What's New for 2007
The 2007 VW Eos is an all-new four-seat convertible with a retractable hardtop.
Noting the rise in popularity of premium convertibles, particularly those of the hardtop variety, Volkswagen saw an opening in its lineup for a new drop top. The 2007 Volkswagen Eos has seating for four, a sophisticated hardtop design and slightly racier styling than the rest of the VW family. With a base price under $30,000, the Eos is noticeably less expensive than any of the true luxury convertibles, yet promises greater refinement and luxury than most competitors in its price range.
The Eos hardtop convertible is based on a shortened version of the platform used for the Passat. It employs what Volkswagen calls a CSC (coupe-sunroof-convertible) structure, which refers to the exceptionally large power sunroof that's built into its retractable roof. On days that are too cool for the full top-down experience, the sunroof imparts an open-air feel to the VW Eos cockpit, whether you slide it open or simply enjoy the sunlight coming through the glass. Volkswagen offers two engines in the 2007 Eos -- a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and a 3.2-liter V6 good for 250 hp. Acceleration is suitably quick with the turbo four (known as the 2.0T), making it a better bet than the pricey V6. Driving an Eos is not about going fast anyway. Soft suspension tuning, even on Sport Package-equipped models, keeps it from being a sharp handler. It's not intended for hard-core driving enthusiasts, but it will undoubtedly please those looking for a comfortable convertible that's still capable on back roads. The Eos' beautifully finished cockpit will also earn its share of admirers, and although that backseat is a snug for adults, a pair of children will be content back here.
Equipped with the 2.0T, the 2007 Volkswagen Eos offers stiff competition for convertibles like the Ford Mustang, Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, Pontiac G6, Toyota Camry Solara and Volvo C70. The Mustang and Eclipse offer considerably more in the way of straight-line performance, but fall short in refinement and rear-seat space. The Pontiac also has a retractable hardtop design, but its execution is nowhere near as polished as the VW's. The roomy Toyota is the safe choice in this group, but then you're missing out on the hardtop experience. That leaves the stylish Volvo as the VW's chief rival: Their personalities and capabilities are closely matched, but the Eos has a big price advantage. With the V6, though, the VW Eos is harder to justify, as its price tag closes in on the Volvo's, not to mention the offerings from Audi, BMW and Saab.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A four-seat hardtop convertible, the 2007 Volkswagen Eos comes in three trim levels: base, 2.0T and 3.2L. No options are available on the base Eos, but it comes well-equipped with such features as 16-inch alloy wheels, leatherette upholstery, a telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack, power windows and heated exterior mirrors. The VW Eos 2.0T adds a power driver seat, front seat heaters, dual-zone automatic climate control and a trip computer, and is eligible for a full list of options. In addition to a V6 engine, the Eos 3.2L offers 17-inch wheels, leather upholstery, real wood interior accents, a power passenger seat, an in-dash CD changer, satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Eos 2.0T buyers can pick up leather upholstery by opting for the Sport Package, which also provides a sport-tuned suspension and 17-inch wheels. On the 3.2L model, the Sport Package includes only the suspension upgrades, along with 18-inch wheels. Options available on both cars include a navigation system, a 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system and a dedicated Apple iPod integration kit. Front and rear parking sensors are also available on both, but on the Eos 3.2L they're part of the Technology Package, which also includes adaptive bi-xenon headlights.
Powertrains and Performance
Base and 2.0T models come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine that uses direct injection. Horsepower comes in at 200, while torque stands at 207 pound-feet. The Eos 3.2L is equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 rated for 250 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on base and 2.0T models. Optional on the 2.0T and standard on the 3.2L is VW's Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) transmission, an electronically controlled manual transmission that functions like a conventional automatic when left in its "D" setting. However, it also does a convincing impression of a regular manual, executing quick shifts when the driver tugs on its steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
Every 2007 Volkswagen Eos comes with antilock disc brakes, stability control and side airbags designed to protect both the head and torso of front occupants.
Interior Design and Special Features
The number-one reason for buying a 2007 VW Eos is its innovative retractable hardtop, which incorporates a large power sunroof. This increases the functionality of the Eos, as the panoramic glass panel fills the cockpit with light on days that are too cold for top-down motoring. You can also slide the panel open to let in some of the breeze. Lowering the hardtop completely is a 25-second operation, and while you don't need a lot of height clearance to operate the top, you need at least 16 inches behind the car. Rear sensors warn you if you don't have enough room.
Once al fresco, the Eos does a good job of protecting its occupants from wind gusts. Cockpit materials are top-grade and the ensemble is as tightly constructed as it is attractive. Ergonomics are solid, too, but there isn't much in the way of in-cabin storage. Cargo space is compromised by the retractable hardtop, but Volkswagen provides a divider to demarcate the 5.4 cubic feet of available space once the top is down. With the top up, there are 9.3 cubes of trunk space.
Volkswagen engineered the Eos to be a relaxed touring convertible rather than a sports car, a personality that comes through as soon as you get behind the wheel. Its steering is quick and its handling is capable, but even when equipped with the optional sport suspension, the Eos doesn't inspire its driver on twisty back roads. Ride quality is comfortable and composed for the most part, though you might hear the stowed retractable roof rattle when you hit a sharp bump. With its broad torque band, the turbo four provides ample motivation for the hefty 2007 Volkswagen Eos; the 0-60-mph run takes 7.8 seconds with the manual transmission. The 3.2-liter V6 delivers brisker acceleration for those who want it, but you have to balance this performance gain against the high cost of admission.