There is only a small group of four-passenger convertibles on the market – really, just about half a dozen – and even less that start under $35,000, which makes the four-seater, hardtop Volkswagen Eos a rare vehicle. For 2012, the Eos has been redesigned to incorporate the new Volkswagen design language, and the result is less bubbly droptop and more sophisticated small convertible. Modifications go beyond the exterior design, and the interior has been freshened as well. More technology options are on hand, and a new standard six-speed automatic transmission is an upgrade over the outgoing model’s. What has remained the same is the drive quality, which we’d like to see a little tighter. The hardtop roof isn’t anything new, but it still seems special. The top retracts quickly and quietly, and leaves room for a few bags in the trunk. The Eos is a fun car with plenty of standard features, and the facelift has modernized its look. It should be on the top of your shopping list if you’re in the market for a stylish, mid-$30,000 convertible.
What's to Like
Styling of the hardtop makes the Eos look good with it either up or down, and it folds away speedily as well. Overall design is much improved. For a convertible, this one’s very quiet with the top up. The standard touch screen’s integration and ease of use is fantastic. Three years or 36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance is always a plus.
What's Not to Like
Headroom and legroom in the rear is predictably tight; taller passengers will be grateful if you put the top down (or seat them in front, for that matter). Pricing – $33,995 to start – can quickly rise, edging you closer to Audi A5 Cabriolet and Infiniti G Convertible territory. The drive is a little soft, and those looking for an aggressive performance quality should look elsewhere. Trunk space is diminished when the top is down.
The Drive: Driving Impressions
The Eos is about a fun, relaxed drive experience, and the drive qualities reflect these characteristics. The hardtop roof creates a seal when up that lets little wind noise through, and when down, the air channels through without too much disruption inside the cabin, thanks in part to a popup wind deflector. Road noise permeates more than we’d like though, especially through the wheel arches. The suspension has been tuned to produce a firm ride without compromising too much comfort, and the handling subdues the majority of body roll. All Eos trims are equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, an engine powerful enough to handle anything you’ll be throwing at this car, but a little underpowered compared to others in the segment. The turbo spools quickly, resulting in ...