November 14, 2006 > 2007 VOLKSWAGEN EOS
2007 VOLKSWAGEN EOS
The new Eos is the latest VW model to debut in the USA. Already the top selling convertible in Europe, it brings some very unique features to our shores. It is the world’s first four-seat, hardtop convertible with a glass roof. At the touch of a button, the trunk opens and swallows the five-panel metal and glass roof. You can cruise along in a quiet hardtop, or open the full sunroof for some air, or 25 seconds later be fully top down motoring.
Currently, the power comes from a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 200 horses. With this option, the base Eos 2.0T lists for $27,990. Mid 2007, the 250 HP, 3.2-liter V-6 will be available for $36,850. These motors have been in the VW family for years.
We drove a Thunder Blue Eos 2.0T and had a lot of fun. The 3,503-pound car is much quicker than I thought it would be. Once the blower spooled up and started jamming air into the motor, it took off. (The turbo lag issue is much better on the Eos than other turbo cars I have driven.) It has good EPA ratings of 23 city and 32 highway. The Eos 3.2L should be a barnburner.
The handling will be familiar to VW enthusiasts. It rode and handled like many of its family members (Passat, Golf, Jetta).
VWs have a nice firm (but not eyeball rattling) ride. If you want to feel like you are riding around on a huge rolling pillow, go to a different manufacturer. Its handling is crisp and defined, just the way I like it.
The styling is also familiar to the VW enthusiasts. Again, it bore a strong resemblance to its family members. With the top up, it has a nice, strong, curved roofline. With the top down, it looks good too.
Downsides? For one, the rear seat room is pretty small. The Eos’ backyard is definitely for little people (kiddos). If you are over 5 feet tall, you wouldn’t want to spend too much time back there.
A minor issue is the reduction in trunk size when the top retracts. It goes from 10.5 to 6.6 cubic feet. 95% of the time, 6.6 cubic feet of storage space is fine. And most of the time you will probably have the back seat for storage space.
The Eos has a great way to attract attention. While stopped at a traffic light (it won’t work while moving), lower or raise the hardtop. It’s a great process to watch with lots of pieces moving. It’s choreographed motion with pieces going up, down, out, and in. (However, you need to make sure the car behind you isn’t too close or the trunk may hit it.)
The Eos has a five-year, 60,000-mile power train warranty and a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty on the rest of the car. Like all new VWs, it has a free 24-hour roadside assistance program for four years.
The base Eos comes with a 6-speed manual transmission. However, the 6-speed automatic warrants consideration. It actually has four options for driving. The first option is D and it works like any other automatic transmission. Then you can choose S (sport). In this mode the engine revs much higher before it shifts. Then you have an option to use the shift lever to make the transmission shift like a manual. Number four (and best) it has paddle shifters behind the steering wheel so you can shift it just like a Ferrari.
The base Eos has an AM/FM radio with a single disk CD player and eight speakers. A six-disk player and satellite radio are options. The Danish firm of Dynaudio designs a 600-watt audio system with 10 speakers specifically for the Eos.
The Eos is a fun car that has some very nice features. So which Eos would I buy? I love horsepower, but are 50 more ponies worth the extra $8,800? Not from my wallet. (To set the record straight, the 3.2L also has a few more standard features than the 2.0T.)
By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists