KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 6/23/2011
While many people reminisce fondly about their first convertibles, few seem to remember the nightmares of those folding canvas tops. From leaking water, to the horrifically loud wind noise, to the ease with which thieves could enter the car, a cloth top was simply impractical. Volkswagen has found a solution to this dilemma, creating a folding hard top (with a built in sunroof, no less) and attaching it to a sporty, comfortable four-seater priced well within reach of the average working man and woman. The 2012 Volkswagen Eos is no Miata, but it is a fun, safe and quiet way to enjoy open-air driving without the hassles once associated with the old-fashioned soft-top convertible.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a comfortable and fuel-efficient daily driver that can also be a blast to drive on the weekends (or whenever the sun comes out), you'll find much to like in the 2012 Volkswagen Eos.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While attractive, the Eos lacks the athletic looks found on more sport-oriented convertibles, and its retractable hard top takes up space in both the rear-seat area and the trunk.
What's Significant About This Car?
The 2012 Volkswagen Eos receives a major make-over, sporting a new grille, headlamps and taillights. New features include a six-speed DSG automatic transmission, leather-wrapped steering wheel, HD Radio, Keyless entry and start and remote top operation on Lux and Executive trims.
Displaying ride and handling characteristics that approach some of the best fixed-roof coupes we've tested, the 2012 Volkswagen Eos qualifies as one of the sturdiest four-seat convertibles on the market. The 2.0-liter turbo in our Eos proved so smooth and powerful that on more than one occasion we were shocked to look down and see our six-speed automatic cruising along without complaint in just fourth gear. The Eos' rigid chassis and adept suspension made short work out of the twisting mountain roads of Southern California and, on our return trip, provided the most comfortable highway driving experience of any small Volkswagen. Thanks in part the tall front deflector that can be manually deployed from the windshield's edge, wind buffeting in the passenger cabin is kept to a minimum.
Dynaudio Sound System
The available 10-speaker, 600-watt audio system produces a full, natural sound that's among the best we've heard.
The Eos' handling characteristics make it easy to utilize and appreciate VW's quick- and smooth-shifting dual-clutch transmission.
The 2012 Volkswagen Eos' interior is more intelligently designed and better assembled than cars we've driven costing twice as much. Further bolstering the Eos' near-luxury car status are such interesting features as an adjustable, cooled glove box and dual-zone climate control that maintains separate settings for top-up and top-down driving. The Lux and Executive trim's premium leather seating and 12-way power-adjustable front seats (including four-way power-adjustable lumbar) are supremely comfortable and the new touch-screen audio head unit is among the most intuitive we've tested. As it has to accommodate much of the retractable top's mechanicals, the Eos' rear seat is understandably narrow and not much use for grown adults. With the top in place, the Eos offers a modest 10.5 cubic feet of trunk space, but once the top is retracted – a feat that takes a mere 25 seconds – that space shrinks to just 6.6 cubic feet.
The front of the 2012 Volkswagen Eos is dominated by Volkswagen's new three-bar horizontal grille featuring black plastic louvers flanking expanded cat's-eye headlamps. Although, when viewed from the side, the Eos could easily be mistaken for hardtop coupe, a handful of cut lines give away its true identity. Along with new LED taillights, the 2012 Eos is covered in more vivid paint choices and rides atop newly-designed wheels (17-inch on Komfort and Lux trims, 18-inch on the Executive trim.) Integrated side-mirror turn signals give the Eos a premium-car appearance, as do the chrome dual exhaust outlets and large black-glass sunroof built into the three-piece retractable hardtop. Safety features above and beyond the obligatory airbags include available swiveling bi-xenon headlamps and an active roll bar that, in the event of a potential roll-over situation, pops up from behind the rear-seat head restraints.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2012 Volkswagen Eos comes equipped with electronically-controlled air conditioning, six-speed DSG automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, power windows/locks/mirrors, 12-way power-adjustable front driver's seat with four-way power lumbar, heated front leatherette seats (dubbed V-Tex), Bluetooth connectivity and the Premium touch-screen HD radio with CD player, auxiliary audio input jack, iPod integration and eight speakers. Standard safety equipment includes electronic stability control, front airbags and combination head/thorax side airbags. Lux and Executive models add power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming interior mirror, rain-sensing wipers, Park Distance Control, 12-way power passenger seat with four-way power lumbar support and leather seating surfaces. The Executive trim features a sport suspension, 600-watt Dynaudio upgrade and navigation radio.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options are few and specific to each trim. Lux and Executive owners can opt for the Technology package that adds bi-xenon swiveling headlamps, headlamp washers and color multifunction display, while all trims can be fitted with larger wheels, a rear lip spoiler and all-weather floor mats.
Under the Hood
The Eos' 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and DSG transmission comprise one of the most highly-regarded powertrains on the road. With FSI direct fuel injection mitigating turbo lag, the engine is unusually responsive. The innovative DSG transmission functions as a no-touch automatic in traffic and a quick-shifting, no-pedal manual when you're feeling more enthusiastic.)
2.0-liter in-line 4, turbocharged
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (automatic)
The 2012 Volkswagen Eos' Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts close to $35,000, jumps to around $38,000 for the nicely-equipped Lux and tops out around $42,000 for a loaded Executive. Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price reflects real-world transaction prices close to these sticker prices. The Volvo C70 is the Eos' most kindred competitor in spirit, but it starts over $40,000 and, fully equipped, can approach $50,000. Smaller and less expensive is the Mazda Miata MX-5 Hardtop, with the only other four-passenger hardtop in this price range being the Chrysler 200 Convertible. In terms of resale value, we expect the Eos to perform nominally on par with the C70 and MX-5 Miata and much better than the 200 Convertible.