KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/24/2012
The dream of owning a convertible versus the reality of owning a convertible is often as far removed from one another as red states are from blue. Leaks, wind noise and the lack of security are the major headaches, which is why VW created its 2013 Eos convertible with a retractable hardtop. The design offers all the safety and security of a fixed roof – with a built-in sunroof no less – in a fully automated design that stows beneath a solid cover for a clean, uncluttered look. With room for four, the Eos has a leg up on the popular Mazda Miata. And, although it can't deliver the same type of driving experience as the Miata, the Eos is still a VW meaning it has a healthy dose of fun-to-drive attitude.
You'll Like This Car If...
If the perfect collection for you would include a small, agile convertible, a car big enough for four, a fuel-efficient car and a car that pampers you with luxury and style, but you have room in your garage for only one vehicle, make it the 2013 Volkswagen Eos.
You May Not Like This Car If...
While we find the 2013 VW Eos convertible attractive, it does lacks the athletic looks found on more sport-oriented convertibles, and its retractable hardtop takes up space in both the rear-seat area and the trunk.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Volkswagen Eos convertible gains a new Sport trim that includes all the features found in the Komfort trim and adds 18-inch wheels, a lowered sport suspension, a rear spoiler, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifter and adaptive bi-xenon headlights.
Displaying ride and handling characteristics that approach some of the best fixed-roof coupes we've tested, the 2013 Volkswagen Eos qualifies as one of the sturdiest 4-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 6-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 to 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 interior of the 2013 VW Eos is more intelligently designed and better assembled than cars we've driven costing twice as much. The Lux and Executive trims' premium leather seating and 12-way power-adjustable front seats (including 4-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.
Although, when viewed from the side, the Eos could easily be mistaken for a hardtop coupe, a handful of cut-lines gives away its true identity. Along with new LED taillights, the 2013 Eos is covered in more vivid paint choices and rides atop 17- and 18-inch wheels. 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 3-piece retractable hardtop. Safety features above and beyond the obligatory airbags include available swiveling bi-xenon headlights and an active rollbar that, in the event of a potential roll-over situation, pops up from behind the rear-seat head restraints.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2013 Volkswagen Eos comes equipped with electronically controlled air conditioning, 6-speed DSG automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, power windows/locks/mirrors, 12-way power-adjustable front driver's seat with 4-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.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options for 2013 are few and built into the standard features specific to each trim. Lux and Executive models add power-folding and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming interior mirror, a sport suspension, rain-sensing wipers, Park Distance Control, 12-way power passenger seat with 4-way power lumbar support, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and leather seating surfaces. The Executive trim features a 600-watt Dynaudio upgrade and navigation radio. All trims can be fitted with larger wheels, a rear lip spoiler and all-weather floor mats.
Under the Hood
The 2013 VW 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 turbocharged inline-4
200 horsepower @ 5,100-6,000 rpm
207 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg
The 2013 Volkswagen Eos Komfort's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts close to $35,000, jumps to around $38,000 for the nicely equipped Sport or Lux model, 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 4-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.