2007 Eos New Car Test Drive
Buyers are often put off purchasing convertibles because of their inherent disadvantages. Among them: noise, cowl shake, potential water leakage and increased risk of theft by break-in. Manufacturers of expensive luxury roadsters have overcome these problems with high-tech folding metal roofs. Now, manufacturers are beginning to develop more affordable systems for the rest of us.
The newest and example of an affordable hardtop convertible is the all-new 2007 Volkswagen Eos. The Eos is the first European hardtop convertible priced under $30,000.
The Eos, named after the mythical Greek goddess of dawn, delivers the top-down thrill of driving on a sunny day and, at the flick of a button, the warm, quiet comfort one desires on a cold or wet day. When driving with the top up, the Eos feels tight and quiet, like a coupe. With the top down, it feels more like a convertible but tighter, with less cowl shake on rough roads, than in older convertibles. The glass top gives the Eos a unique appearance, and it's entertaining to watch when raised or lowered, a feat that can be performed by remote control.
In spite of its diminutive dimensions, the Eos seats four, and getting into the back seat is relatively easy. The interior is trimmed nicely, an area where Volkswagen excels. Our preference was for the cloth upholstery in the base model, but leather upholstery comes with the Luxury and Sport packages along with nice looking wood or aluminum trim.
We were more than happy with the $27,990 base model, equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, and loaded with safety features, air conditioning and a decent stereo. The turbocharged engine delivers brisk acceleration performance and is a smooth companion around town.
Drivers who prefer an automatic transmission, especially those who must commute in heavy traffic, might prefer the V6 engine, although those decisions can add $10,000 to the bottom line.
Either way, the Eos represents a good compromise between a sports car and a sedan. It's sporty and practical and offers top-down motoring.
The Volkswagen Eos starts with the base model equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission ($27,990). Options are not available, but it comes loaded with safety features, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD stereo system, and remote key locking.
The 2.0T ($29,990) adds a 12-way power driver seat, upgraded semi-automatic climate control that's modified to suit a convertible, and a few other minor upgrades. It has the same engine and transmission as the base model. It's also available with the six-speed DSG automatic transmission ($31,065).
Options for the 2.0T include 17-inch Le Mans alloy wheels with 235/45R17 all-season tires ($400) and an upgraded audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer and Sirius Satellite Radio ($550). The Luxury Package ($3,490), which is only available with the automatic, includes leather seats, a 12-way power passenger seat, leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, wood interior trim, the 6CD changer, Sirius Satellite Radio, a diversity AM/FM antenna, and rain-sensing wipers.
The Sport Package ($3,690) features Avignon 17-inch wheels, sportier styled leather seats with a leather-wrapped three-spoke multi-function steering wheel (with Tiptronic controls for the DSG automatic), brushed aluminum interior trim, rain-sensing wipers, 6CD with MP3 playback capability, Sirius Satellite Radio, the diversity antenna, switchable auto-dimming interior mirror, 12-way power passenger seat with adjustable lumbar support and a sport suspension that lowers the ride height by 15mm. Buyers of the Sport Package can swap the 17-inch alloys for a set of 18-inch Samarkand alloy wheels with 235/40/R18 tires ($400).
The 3.2L V6 Eos is only offered with the DSG automatic transmission and as it includes most of the features of the luxury and sport upgrades listed above, the only package offered is an alternative Sport Package ($650) with leather sport seats, leather-wrapped three-spoke multi-function steering wheel with Tiptronic controls, brushed aluminum trim, sports suspension and 18-inch Samarkand alloy wheels with 235/40/R18 all-season tires.
Those who purchase the packages for the 2.0T or buy the 3.2 V6 can also choose to further upgrade the audio system with the Dynaudio premium sound system ($1,000), a DVD navigation system ($1,800) and a Park Distance Control system ($350). A Technology Package ($1,400) is offered on the 3.2L model, which includes the Park Distance Control system and bi-xenon headlights with AFS.