By Danny Chang
- Surprisingly fast acceleration
- Revised styling is more sophisticated
- Refined interior & build quality
- Proportions are a bit awkward with the top up
- Automatic hardtop takes patience
- Small trunk space
The last time I even thought about a VW convertible was in high school drooling over the hot blonde cheerleader with a white ’87 Rabbit-based Cabriolet with a matching canvas top. So when my editor called about the Eos I was conflicted. It brought back some fun high school memories but I also had to decide whether I was man enough to drive a chick car. I’m glad I said yes. The Eos represents the top end of the VW convertible line-up, capping the range that will start with the new Beetle soft top and the upcoming Euro-only(for now) 2012 Golf Cabrio soft top. The new VW Eos Lux was fun to drive with the top up or down. Usually the mid-cycle model refresh is focused mostly on the innards with just minor exterior updates, but the 2012 VW Eos received a fairly significant face-lift, and it is all the better for it. Gone are the roundish headlights with the vertically-stretched chrome grille with matching round taillights, and in are the new VW corporate looks both on the front and back. The new design is more sophisticated and less cutesy than the original Eos. The 2.0 turbo four carries over mated to a 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic and Sport mode.
Frankly I was not ecstatic about driving the Eos. Playing with the folding hardtop, yes, but driving the FWD 4-banger was not that enticing to me. But I was pleasantly surprised. Drop the gearshift into Sport mode and floor the accelerator, and you’ll be redlining in no time and peeling out. Yes, I was actually burning rubber off the line in this subcompact FWD four-cylinder Eos.
The turbo helps with the boost but the 207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,800-5,000 RPM makes driving this Eos quite fun. The 200 HP comes at 5,100 RPM and passing cars on the freeway was a breeze. For its size, the Eos is pretty heavy thanks to its 5-piece folding hard top, and 0-60 is pegged at 7.3 seconds. But it feels faster than that. Torque steer is a typical problem with high-power FWD cars, but it’s not too noticeable in the Eos. Guess it doesn’t exactly qualify as “high-power.” But hey, you don’t buy the Eos for the performance. There are plenty of other performance drop tops like the Nissan 370Z or the BMW Z4.
Driving the Eos with the hardtop folded down was fun. Yes, it messes up your hair and no, the rear passengers get a lot of wind in their faces but it’s not that common these days to be able to share a convertible driving experience with 3 other passengers. I was actually able to fit a child seat in the back (after half an hour and lots of curse words) and took my toddler for a ride. He didn’t enjoy it as much as I did (too much wind) but I can’t do that in a Z4. The Eos also has a unique sunroof option that is very wide and you can tilt it or open it just like in a hardtop car.
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