It is likely you know a lady who is smart, very clever, and well-dressed enough which it isn’t readily apparent she actually is carrying around more weight than you first might believe. She really opens herself up when she escapes in warm climates, and is otherwise buttoned down and conservative. Only when she is outside of the normal nine-to-five and she attempts to really move do you really notice see just how much weight she actually is carrying, as she jiggles and shakes- and you might not be impressed. Without further ado, may I tell you about Eos.
The Portuguese-built Eos is based on Volkswagen’s A5 platform, which also underpins the Mk V Golf, as well as not-for-the-USA Volkswagen Scirocco, and SEAT Leon. The vehicle shares its wheelbase together with the Golf- a fact which is apparent from the Eos’ immense rear overhang, grafted on the car to facilitate storage of its folding hardtop. Launched in late 2006 in the US, the Eos received a modest restyling for MY2012 to fit contemporary Jetta and Passat styling; to my eyes the waterfall grill that the Eos launched is a lot more attractive in comparison to the very businesslike, horizontal styling currently employed up front.
For 2014, Volkswagen offers the Eos in three trim levels: Komfort, Sport, and Executive. The midlevel Eos Sport is the model tested here; it is equipped with a smart key system allowing keyless access and pushbutton start. With all the key inside my pocket, putting my hand on the exterior door handle caused the front window to index downward in anticipation of my opening the door. Sitting down, I’m greeted with a somber interior employing black leatherette seating, black carpets, black dash and door materials, even a black headliner.
I was surprised to find the $37,925 2014 Volkswagen Eos Sport ($38,360 with the $865 destination fee) possessed a decidedly non-premium equipment level. The Eos Sport has low-resolution navigation/infotainment display, non-premium sound system, vinyl/leatherette upholstery, no automatic lamps, no parking sensor or reversing camera. Getting especially low marks was the sound system, which distorted music at high volumes, and had very little depth, meaning that turning up the music louder appeared to create just noise rather than sound. For a car this expensive, I would expect that it is better equipped. However, the Eos Sport did have a few upscale features, such as automatic dual zone climate control, keyless entry/start, bi-xenon headlamps with steering feature and cornering lamps, and a navigation system (albeit one with a low-resolution display).
The interior is upholstered in an average-grade leatherette which is familiar to owners of late-model Volkswagens. The seats themselves are firm, with little bolstering, and headrests which seemed permanently canted a bit past the boundary forward. Seat belts for the front seats are anchored to the B-pillars (rather than the seats themselves, like some convertibles). Volkswagen has sewn loops to the outboard top corners of the front seats for positioning the seat belts in more convenient locations – but the loops have a single snap to fasten them closed, as well as the motion of pulling the seatbelt out of the retractor and through this snap-secured loop tended to unsnap the loop. After two days of continually re-snapping the seatbelt from the loop to help keep the belt in position, I finally gave up on it. The driver’s front seat has power adjustments for height, and slide, and also for backrest angle and lumbar support. The top seats are heated, and the hottest from the three seat heater settings could be labelled “Fry”- this can come in handy when motoring alfresco on cold days.
From the driver’s seat, the position and layout of the instrument and dashboard panel seemed strange; the entire dashboard seemed to be situated unnaturally high, with the dash an odd flat shape and also the instruments oddly positioned; ergonomically it didn’t work well for me personally. Much of this really is likely due to reinforcing framing in the Eos body. Still, instruments were clear and easy to read, and controls were straightforward to learn and use.
The back seat was used only by my five- and eight-year-old daughters within their booster seats. The shape of the rear seat bottom cushions is such that the booster seats didn’t quite sit flat, and they naturally slid toward the center of the car so that the seatbelt latches were obstructed from the booster seats. The Eos has a 2 2 configuration, with rear seats in the outboard positions, and a small plastic console with molded-in cupholders between them. Rear headroom was fine for the girls, but was not sufficient for me together with the top closed. Legroom behind my 6’4” frame was nearly nonexistent. Rear seats are accessed by tilting and sliding the front side seats forward; the slide mechanism about the driver’s seat is electric, while it is a mechanical function on the passenger side.
Out back, the trunk is massive – when the folding roof is closed. The larger clamshell decklid hinges open in a way that allows very easy accessibility luggage compartment. There is a divider in the trunk which should be lowered (and all of luggage placed below it) for opening the roof. When that compartment is latched in its upper position, trunk space falls from 10.5 to 6.6 cubic feet. Unlike Volvo’s retractable hardtop C70, there may be not a method of raising raising the stowed roof slightly for easier access to luggage. When closing the trunk lid, an electrical motor cinches is closed the final few millimeters once it has been latched.
As I discovered, this final few millimeters of trunk cinching is carried out to ensure the decklid is fully closed, having a closure proximity sensor in the trunk latch assembly which is required to indicate full trunk closure to facilitate operation of the convertible top. During my week with the Eos, the trim piece which covers the trunk latch (and that holds the proximity sensor into position) came loose, causing a mistake message on the info display admonishing me to close the already-closed trunk when I made an effort to lower the very best – and again as i attempted to boost the top. After I identified the problem since this loose trim piece, I didn’t retract the top again. This wasn’t a hardship as I was testing the vehicle on a rainy November week in Washington and Oregon states.
From behind the wheel, the driving characteristics are those of a boulevardier rather than a sporty coupe. The six-speed DSG transmission generally seems to start in second gear when slowly launching from a standstill. Flooring a busy schedule pedal causes the gearbox to drop down to first gear, at which point the front side tires don’t have enough traction cope with the torque of your 2. liter turbocharged four’s 200 HP and the copious amount of weight the Eos carries around. On wet pavement, the top tires happily spin upon acceleration, even inducing shuddering wheel hop. In a likely bid to counter that behavior along with improve fuel economy, the Eos’ DSG transmission upshifts very quickly unless is Sport or manual shifting mode. When underway, the Eos’ weight also makes itself apparent when braking, since the car just didn’t manage to slow down as quickly as expected from a given speed. While visibility out the back wasn’t great for maneuvering in parking lots, the Eos’ incredibly tight turning radius made it easy to negotiate tight spaces.
Once in motion, the Eos mostly maintains composure when driven inside an even, consistent manner. It doesn’t do a lot of shaking or rattling (at least not with the top up). If driven aggressively, though, the composure quickly unravels. The Eos is quick to spin front tires and understeer, our bodies rolls, and all of the extra weight associated with the folding hardtop body and mechanism stiffening reinforcements make themselves felt.
While many areas of the Eos failed to impress me, I had been totally impressed by the roof. The retractable hardtop has a large integrated glass sunroof which could tilt on the rear to vent, and from that position can motor open. The sun shining in through the sunroof could be blocked by way of a shade that suits the headliner, which completely retracts in to the rear roof section when you want light in a vehicle. A wind deflector is build into the windshield header and can be utilized when the sunroof or convertible top is open.
Retracting the hardtop starts by opening the sunroof as described above, followed by the back decklid opening at the base of the C-pillar. The sunroof, rear roof section, and rear windshield all nestle to the trunk, along with the roof side rails (which stretch from the top of the A-pillar to the very top of the C-pillar) motor their way into surprisingly long storage compartments which stretch in the trunk up to the trailing edge of the leading door openings- those long storage compartments explain why your back seat is very narrow. With all of that hardware stowed, the back decklid motors back in place, and the cabrio is ready to roll. Operation of your top is quick, around 25 seconds; with the top down you will discover a noticeable lowering of rigidity, and a noticeable shift in weight distribution toward the rear of the car.
The EPA rates the Volkswagen Eos at 22/30/25 MPG city/highway/combined. On a 200 mile trip from Seattle to Portland at an average speed of 52 MPH, I saw an average usage of 28.9 MPG as indicated through the trip computer. Over my entire week and 630 miles using the Eos, consumption was 26.9 MPG, with an average speed of 34.9 MPH.
As I didn’t find Eos being perfect, she is well-engineered and nicely put together. You’ll make sure to enjoy her company while you both have the time for a relaxed drive inside the sunshine – and she’ll keep you warm and dry in poorer weather., though she may not be in the element when when hurrying through tight corners