Drawing its name from the Greek goddess of the sunrise, the Volkswagen Eos is a two-door convertible with a retractable hardtop that converts the vehicle from all-weather coupe to sun-worshiper's steed in a matter of seconds. Designed more as a cruiser than a sports car, the Eos nonetheless features a strong engine, a refined ride and plenty of luxury and technology features. First introduced for the 2007 model year, the car recently received a significant facelift, while the latest model year brought a number of more minor tweaks along with a new trim level.
The facelift included new front and rear bumpers, restyled head and tail lamps and a new grille that make the Eos look more like its siblings, most notably the Volkswagen Jetta. Inside, the Eos got a new audio system and multi-function display screen, keyless access capable of remotely opening the folding metal hard top, automatic high-beam headlamps and available "cool leather" that VW says is more resistant to heat than traditional leather.
The refined interior, available in several color options, showcases new trim on the instrument panel and doors with standard "Matte Chrome" detailing, as well as chrome-framed window buttons and light switches. On higher trim lines, genuine walnut wood adds elegance to the instrument and door panels, and is accompanied by "Vienna" leather seating.
All Eos are equipped with leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and shift knob.
Engine and Transmission
The latest Eos features a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC turbocharged and intercooled four-cylinder gasoline engine exclusively. This direct injected power plant produces 200 horsepower and develops 207 lbs-ft. of torque, while delivering 22 city and 29 highway miles per gallon.
Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Likely the defining feature of the Eos, the five-part roof unit, a fully opening hardtop, converts the Eos from coupe to convertible (and vice versa) in just 25 seconds with the touch of a button. Unlike other comparably-priced convertibles, the Eos features a fully-functional sunroof with shade, allowing an open-air experience when the convertible top is up.
As temperatures rise and fall, the Eos is ready to respond with its standard dual-mode automatic climate control system that adjusts temperature based on the position of the convertible top.
The Eos recently gained a Keyless Entry and Start System, which allows the owner to get in and start up their Eos without getting out their key. Music lovers will enjoy the addition of HD Radio reception alongside SIRIUS satellite radio programming and MP3/WMA music file playback through the color touch-screen radio.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Eos is available in four different trim levels: Komfort, Lux, Executive and, new for the latest model year, Sport.
The Komfort model comes equipped with heated leatherette (faux leather) seats, a power-driver's seat, Bluetooth connectivity, an eight-speaker sound system with an iPod input jack, 17-inch "Michigan" alloy wheels and a sunroof integrated into the car's folding hardtop.
The mid-level Lux trim brings a touchscreen-activated navigation system, the aforementioned keyless access system, a power-adjustable passenger's seat and burled walnut interior trim on the dashboard, center console and door panels. New features for the latest model year include a lowered sport suspension and, 18-inch "Chicago" wheels and bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and an an adaptive front-lighting system, headlight washers and LED license-plate lights.
The Executive trim adds a sport-tuned suspension, a 600-watt, 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system and 18-inch "Kansas" alloy wheels. A rearview camera is newly standard.
The newly added Sport model lives up to its name with 18-inch "Vicenza" aluminum-alloy and a lowered sport suspension in addition to bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and an adaptive front-lighting system, headlight washers; LED license-plate lights, "Black Peak" interior trim, brushed stainless steel pedals, a multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifter, black exterior side mirrors and a rear spoiler.
The Eos includes several features designed to enhance driver and passenger safety, including roll bars that are integrated into the seats and sensor-deployed in the event of a roll-over. Standard fog lamps now feature integrated cornering lights to heighten safety on all models.
Other safety gear comes in the form of dual front and side airbags, traction and stability control system and electronic brakeforce distribution.
Trying to find a true competitor for the Eos is not an easy task. It is a particularly small convertible, something not common in America, and to further complicate matters it seems to focus on cosmetics and comfort over sporty handling. As such, there aren't many true competitors, but some alternatives might include the Chrysler 200 Convertible, MINI Cooper Convertible or Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.