The Volkswagen Eos: What Took So Long?!

I’ve wondered for at least ten years now why Volkswagen never made a Jetta-like car with a retractable or convertible top. I owned a 1999 Jetta VR6 once which I loved but ended up moving up to a Saab 9-3 because I just love convertibles. I really only had five requirements which led me to the Saab:

  1. Manual transmission
  2. Usable back seats
  3. Under $40,000
  4. Probably not American
  5. At least *reasonably* masculine

Volkswagen seemed like the perfect company to build a car like this but the only ragtops they had in production at the time violated the last requirement: The Cabriolet and The Beetle.

A few days ago, I happened to be driving by a VW dealer and saw what looked a little like some sort of Jetta convertible. Holy crap! A quick check online revealed that this new car is the Volkswagen Eos. And it’s not just a convertible! It’s a retractable hardtop!

Starting at $28,000, this is the car I would be buying right now if I drove more than 30 miles a week and was in the market for a car. It’s fast but not too fast. High-end but not so expensive that you’d worry about a door ding here and there. And how can you not love the retractable hard top? I haven’t even driven one yet but if it drives like a typical Volkswagen, it’s probably money on the road.

UPDATE: Apparently, this thing has a power sunroof too. I’ve never seen that in a convertible or retractable hardtop before. It’s also reportedly the top-selling convertible in Europe right now.

45 comments on “The Volkswagen Eos: What Took So Long?!”. Leave your own?
  1. OK, Mike, I have to ask. On #4 ‘Probably not American’…

    Is that really a requirement for you? I could see having a requirement for ‘stylish’ or ‘High quality’ or other real or perceived shortcoming of Detroit products, but surely the fact that it was American was a showstopper for you, was it?

  2. Daniel David says:

    I drive an Audi A4 and have been extremely impressed with the quality, ride, and service.

    Volkswagen is such a large global marque, I don’t think many people realize how many brands they oversee (Audi, VW, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda). Porsche is not under the VW marque, but they do share a few members on each of their boards of directors.

    Anyway, sorry for the lesson but all VW marque cars are excellent and the EOS will be extremely successful, I’m sure.

  3. Mike D. says:

    Wynn: That is a fair question. What it comes down to for me is a longstanding bias against American cars which may or may not be warranted in this day and age. I grew up in the 80s when the only really reliable cars you could buy were Japanese ones. My parents drove Toyotas and Hondas and I was pretty much raised to think along the same lines. Even European cars weren’t great back then. I eventually got over my preference for Japanese cars when I bought the Jetta and have stayed European since then.

    I don’t know what it is about American cars but for some reason, they just don’t feel as nice to me. Granted, with all of the American/European partnerships these days, that gap is shrinking. For instance, I don’t like the newest Saabs (GM) as much as the older ones. I do know that I loved driving that Jetta more than any other car I’ve owned though so that’s why the Eos is so interesting to me.

  4. Bradley says:

    Mike, I can sympathize with the upbringing. And I still drive foreign cars. Reliable, safer, hold their value. Period.

    It’s just a decision folks. And it’s not like all my money is going out of the country and putting some guy out of work… the Honda I drive most of the time was made in Marysville, Ohio, just a little more than an hour from me.

    My family has owned a few Crysler/Plymouth/Dodge vans over time, so it’s cool. But every time I get into a Taurus or something, it just feels cheap to me. It’s like all the standard items on a new Honda were addons that the buyer opted-out on. :(

    The thing that still lingers in my mind about Audi, VW, Saab, and other European-American cars is that they are unreliable. Audi for one, makes an exceptional vehicle and I’ve always wanted one, but man do they get poor reliability ratings!

    For many people, VW’s history isn’t a problem because they are enthusiasts and know their cars inside and out. If something ever broke, they would fix it themselves. At least that is my experience with most loyal VW buyers.

    I dunno… reliability concerns set aside, that Eos really looks sharp.

    Mike, have any pictures of your old cars?

  5. I had a chance to get inside one of these a few weeks back, and it made me sad we were looking for a ride for my wife (and just arrived baby) and not myself. Okay, so it wasn’t that bad. I’m not THAT selfish.

    But I was ready to trade in my 2005 Jetta GLI on the spot. Rach traded her Beetle for an LR3, so she’ll be just fine.

    But in case you needed more VW to lust after, I will most certainly be justifying the $17K to buy a Volkswagen GX3 NEXT summer.

    Add that to the Highway 1 Eos design study and the new Scirocco concept, and it looks like VW is driving some hits these days.

  6. Jemaleddin says:

    Mike, I understand your desire for quality and reliability, but that shouldn’t actually encourage purchasing a european car. On average, beemers, mercs and VWs (to include their sub-brands) are less reliable than even American cars. Consumer Reports shows that you’ll likely have the same number of problems while driving an 8-year-old Toyota, A 4-year-old Ford and a 3-year-old VW.

    That said, the EOS looks like a great car – but don’t expect it to be as reliable as a Honda or a Toyota (or even a Hyundai or Ford). Reliability certainly shouldn’t be your only factor in choosing a car, but if it’s one of them, you should at least know what’s reliable and what isn’t.

  7. Melissa says:

    After 12 years of BMW’s for a daily vehicle I just got a new Jetta last week and I am loving it. I had a VW about 15 years ago, a zippy GTI rabbit, and am so glad I am back in the VW family.

    We have had a lot of the american cars and trucks but have never purchased a Japanese. I just can’t do it. I know the quality is there but it is either German or American for me.

    I have ’69 2002 BMW that is the best handling and dependable car but as a daily ride quite impractical. Sunny dry days are the requirements to go out in that. Everyone seems to have a story or had one and loves to share it. I know I am tempting my fate sometimes when side-by-side a SUV, if I get hit that’s it.

    – melissa

  8. …But Mike, there’s one problem, a big one… it’s still a VW :-| Jemaleddin pretty much summed it up, a couple of posts above me.

  9. Mike D. says:

    See but I *like* Volkswagens, Grayson. I will agree that they are not quite as reliable as Japanese cars (no car is), but the price/quality/style mix suits me pretty well. I just don’t drive enough to spend over $40,000 on a car, and I think VW makes some of the best sub-40k cars out there.

  10. nick says:

    Do NOT buy a VW. Any VW. Witness my own personal horror. This was a main reason why I just bought an Acura TSX instead of another VW or European car. From here on out it is Toyotas or Hondas for me.

  11. Lauren says:

    Retractable hardtop = Kiss your trunk space goodbye.

  12. Nuno says:

    This car is built in Portugal, but I’m sure here it will cost above $40K. Our car taxes are very, very high, one of the highest of all Europe.

  13. Tim Wouters says:


    The thing that still lingers in my mind about Audi, VW, Saab, and other European-American cars is that they are unreliable.

    I don’t know where you get your information, but here in Europe both VW and Audi are at the very top of the leasing market. Companies love them for their reliability on the road, with a low fuel consumption rate to boot.

  14. hi Mike

    Surely one of the best things about a European or Japanese car is fuel consumption. American cars are notorious for their low mpg. My Saab costs £55 to fill here in the UK (petrol is just under £1 per litre).

    I hired a Ford Focus in Boston on a visit to the USA a couple of years ago and was stunned it cost $15 (£9) to fill the tank. Fantastic!

    Bradley – Audi, VW, Saab are some of the most highly respected for reliability cars in the UK. Maybe poor servicing in USA dealerships?

    Why not buy a second hand Mercedes or Jaguar convertible?

  15. Jemaleddin says:

    The cars that are “known” for reliability aren’t necessarily reliable. The stats don’t lie on this one, however. Heck, playing the one headlight game would be impossible nowadays without German cars. What makes owning a German car worse than an American car is that though they only break down a little more often, they cost more to maintain and repair.

    No offense to our friends in the UK and Germany, but their automakers never seem to have figured out electricity. Land Rover and Jaguar are notorious for lousy electrical systems, and VW can’t seem to make an AM radio that works (not that I need AM, but still). In a number of Jettas, replacing the head unit with an after-market model can keep the car from starting because they hooked the computer directly to the head unit. Really.

    The idea of a retractable hardtop VW scares the crap out of me – nobody has ever made a retractable hardtop that works worth a damn for very long. I’m not sure I trust VW to finally find a working solution.

    That said, my next car will probably be a BMW 3-series – hopefully by then I’ll be able to afford to maintain it. Otherwise it’ll be an Acura TL – reliable, quick and at least entry-level luxury. But the Germans sure know how to make a great driving car – when it’s out of the shop.

  16. Micheal says:


    I own a 2006 9-3 Saab Aero and absolutely love it. This is my first Saab and it will not be my last.

  17. Bradley says:

    @Tim, Chris

    Just so you don’t think that my comment was completely speculative…

    Pick up an auto edition of Consumer Reports or a similar magazine. I guarantee that most VW and Saab vehicles will be rated poor for reliability. Audi would not be far behind.

    I am not a fan of Consumer Reports for most things, by any means. Their reviews of digital cameras, for one, are ridiculous. Most of their projections tend to be off, if you ask me. It’s just a magazine, not the end-all authority on anything.

    But it is an exceptional reference on vehicle history.

    They list every vehicle made by major manufacturers sorted by model year, and rate the various aspects of each vehicle, going back a decade. So for instance, you might find that model year 1998 Honda Civics were excellent all-around (a recommended buy), but model years 1995-7 they had exhaust issues. That’s an actual statistic.

    That’s not to say that every statistic isn’t defiable. A previous co-worker of mine had a Toyota Matrix with a dead engine at 20,000 miles (32,186.88 kilometers). I guess it would be safe to say that Toyota makes good and bad vehicles. *grin*

    I would still drive an Audi. I definitely think that the thrill of the road and transportation with style should be major factors in a car purchase. Nevertheless, who wants to spend time at the mechanic?

    A contributing factor to the whole discussion is whether the buyer intends to drive the car into the ground, or sell it after only a few years. Coupled with this is whether the buyer is driving for pleasure, or daily for the long drive to work.

    I am pretty confident we will be driving the ’04 Accord EX until it dies; given that intent, I would not buy a Jetta. The VW Passat, on the other hand, was an option we seriously considered. I’m not really dogmatic about the whole thing, I just want my family to drive reliably.

    That’s my angle. I definitely feel that you U.K. folk are very fortunate to have such an established and respected automobile base, in and around the country. The U.S. market is just sad. What’s the accepted opinion on Citroen?

  18. John says:

    Mike (and especially Nick),

    I like to normally agree with you, but my Scirocco’s will beat the shit out of them! I’ve had two (my ex-fiance rolled one so I bought another).

    Reliable? It’s still running (faster around corners than, say, you car, or every Porshe) with 150K miles on it. Maybe people don’t understand how to take care of a car (or build them?)

    The Saab never even made it that long by far, and couldn’t touch the cornering (and motorcycle riders understand it at least).

    I can hardly belive they brought back the Beetle,

  19. I own a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cierra … i don’t know what you’re talking about with all this “cheap POS” talk and “unreliable” etc, etc …

    man i wish there was an XHTML tag for sarcastic.

  20. Benjy says:

    @ nick,
    I also had a Jetta bought at the same dealership and had a similar, though not quite as bad, experience. I shared the details on your blog. Was definitely a love/hate thing with that Jetta sometimes. It was eventually totalled by an idiot in an SUV on his cell phone, but I stuck with VW. Now I drive a Passat.

  21. nick says:

    @ John
    I’m sure if my feelings for VW were based on subjective opinion one could argue that I don’t know what I’m talking about. If you read my story you will see that these are cold, hard facts. A car doesn’t refuse to start 3 days after you purchase it simply because you “don’t understand how to take care of” it.

    Thanks for your remarks and sorry someone else had to deal with VW and Jennnings. The sad thing is that as far as the Jetta is concerned – sans problems – its probably the nicest car in its class, inside and out. You’re not going to get this nice of a car from Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, etc at the same price point. But you also won’t get the mechanical problems and high cost to replace parts. That latter part is what convinced me to go with Honda (Acura).

  22. Kyle says:

    Hmmm…. looks a little like this Peugeot.

    I just got back from England (rented a VW), and one of my travel companions rented the Peugeot which we used for most of our driving. I would love to drive the Eos to see how it compares. I’m not one for the softtop, but a hardtop — especially at that price — is hard to resist.

  23. Dave says:

    My wife wants one of these… they are hot.
    I have to laugh when I see people questioning VW or german cars in general for reliability. I would take nearly any German car over any American or Japanese any day. Over American for the same reasons Mike gave plus the fact that the US cars all look like caricatures of cars with terrible lines and giant horsey logos/emblems and wheel gaps that all look like they going off road. What happened to the design depts. in Detroit? Anyway, the Japanese models in general are reliable and economical, which do win points, but many of the comparable ones to VW, just seem a bit cheap to me… when you close the door to a german car it sounds solid and tight like a much more expensive car would sound. Close the door on many asian models and it sounds "tinny" or hollow. They also seem to be less ergonomic to me and with cheap switches, vents and little things that break off. I always get into my buddy’s honda and something new is cracked or broken off or the vent grill is pushed in… He broke his turn signal off last week as a matter of fact. Anyway, I realize I am making sweeping generalizations based on my own personal experience… but I have driven many models over the years and nothing beats the German autos in my opinion. Maybe I have just been lucky but I have never had problems with them and have been driving them since ’84.
    My neighbor has a 2000 ford focus and it looks like it’s ready to fall apart. Here is my 2000 Golf… and I don’t even have a garage. I just think for the money it’s hard to beat VW. You get a lot of bang for your buck.

  24. Bill Brown says:

    I’ve got a MINI Cooper convertible and it fits all of your requirements. You can get a top of the line John Cooper Works edition for under $40,000 and its power will stun you. BTW: the MCC has a power sunroof of sorts. You push the top-down button and the top retracts 16 inches, forming a wonderful sunroof. Push it again and the whole thing goes down. It’s nice.

  25. Barb Smith says:

    I just took delivery of my 2007 Thunder Blue Eos on Saturday after trading my R32. I love the Eos. It has plenty of trunk room (enough for groceries for a family of 5) even with the roof down. The F1 DSG tranny is a dream and it grips the road almost as well as my R32, even though that was 4 Motion and the Eos is FWD.

    I am a 150 mile per day commuter – it gets better gas mileage than listed and is very comfortable. I can’t wait to leave work today to put the top down and cruise home! I have the Luxury Package which makes it a great riding vehicle – I can still feel the road but have my comfort!!

  26. Jason B. says:

    Hey Mike,

    Came across this video (thanks Airbag) of the Eos in action. Marvel at the smooth convertible roof action.

    I saw one of these in person (albeit with the roof up) and was really surprised. I did not expect this from Volkswagen.

    I’ve personally had trouble with my VW Golf but the alure of this new vehicle and the marketing they’ve been doing lately, make it hard for me to stay mad.

  27. Jared says:

    I used to drive a VW for years. It drove and handled better than anything I owned previously. As brought up in previous comments, the reliability was poor. To make matters worse, maintence was expensive and customer service was atrocious. While I can’t speak for all dealerships, I have read that poor customer service is company-wide problem.

    But man, that retractable hardtop sure looks sweet!

  28. Russell says:

    I think that overal VW’s are very good for reliability. If they work well initially they’ll probably be good for a damn long time. But I’ve had 2 friends now that have ended up with real lemons! And I mean ‘lemons.’

    They basically drive their 6-7 year old vw’s (one a jetta and one a golf) down to the lake for a premature burial.

    But the risk of buying a lemon is probably equal accross all brands. Some people say to avoid buying cars that were built on a monday or friday :0


  29. Claus says:

    $75.000 i Denmark thanks to taxes.

  30. AnnMarie says:

    I’ve had my new EOS for one week now. LOVE it! I can’t go anywhere without people asking about it. All f the comments have been postitive. It handles very well. It is very quiet for a convertible. You can easily have a conversation with the top down – and even with the windows down. It has great acceleration. And I’m not sure you can really appreciate that hard top until you see it open and close for yourself. It’s quite impressive.

    The only thing it needs is a radar detector…

  31. nick thomas says:

    In my short but crazy 8 years of Car-Ownership I have had: a ’91 Ford Taurus (awesome in every way), ’76 Chevy Citation ( like driving a couch!: ), ’89 Ford Escort (POS!), ’89 Audi 100e Sedan (amazing handling, power-150hp, & price) , ’78 Toyota SR5 longbed w/ canopy ( the 20R engine lasts forever, really) and now I drive and live in a 1959 VW Westfalia Bus (one guage-speedo, 25mpg, plenty of power-65mph really is fast enough folks, incredibly versatile- a real workhorse. I’ve driven over 4k miles in 3 1/2 weeks, w/ zero engine problems) Plus saving hundreds on hotel/hostel stays. Go VW! And Audi!

  32. Rick F. says:

    I find this somewhat amusing to hear everyone so emotional over the car buying topic. People need to remember that we are subjective creatures who are going to purchase whatever feels right to us (I’m no exception). Some of us feel assured by the Japanese track record and buy accordingly. Others feel better about ourselves when we buy an American product. And some of us are obsessed with the way European cars look and handle. I own a 2006 Ridgeline and a 1999 A4 and I love them both! it’s hard to beat the mile eating ability of a car like the A4 and I am confident that the Ridgeline will have fewer problems than most. They are two completely different vehicles and I bought each of them for different reasons. I’ve only had one post-warranty issue with the near eight-year old A4 and it’s going to take a lot more than that to keep me from enjoying a car that was built for triple digit speeds, has a rust-free galvanized body, no rattles/loose parts, snow dominating quatro, and one kick-ass Bose system.

  33. Bruce says:

    I too was a Honda fan for years and years, having grown up with a ’64 porsche and ’70 VW Bus, I loved the sports car, and vowed I’d never drive a VW. ….but then a funny thing happened.

    When I wanted to upgrade from my first ‘real life’ car, a Honda Civic Hatchback, I wanted something with a V6 and manual transmission. Guess what? Japan didn’t sell one! I had to go German. I couldn’t afford an Audi (didn’t fit well in an A4, which was more than I wanted to spend anyway) and sure as hell couldn’t get a BMW for the latter reason. I test drove the Passat, and it felt rolly in the corners, but I got sport springs, and voila! Poor man’s Audi. I love it.

    I have always kind of wanted a convertible, but hate the idea of a ragtop and (gasp) plastic rear window. Lexus and Mercedes were the only hardtop convertibles I can think of, and they’re $60-80K.

    This thing looks sweeeet. 250 HP vs. my 200 V6 Passat, and the roof retracts! I got 4 doors so I could load people in, but I never do, so I wanna go back to a coupe. I gotta wait a couple of years for the mother of all justifications (mid-life crisis for my 40th birthday) but definitely intend to try this thing out.

    …as for American cars, I agree. I’ve driven plenty, and they all just feel like crap. Their climate control blows (though I’m not a fan of climatronic) and they just don’t feel like they were made to be DRIVEN.

    Drivers wanted.

  34. Didier says:

    [quote]…as for American cars, I agree. I’ve driven plenty, and they all just feel like crap. Their climate control blows (though I’m not a fan of climatronic) and they just don’t feel like they were made to be DRIVEN. [/quote]

    I drive a BMW and i’m very happy with it however i had several american cars before (including a Hummer) and they are just rock solid.
    I don’t know why they feel crap to you Bruce but i just love them :-)

  35. VW Lover says:

    It’s so strange I stumbled upon this VW thread. I drove a VW Cabrio for 10 years before I reluctantly gave it up. I’ve been driving a Saab 9-3 now for a year. I too stumbled across the EOS a week ago and am already planning my return to VW when my lease is up (8 mos). Whenever I’m asked about my Saab, which is often, I tell people “I like it, but I don’t LOVE it like my old car.” Just today someone questioned me and when I gave my answer he wanted to know what was wrong with the Saab — I told him nothing at all, it’s just not my old VW. And about VW service and reliablity — I found THE BEST VW mechanic in Los Angeles. He serviced my Cabrio, which admittedly had electrical problems, just once and it never needed service for antyhing other than regular maintenance again. The dealer couldn’t give me that kind of service. I have two friends who are mechanics — they both told me the VW is “a driver’s car”, the Saab is not.

  36. Destardi says:

    I’m going with Jared…every single person I have ever known (many) who have owned VW’s, have started out loving it, but always ended up regretting the day they laid eyes on it.

    As far as mike saying the “doors sound tinny” on closing “asian models,” he’s never touched a Toyota, obviously.

    My brother’s bougie girlfriend bought a black VW Jetta, and she gave me a test ride…it was stiff, bumpy, and felt like crap…the doors were plastic, and cheap, and the handles felt like they were going to fall off.

    When I left the black bug (they’re all bugs to me) and slipped into my 2001 V6 solara…the ride/transmisssion/power made me genuinely HAP HAP HAPPY, and it’s not the first time I’ve experienced that unique feeling for the first time…I’ve felt it after riding in 2 Cadillac CTS’, a new mustang convertible, several other bugs, etc.

    I know generalizations don’t help…but have you people ridden in a higher model Toyota? It’s the only car I’ve ever owned where the repair shop comes back with GOOD news each and every time. I Mine is modified in minor ways, but I get looks and “hott car” from young kids all the time…And when they say an 8 yo Toyota runs as good as a 4 yo ford, and a 2 yo VW, they ain’t lying…136,000 miles and the engine is as smooth as it was when I bought it..the transmission is flawless. I changed the timing belt, but other than that…loooove it.

    drive whatever y’all want..America is cool like that; but german cars take a certain kind of faith, and trust that I just don’t have in me…no thanks…rather spend the cost of buying them, and upkeep on…alot of other nice things.

  37. destardi says:

    Oh, yea, VW lover…I bet if you had been talking to a Saab mechanic, they’d have said “the Saab is a driver’s car…VW isn’t.”

    jus sayin.

  38. Chad says:

    I checked these out in person and have to say that I was very underwhelmed by the exterior lines. To each their own but I say ugly.

    And as an owner of 3 VW’s I have to add my maintenance horror story to the mix. My 92 Jetta (this was back in 95) fell apart on me in the harsh environment of the Adirondacks. Paint peeled off the hood, mufflers dropped, throttles stuck or began racing uncontrollably until I shut off the engine in a panic. A very bad experience.

    Still, a glutton for punishment, I purchased a 97′ Golf when I moved to warmer climates. It was a fantastic car and only had minor problems (wheel bearings went early).

    I don’t think it fair to generalize a manufacturer – i.e “stay away from any VW”. Each line or production year may have issues independent of the others.

  39. Mike says:

    A few months ago, I brought my 2004 Passat in for an oil change when I saw a demo EOS that a gaggle of people were drooling over. I thought to myself: “Feh! A convertible. What would I want with a convertible? No trunk space and inconvenient.” This all changed after a dealer asked me to try driving one.

    I have been researching many cars: Saab 9-3 Aero, BMW 328xi, VW Passat Wagon 3.6l 4-motion, Audi A3 3.2l Quattro, Audi A4 Avant in both 2.0T Quattro and 3.2l Quattro trims. Driving the EOS sealed my decision: I gotta have one!

    So I recently drove a Eismeer Blue VW EOS with the 3.2L and DSG. So much power, excellent transmission, and no real noticeable body roll noticed. I had the good fortune of not having a dealer drive with me, so I put this car through every conceivable test: bumpy road to see if the stowed top rattled in the trunk, bumpy road to see if the top or any other part of the car rattled, heavy cornering at 65-70 mph, even tighter turns on a hilly, twisty road with hairpin curves, hard manual downshifting using the paddles to see if I could confuse the DSG (a big problem in the Audi A3 – see Edmunds (!make=Audi&model=A3&ed_makeindex=.f0ee004) townhall talk – Transmission Trouble. Also raised and lowered the top 10 times to see any performance changes with none noted. Drove the car up steep hills to see if there was any gear hunting with none noted. Worked all knobs and controls with no adverse operation noted. The car performed flawlessly.

    The best part about the EOS: the sound the exhaust makes when the car starts! One of my neighbors sat in the car, started the engine, and said, “Oohh. . .I like the sound of that!” He said that he would buy my 2000 Golf for his daughter, and then the EOS would be the next car for him.

    The engine snarl in the 3.2l VR6 when the EOS hits powerband at 47000 RPM is to die for.

    After my demo was over, I talked to a garage tech about reliability. He claims that Volkswagen will reduce shop time by 50% – the new Volkswagen CEO is staking his reputation on it. Well, this didn’t really impress me because I found out later that virtually every EOS sold has leak problems with the B pillar seal, and Volkswagen is replacing them. Usually the leak starts with a few drops of water. Just a note here that the day of my demo, it was raining heavily (I live in Seattle) and there were no leaks (yet).

    I went to an Acura dealership and sat in a TL. Not impressed. The doors were cheap and tinny sounding. Controls were cheap and flimsy looking in contrast to EOS controls. The drive itself was uninspiring. It seemed like I had to rev the hell out of the engine just to get any performance. No, not impressed at all.

    In sum, my six months of research to find my dream car are finished after driving the EOS. It is a pimp car!

  40. mike trutt says:

    Hi there,
    I’d like to add another reason why the retractable hard-top is very attractive:

    I drive a classic Saab convertible, which has repeatedly been vandalized by thieves who see my soft-top as an easy target.

    In the 5 years I’ve had my convertible, it’s been broken into three times. The first thief was nice enough to jimmy open a locked door, but the next two thieves each decided to slice open my canvas roof.

    It’s VERY EXPENSIVE to replace a canvas roof! I had just replaced mine (from normal wear and tear) about a month before the first time it was vandalized. I repaired it with an ugly heat-sealed vinyl patch, but then a year later it was sliced up more severely by another thief. There was nothing of value in the car, but the “thief” cost me thousands of dollars in repair work.

    I no longer lock my doors when I park my car. I also leave the ashtray and the glovebox open, to make it obvious that they don’t contain any valuables.

    I would LOVE to have a car with a retractable hard-top.

    I very much enjoy my convertible, but man…I dream of a retractable hard-top!

  41. ChrisC says:

    It’s the old game of f*ck, marry, kill.

    Kill the American car.

    F*ck the German car.

    Marry the Japanese car.

  42. rosco says:

    In most cases, I couldnt agree with Bradley more… I was brought up in a family that had a 1970 Chev Malibu, then a 1978 Olds 88… then my dad purchased a second small car… a 1982 Honda Civic… it was also at this time that my siblings and I were learning to drive… that little Honda, which only had the 2 speed Hondamatic transmission, had a lot of kilometers put on it… but it never stopped…. it kept going and going and going… so my parents bought another one; a 1988 Civic… another indestructible car.. and when they were done with that in 2000 they purchased a Ford Focus… what a piece of junk… I dont get it… why cant North America build a reliable small car that feels and drives like an import?… I own a 1988 Honda Prelude, and at 19 years old, it still drives better than my parents 7 year old Focus… I would by an import small car over a North American one any day… I’ll give you another example… I recently traded in a 2003 Honda Pilot… although assembled here in North America, I can honestly say that after owning it for 4 years, it still drove better, tighter, smoother (fill in your own word) that the new Ford Freestar I have which only has 30,000 kilometers on it… trust me when I say, I would rather buy a North American made care any day… I fully believe in keeping my money in my country… but when you want a reliable, long term vehicle, you cant beat the “imports”… thanks for reading…

  43. mike trutt says:

    I finally drove a VW EOS yesterday.

    I went to my local VW dealer and checked out the car. I have a few comments:

    1) The top didn’t work on the model that was sitting outside. The dealer dismissed this by saying, “well, you probably wouldn’t work very well either if you sat outside in this cold weather all day!” Hmmph.

    2) The headroom was substantially more cramped than I was expecting. I’m only 5’8, which means that I rarely have much issue with roof height, but I did feel just a little claustraphobic.
    Also, the windows are a bit high, so if you want to drive with your arm resting on the windowsill, it is necessary to raise the seat a bit, which further decreases the headroom

    3) The back seat is no good for adults–at least not for adults that you like. It’s fine for kids grocery bags. There are cup holders in the back for passengers, so that’s nice. At least they’ll be hydrated.

    4) The trunk is very very small, and there’s a clever divider showing you where you can put stuff without getting in the way of roof storage.

    5) I looked at all three trim lines, and test drove the most basic model since that was the only one they had with a manual transmission. The six-speed stick was fun to drive, but a little strange since the gear positions are a bit different from any other car I’ve driven. The car was no rocket ship by any means, but it was reasonably peppy. This is not a race car, but it has just enough acceleration to be fun.

    6) The base model HAS NO CENTER ARM REST! Grrr… I found this really annoying. It also has no choice of interior color–only black. If you want an armrest or a beige interior, you’ve got to upgrade to the mid-level EOS 2.0T. The car definitely appears cheaper and unfinished without the center armrest, and I’m a stickler for a light-colored interior. This means that I’m S.O.L. if I’d been hoping to buy the base model. Basically, they hit you up for $2,000 if you want an armrest. Very annoying. As a bonus, you also get seat warmers thrown in with that upgrade, and supposedly a stronger/better climate control system, so that’s nice. Not $2,000 worth of nice though. To be clear, here is a list of EXACTLY what $2,000 buys you when you upgrade to the mid-level model:
    – Arm rest
    – Choice of interior “leatherette” upholstery color
    – Seat warmers
    – Wind screen to place behind the front seats
    – Heated windshield wiper nozzles
    – Leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shift, and emergency brake
    – Superior climate control system
    – The ability to choose expensive add-on options
    (most options not available for base model EOS)

    That’s it. Not really worth $2,000, but I’ll probably spend it–with some annoyance–because I want the arm rest for my bad back and I want a light-colored interior. The rest of that stuff is pretty trivial.

    7) If you want a navigation system, that is ONLY available if you buy a special package first, and the package is not sold with the base model, so a Nav system costs a minimum of:
    $2,000 – upgrade to the mid-level model
    $3,500 – special package
    $1,800 – the actual navigation system itself

  44. Jennifer says:

    I am not a fan of American cars either. They are getting better, but they just don’t do it for me. I had a love affair with my Honda Prelude, then moved on to a Nissan Pathfinder. My husband loves his Infiniti G35. I went to the car show the other day and I was very impressed with the VWs. They absolutley have the best seats! I have been toying with the idea of a convertible the past few years, but there was’t one that I am really sold on. The Beetle was fun to drive, but they aren’t my style. Of course, If I wanted to spend $50K on a convertible, I could find one. But i just want one to have fun with, I don’t want to replace my primary car which is an SUV. I think the EOS is going to be perfect! I’ve always wanted a VW. I was impressed with the entire line-up of cars. The Tiguan looks like it will be cool too.

  45. Kip says:

    I am, for the most part, and American car guy. My recent access to a Porsche Boxster and now this Cool VW left me with a good feeling about the two companies. Still love the Alfa Romeos. Point: I was really impressed with this VW, looks like quality all around, interior and ex. The top is really well done. Retractables are better than soft tops, would anyone prefer a soft top over a hard-top retractable? Are the Corvette people looking into this?

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