When the 2015 model year comes to an end, the sun will set on the final Volkswagen Eos. The company has decided to euthanize the convertible coupe that has been on sale mostly untouched since 2006, but why?
|Engine: 2.0-liter Turbo 4 with 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 22/30/25 city/highway/combined
Price: Starts at $36,460 including delivery and up to $42,960.
The Eos was relatively popular in its heyday, but people just aren’t buying it the way they used to. For answers, you don’t need to look any farther than Volkswagen’s own lineup. It’s hard to ignore the Beetle Convertible if you’re after a stylish compact convertible coupe because it sells for a lower price and offers a recently revamped look and feel.
What Makes it Tick?
Should Volkswagen have shown the Eos the door while letting the Beetle move in on its territory? Let’s look at some of its merits for the answers.
Power for this small VW comes exclusively from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant that makes 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. With a 3508-lb curb weight, the Eos jumps to speed rather quickly. There is a slight delay before boost from the turbo kicks in, but a smooth rush of acceleration washes over the car when it hits. It doesn’t happen in a dramatic fashion, but before you know it you’re hitting highway speeds.
Torque steer is mitigated well in the car and the handling is also nicely balanced. The Eos treads the fine line between comfort and sporty dynamics well. It’s not deadly stiff with uncomfortably heavy steering, or pillow soft with a lifeless wheel. It sits right in the middle.
Two Forms of Freedom
But more than the way it drives, the convertible top is probably the biggest selling point for this car. The Eos’ biggest claim to fame is its sunroof that is incorporated into the hard top. It’s large enough to give you two options for open-air motoring. Budget 25 seconds to take the entire top from “up” to “down.”
Opened up, the Eos is somewhat of a charming car ideal for casual cruising. The soft friendly styling also lends itself to the feeling that this Volkswagen was built mainly for play, with practicality taking a back seat.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in the trunk. Just 6.6 cubic feet are available when the roof is open, while 10.5 cubic feet can be used while it’s closed. A large removable plastic frame is needed when the top is open, to protect the luggage from the convertible top. This bit makes the trunk space very hard to use. When it’s removed, the trunk is much more accommodating, but you give up the option of opening the roof.
In the back seats, 32.5 inches of legroom greets passengers. That is slightly more spacious than the Beetle Convertible, but a concession of over two inches compared to a Golf. There is usable space in the back of the Eos, but four person road trips aren’t the best idea if you value comfort.
Comfort and predictability are the name of the game when it comes to the front seats and interior. Our tester was fitted with a tan leather interior contrasted by black plastics on the dashboard. There is nothing particularly exciting about the insides of this car, though there is also nothing really negative about it. The navigation controls can be a little slow, but really that’s the only issue we uncovered. Quality is fantastic and everything about the Eos feels like it was put together carefully.
Our Eos Komfort model rang in at just over $36,460 including delivery and that’s probably its biggest weakness. If you’re just interested in a convertible, but not specifically the Eos, you can get into a Beetle Convertible for just over $25,000, while a fully loaded model tops out at just over $33,000. Similarly, the Mini Cooper convertible can be had for just about $26,000, while a sporty John Cooper Works Model will leave showrooms for around the same price as the base VW Eos. Any way you slice it, the Eos winds up looking expensive.
The Eos can be a lot of fun to drive and its versatile hardtop is a real plus. But that advantage comes with a huge price premium that we just can’t recommend. Having spent a week with the car, it’s obvious why people aren’t biting anymore and why VW is preparing to can the car.