the 2019 New York Auto Show, camping enthusiasts wondered if the lifted SUV previewed a future product from the company. Today, that question has been answered. Behold, the 2021 Volkswagen Atlas with Basecamp accessories.

The Basecamp accessory line mostly includes exterior styling enhancements: a satin silver/anthracite front bumper guard, anthracite fender extensions with splash guards, satin silver rocker panels, a satin silver rear valance with a trailer hitch cutout, and unique Basecamp badges. Sold in total, the Basecamp kit costs $2,500, a price that seems a bit high to us. That said, quality is all but guaranteed, since AirDesign provides the body enhancements to Volkswagen.

Opting for the Basecamp accessory kit as a whole does save a bit of cash, but each item is available a la carte. Buying the front and rear valences, rocker panels, and fender extensions one at a time would cost $130 more, and the special badging is available only on the full package.

The most compelling portion of the Basecamp accessory line is its optional rolling stock. Fifteen52 Traverse MX 17-inch wheels, which cost $1,000 per set, give the Atlas some real presence. Fifteen52 worked with Volkswagen to design the wheels (which were still in the prototype phase on the New York Auto Show Basecamp concept), and an Atlas owner can easily swap out the center caps for traditional Volkswagen logos if desired. Two finishes are available: Frosted Graphite and Radiant Silver (pictured).

Gallery: VW Atlas Basecamp Accessories

The buyer (or the buyer’s dealer) will need to supply the appropriate 245/70R17 tires, giving owners some flexibility – all-terrain for those who go camping and skiing frequently, or highway tires for those seeking comfort and efficiency above all else.

Let’s do the math. A full Basecamp package demands $2,500, plus $1,000 for the optional Fifteen52 wheels and another $500 minimum for a reputable all-season tire (add another $100 for all-terrain rubber). VW also says the kit takes about four hours to install, so depending on the local dealer’s labor rates, there’s another $300 or more. That brings the price for a togged-out, all-terrain 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Basecamp package to $4,500 or so. 

Whether that’s worth the money is an individual decision, but for our part, we wish Vee-Dub had gone a bit more aggressive by offering the H&R 1.5-inch lift kit as part of the package, along with some roof-mounted storage solutions and other overlanding-inspired goodies. Serving as a foil to the sporty-styled (but not actually sportier) Atlas R-Line trim package, Basecamp accessories are clearly intended more for visual enhancement than rock-bashing ruggedness.

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At the very least, the Basecamp accessory line (which is only available on the 2021 Atlas, not on the Cross Sport or other model years) enhances the SUV’s recently updated styling. The refreshed Atlas, which clearly takes stylistic inspiration from the smaller Atlas Cross Sport, boasts handsome and attractive styling, as well as newly available all-wheel drive when powered by the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

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