Review: 2007 Volkswagen Eos
This 2007 review is representative of model years 2007 to 2014.
By Dan Jedlicka of MSN Autos
The Volkswagen Rabbit and similar Cabriolet 4-seat convertibles were the quintessential "chick cars." They seemingly were driven mostly by high school and college female students until largely replaced by the Mazda Miata sports car in the early 1990s.
It's doubtful if Volkswagen's new front-wheel-drive Eos 4-seat convertible will be as popular with young ladies as the Rabbit/Cabriolet, even though it has a fully automatic five-section retractable hardtop with a unique feature for such a top: a large sliding sunroof.
For one thing, price is an obstacle, although the Eos is among the lowest-cost retractable hardtops at $27,990-$36,850. The most expensive Cabriolet, which replaced the Rabbit convertible, cost only $18,380 in 1993. It was affordable for the good number of moderately affluent parents to buy for their daughter. Based on a mid-1970s Volkswagen design, the Cabriolet was dropped after 1993.
Of course, Volkswagen has been selling the retro-styled New Beetle 4-seat convertible here for several years with a conventional soft-top. It's cuter than the Eos and starts at $22,120. The Miata begins at $20,435.
Something Else Again
Transmissions are a regular 6-speed manual, which works with a light but long-throw clutch, and an automatic 6-speed Direct Sequential Gearbox (DSG).
The base and 2.0T Eos are quick with their sophisticated, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine.
However, that's a rather small engine that calls for lots of shifting for the best performance during quick acceleration or when merging or passing with the 6-speed manual gearbox my test car had. Quick highway passing above 65 mph calls for one or two downshifts.
The Eos is fun to drive, being small and nimble. Steering is quick and communicative, and handling is good, although this is no sports car. Volkswagen convertibles always have been cruisers. The Eos ride thus is comfortable and braking is good, with a progressive acting pedal for smooth stops.
The midrange $29,990 2.0T adds heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power driver's seat, center console and even heated washer nozzles.
The top-line 3.2L adds the V6, an in-dash 6-disc CD/MP3 changer, steering wheel radio controls, satellite radio and the DSG transmission. The DSG also is offered for the 4-cylinder Eos, but raises its price to $31,065.
Option packages contain leather upholstery and a sport suspension for crisper handling. Also offered are larger wheels and tires.
The $28,680 Pontiac G6 GT convertible is the major competitor to the Eos. The GT6 has a retractable hardtop, but no sunroof. The Volvo C70 T5 also has a retractable hardtop, but also no sunroof. It costs a pricey $39,090.
One drawback: Nearly two feet of space must be left behind the Eos before lowering its top or top components will hit an object near the rear of the car. However, a $350 warning system beeps if the Eos is too close to an object behind it.
Small Cargo Area
The Eos is nearly rattle-free. Its sunroof gives it a sunny top-up interior, which is quiet but has a cramped back seat—like every Volkswagen convertible ever built. The attractive high quality cockpit has easily read gauges and user-friendly controls.
The Eos again shows that Volkswagen is capable of advanced engineering. The car's styling could be improved, but conservative Volkswagen never has been much of a styling leader.