2016 Volkswagen Eos Review
Pros & Cons
- Innovative retractable hardtop with integrated sunroof
- solid interior quality
- efficient engine
- ample feature content.
- Tight backseat
- built for comfort, not speed
- dated touchscreen interface is slow to respond.
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2016 Volkswagen Eos deserves more consideration than it gets. With the features and build quality of more expensive luxury convertibles, the VW Eos is a smart choice for drop-top sun seekers, if in limited quantities.
Rumors of its demise have been exaggerated, but only by a year. Production ended in November, so the 2016 Volkswagen Eos is the swan song of this German compact hardtop convertible. Though not exceedingly popular, the Eos occupies a niche as one of a few inexpensive hardtop convertibles on the market, and the only one with four seats. Further, its attractive and pleasantly upholstered interior provides a near-luxury experience without the matching price tag.
The 2016 Volkswagen Eos is the only inexpensive hardtop convertible with seating for four.
The Eos offers a compelling package to the right buyer. Its retractable hardtop isolates and secures the interior more strongly than a conventional soft top. What's more, the Eos' trick top features a sunroof, so you can dip your toes in the outside weather before jumping in. On the other hand, the hardtop is heavier than a soft top, which somewhat numbs the 200 horsepower from the turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The drivetrain remains enjoyable nevertheless, thanks in part to its quick-shifting automated manual transmission.
When the Eos sells out, those looking for a similar convertible at this price won't find much. The closest match is the new Buick Cascada, which is similar in many respects but has a traditional soft top. The popular Mazda Miata will provide more driving enjoyment but fewer seats, while the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro convertibles offer bolder styling and more engine choices. The Mini Cooper and Volkswagen's own Beetle convertible have near-premium interiors with heavy doses of personality. But if it's the hardtop you really need, the Volkswagen Eos is your choice.
2016 Volkswagen Eos models
The 2016 Volkswagen Eos is a four-passenger convertible with a retractable hardtop roof. The sole trim level is called Komfort.
Although the Eos interior is of high quality, VW doesn't offer many of its latest tech features here.
Komfort trim comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors and windshield washer nozzles, a sunroof built into the folding roof and a rear wind blocker for top-down driving, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette (vinyl) upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with four-way power-adjustable lumbar support), heated front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, and Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Also standard is an eight-speaker sound system with a touchscreen interface, navigation, a six-CD changer, satellite radio, an iPod adapter cable, an auxiliary audio jack and Car-Net telematics.
Performance & mpg
The front-wheel-drive 2016 VW Eos is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automated manual transmission (DSG in VW parlance) provides the convenience of a conventional automatic transmission while giving manual-shift control to drivers who want it.
The 2016 Volkswagen Eos comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, pop-up rollover bars and front side airbags that extend upward for head protection. Standard on all Eos models, VW's Car-Net telematics system includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.
In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the VW Eos earned a top rating of "Good" for both the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. It also earned a Good rating for its seat/head restraint design in the Institute's rear-impact testing.
Although the 2016 VW Eos' turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is smooth and strong enough to motivate the convertible with satisfactory speed, the retractable hardtop and its associated mechanicals aren't light, so acceleration leans more toward relaxed than urgent. You'll get that same impression from the car's handling and braking abilities, too. Nevertheless, the Eos remains a right-size convertible with just enough performance to keep things breezy and fun.
Inside, the 2016 Volkswagen Eos is most notable for its transformative abilities: Functionally, it can be a hardtop coupe with seating for four in one moment and, at the push of a button, become a full-blown convertible in the next. For full sun exposure, the top retracts in 25 seconds (it requires 16 inches of clearance behind the rear bumper to operate; rear sensors sound if you don't have enough room). With the windows up, there's a wonderful lack of wind buffeting inside the Eos, even at highway speeds, making it easy to listen to the sound system or converse at normal volumes.
It takes 25 seconds to lower the Eos' roof, a pretty long time for any convertible.
Open or enclosed, the cabin features high-quality materials and excellent overall fit and finish. Our only real quibble has to do with the electronics. The touchscreen interface works pretty well from an audio standpoint (the iPod interface is particularly well designed), but navigation functionality is hampered by the screen's small size. Further, if you're looking for blind-spot warning or forward-collision alert systems, you won't find them here.
The front seats are wide, comfortable enough and attractively upholstered, even with the vinyl (leatherette). Although the backseat is suitable for kids, adults will feel cramped, as the convertible top mechanism impinges on both passenger and trunk space. The trunk offers just 6.6 cubic feet of luggage space if you have the top down and a still-skimpy 10.5 cubic feet with the top up.