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Volkswagen Eos

The perfect wheels for worshipping the sun.

The Eos might not be an enthusiast’s dream, but it’s a solid value if you’re in the market for a convertible with a real back seat. The base model undercuts the price of several other four-seat, retractable-hardtop convertibles while delivering an excellent open-air experience. Riding on the same versatile platform that underpins VW’s other compact offerings, the Eos handles well and rides with a pleasant suppleness, and engineers were able to keep the loss of structural rigidity to a minimum. But it’s the engine — a refined and energetic turbo four-cylinder — that gives the Eos its star quality. Volkswagen’s six-speed dual-clutch transmission is a sporty, engaging alternative to a conventional automatic. Inside, the Eos boasts a level of refinement that transcends its price; the cabin far surpasses that of the Chrysler 200 convertible in terms of fit and finish. The five-piece glass-and-steel roof lowers in twenty-five seconds with the push of a button. If you’re in the mood for a bit less wind and sun, this Volkswagen can manage that, too. All Eos models come with a sunroof that tilts and slides open. At 44 inches wide, the sunroof is larger than those in most fixed-roof cars. Cargo space is generous with the top up, but top-down weekend trips with four people will require packing lightly, as trunk space shrinks significantly with the top stowed.

COMPETITORS

BMW 1-series

Chrysler 200

Lexus IS250C

Volvo C70

new for 2013

Last year saw a mild cosmetic and mechanical update for the Eos, so 2013 is a quiet year for the hardtop convertible. There’s a new Sport trim with eighteen-inch wheels, a lowered sport suspension, swiveling xenon headlights, paddle shifters, and a rear spoiler. Lux and Executive models get the adaptive headlights along with a bold, new interior color, Atlantic blue.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Standard are ABS, front and side air bags, tire-pressure monitoring, and traction and stability control. In the event of a collision or rollover, two spring-loaded aluminum posts deploy from behind the rear-seat head restraints in a quarter of a second to help protect rear passengers.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 22

HWY 30

PRO

Torquey engine

Spacious rear seats

Folding hard top has a sunroof

CON

Shouldn’t a convertible look sexier?

Minimal trunk space

Base Price Range: $35,175–$41,770

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: Komfort, Sport, Lux, Executive

BODY STYLE: Convertible, 4-passenger

ENGINE: 2.0L turbo I-4, 200 hp, 207 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed dual-clutch automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 77.4 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (top up/down) 10.5/6.6 cu ft

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