A new job had me driving 30 miles round trip every day in my '07 Odyssey Minivan (Which I reviewed on Epinions). I loved that vehicle, but as new empty nesters... driving an eight passenger van with a one person commute started to seem wasteful. I began my search for a replacement vehicle looking at Hybrids. The long term ownership & trade in value with an older Hybrid concerned me, due to the batteries, and winter operation in Canada was another possible risk... soI started looking at many high mileage gas engine choices instead. Somehow, and for me rather illogically, my shortlist boiled down to a choice between a Chrysler 200 hardtop convertible, and the VW EOS. I won't be writing this as a comparison between the two, as I never drove the 200. I went into a VW dealer... Saw the EOS on the showroom floor, I was hooked.
The huge part of driving this vehicle is open air convertible driving... So I'll start there. I am 6' tall and weigh somewhat north of 250. My first request was to put the roof up.. let's see if I fit... I did with room to spare. Many VW's have an option called a panoramic sunroof... It basically goes from roof rail to roof rail wide... All Eos' have this standard. It brightens the interior an tricks the eye in making everything appear roomier. It opens and tilts likea normal sunroof... a feature that surprised me on what is already a complex articulating top. The trunk lid is Fibreglass.. It opens both from the back like a normal trunk.. and from the front to accept the power hardtop. A push of a button (that has to be held during operation - for good reason - we have already caught a strap of a purse during the operation.. being able to stop the process instantly is important) and you have a mini Transformers movie ready to show off. The back 1/3 of the roof flips as the sunroof opens and the windows drop. That back 1/3 allows the trunk to flip backwards (you need two feet clearance from the rear and on some models back up sensors override the opening if not clear) and make room for the roof. Side panels flip and articulate adding to the Transformers effect.
The roof totally disappears into the trunk. The vehicle is totally finished in convertible driving mode. A nice stainless ring circles the area where the roof joins and hard quality plastic makes the smooth transition to the bodywork. Two headrests poke up from the rear ruining the totally flat effect.. but they are important as they have roll over protection in the event of an accident. Those head rests are immovable.
The vehicle looks very nice as a coupe. It has electric rear window defogger and is lined inside like a coupe,.
The trunk itself is small.. and gets smaller when rigged for convertible use. The top will not operate unless a hinged spacer is positioned that guarantees enough room for the top.. no Spacer .. no convertible. This spacer can be totally removed in winter driving. There is a handy ski pass through feature to the rear seats. You can pack two large suitcases with the spacer installed. Golf Clubs and Top Down driving is not going to work... With the spacer positioned up or removed you have more room... but any compact Corolla or Jetta is going to have much more space.
To lower wind noise.. there is a handy pop up wind breaker that comes out of the leading edge of the windshield. If you are travelling with just two. A nice wind screen is easy to install but eliminates the back seat from passengers. With windows up & wind screen up, the cockpit is very quiet.
The rest of the car has some very nice features. I have the base model. At night a press of the key fob has beautiful lights that light up the spaces under both doors. The headlights are awesome. I have the Bi-Xenon lights.. they self level and move with the direction of the car. On bright they shine for a mile. Cornering at low speeds also has nice cornering lights that provide even more light. The interior has VW Red & Blue.. My opinion they could lose the blue.. the red works quite well... A nice touch is that the headlight switch is always illuminated.. so at dusk it's easy to find. Visor mirrors both have lights. A favorite of mine is ambiant LED lights that give a glow that isn't distracting but gives you light at night in the cabin. The glove box has coolingability. There is a message center trip computer that shows mileage, speed, cruise speed, trip, and has a speed warning (for winter tire usage). The clock shows on radio & the dash
The engine is a gem. Combined with a dual clutch 6 speed automatic the 2.0 turbo has a lot of power. It may notwin drag night .. but you can pass, you can take hills, and not alarm your passengers. Some may be impressed.. but you really need to find the revs before you floor it.. Turbos are like that.. The engine ships with Synthetic oil.. Oil changes are every 15,000 KM and are costly... $100 minimum.
The seats are very comfortable. I have Leatherette. they are vented and VERY supportive. A five hour drive was a pleasure. The base seats are manual but offer height, tilt, lumbar, heat adjustment etc...
The Radio sounds very nice. loud and crisp even with the top down. AUX input, and MP3capability. I would have liked Bluetooth, NAV, ipod etc. But the technology package is very expensive $3000+. I can't imagine missing it.
Somepeeves.... VW's trunk locks on each close.. don't forget something .. you'll be digging the key fob from your pocket. To provide a seal the windows drop 1/2 inch each open & close. I hope it doesn't wear out the motor.. and I'm curious how icy winters will work. The Key Fob has the panic button on the side.. right where you grab it.. It is TOO easy to set off. The spare takes up floor space under the trunk... but the tools reside in the minimal trunk in a styrofoam box the size of a large box of chocolates.. there must have been a way to store this somewhere's else. The horn button is clumsy.. not allowing for a quick toot.. You get a full blast only. Cup holder space is tight. The passenger seat belt is prone to lock up frequently, causing discomfort. The seals that from the roof must be lubricated. The lubricant must be a Dupont product called Krytox GPL 105 or 205. Scuba divers use it for o-rings, it was developed for NASA. It is VERYexpensive.. $50 for two ounces. You must not use silicon acids etc etc on the seals. There are web pages after pages on using Krytox. (Also available form VW under it's own part number.)
I drove a 2007 to test drive initially. It had 68,000 km it was very tight and except for a worn seat bolster.. it was hard to tell from new. Resale put it's value at 2/3 of a new one.. very good value retention
Amount Paid (US$):
NewModel and Options:
2011 Volkswagen EOS Sport