There are a lot of things you can do in 30 seconds or less: heat up a cup of mid-morning coffee, leave a succinct voicemail for your mother, watch a commercial on your favorite sitcom -- the options abound. The folks at Volkswagen now have one more for that list: open the hard top roof of the 2012 Eos and let the sun shine in.
VW's two-door, convertible Eos coupe offers four seats, a 200-horsepower turbocharged motor and trunk space large enough for a weekend at the beach. The 2012 Eos is extensively revamped with exterior updates, trim upgrades and an all-new trim level, called Executive.
Exterior styling changes for the 2012 model year included a complete front-end revamp. The result is a sleek smirk of a grille; it is book-ended by slanted headlamps that feature VW/Audi's signature "dots," those little lights that sparkle like high-tech henna eye makeup. These two-part halogen reflector-lens fog lights have a "corner-illuminating" feature.
Fashion magazines tell us that the "matchy-matchy" look is back in style and Eos showcases that: a gloss-black, chrome-tipped grille is echoed in the deep, restyled air dam with horizontal blades in front, and the rear bumper has a lower black diffuser with chrome, dual-tipped exhausts.
The centerpiece of Eos is its folding hard top that includes a full-width, power-tilt-and-slide, panoramic glass sunroof. The combination is unique to the segment. VW describes the folding and unfolding of the hard top as "mechanical ballet."
The metal origami involved in the 25-second process is true motor-head beauty. Activated by a push-and-hold lever located under the center armrest, the sunroof sandwiches into the hard top lid, which in turn folds neatly into the trunk and sides of the vehicle. In less than the amount of time it takes to power up a MacBook Air, the coupe becomes a convertible.
Inside, Eos has a calming, Zen-like look and feel. Buttons and switches feel good under the fingers, and the technology features are nicely integrated into the dash, rather than looking tacked on. Standard is an eight-speaker touch screen sound system with HD radio, in-dash six-CD changer and iPod cable, as well as Bluetooth connectivity. All models come with dual-zone climate control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls.
Front seats include 12-way driver and 8-way passenger adjustments, and electric adjustability is available as an option to make getting in and out of the back seat of this two-seater a bit easier.
Eos is available in three trim levels. The entry-level Komfort starts at $34,350 and features dark gray plastic and chrome dash and accents, leather-wrapped brake lever handle and gearshift knob, wind blocker, cruise control, comfort heated front seats and faux leather upholstery.
Up a level, the Lux ($37,585) adds 17-inch Fontana alloy wheels, electrically foldable exterior side mirrors, keyless entry and push-button start, wood trim accents, intermittent windshield washer control with rain sensor, power front seats with lumbar support, leather seats, navigation system and park distance control.
A new addition to the 2012 line-up, the top-end Executive level ($39,585) has an even more sophisticated navigation system, Dynaudio premium sound system with 10-channel amp, 600 watts, HD radio, and 10-speakers.
All Eos models come with the 2.0-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder motor shared with others in the VW stable, including the Golf GTI. Making 200 horsepower and 207 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission engineered for shift speeds that help maximize gas mileage (EPA estimates are 30 mpg highway/22 mpg city). The tranny also includes Tiptronic for manual gear selection; all models have front-wheel drive.
A fully independent suspension, developed specifically for the convertible, gives Eos a responsive and tight road-feel. The Eos Executive model has a modified suspension with a lowered ride height and firmer springs and dampers for an even sportier ride. The turning radius is 35.8 feet, making this sporty model very maneuverable.
The 2012 Eos has front seat airbags including head/thorax side airbags, as well as Rollover Protection system for the rear seats. In collisions, or if severe lateral tilt or a rollover situation is detected, two spring-loaded aluminum posts deploy from behind the rear-seat head restraints in 0.25 seconds that support the integrity of the cockpit. -- Sue Mead, Motor Matters
2012 VOLKSWAGEN EOS
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 4-passenger subcompact FWD convertible coupe
BASE PRICE___________________ $34,350 (as tested: $35,120)
MOTOR TYPE__________________16-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 200 at 5100 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)________________ 207 at 1700 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed automatic
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 174.1 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb)___ 35.8 ft.
CURB WEIGHT__________________ 3,508 lbs.
FUEL CAPACITY_________________ 14.5 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING____________ 22 mpg city, 30 mpg highway