2009 Volkswagen Eos Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
July 11, 2009

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos isn't sexy, and it's one of the most practical choices among convertibles and there's a lot to like.

TheCarConnection.com's editors have driven the Volkswagen Eos and sum up their most useful impressions and advice in this Bottom Line. TheCarConnection.com has also surveyed reviews from across the Web to bring you this inclusive review of the 2009 Volkswagen Eos.

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos is a four-seat, folding-hardtop convertible that's named for the Greek goddess of the dawn. We wouldn't quite call the Eos a goddess in the looks department—especially with the top up—but it seems all right with the top down. Inside, though, the Eos's cabin sports GTI style, enviable Volkswagen materials, and room enough even for adult males in back.

Two engine choices are available in the 2009 Volkswagen Eos: a 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder with plenty of available torque, ample thrust, and a 0-60 mph time of 6.4 seconds with a choice of six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmissions. Volkswagen's brilliant dual-clutch automatic can be shifted like a manual without the clutch pedal. Handling is one of the Eos's best features; it's relaxed enough so that you enjoy the convertible experience, but firm enough to charge around your favorite roads. Fuel economy is strong at 21 mpg city, 30 highway.

The cargo area is a manageable 6.6 cubic feet with the top stowed, larger than that in the Pontiac G6 and Volvo C70 hardtop convertibles, but it's still kind of small. The convertible roof also has a setting that opens the front section like a sunroof. It uses eight electric motors to unlatch from the windshield header and flip and fold under the metal trunklid in 25 seconds.

Review continues below

Stability and traction control are standard on all Eos convertibles, as are head/thorax airbags that deploy from the front seats. A pop-up roll bar is also standard. The 2009 Volkswagen Eos gets a rating of "good" from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for front and for side impacts.

Options include a navigation system and an upmarket audio system. Sixteen-inch wheels are a standard feature on the 2009 Volkswagen Eos. Park Distance Control is optional, and 2009 brings a new Technology Package that boasts adaptive front lighting, bi-xenon headlamps, and PDC.

7

2009 Volkswagen Eos

Styling

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos is good-looking, but it's not a head-turner.

It's hard to ignore VW's nearly comical overstatement when it comes to styling; the car's name, Eos, compares it to the Greek goddess of dawn. It's nice, but it's not that nice.

ForbesAutos appreciates that the 2009 Eos "comes with a less-intrusive windshield pillar design that makes front-seat entry and exiting easier than in the typical ragtop," and praises its "curvier, more coupe-like profile than most convertibles." Cars.com likes the "clean, sporty look" of the Eos; Volkswagen gets nods from Kelley Blue Book for its "attractive but understated styling." Still, the editors of TheCarConnection.com point to the Pontiac G6 Convertible, which looks far more distinctive in the hardtop-convertible class, when grading the Eos' shape.

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos is handsomely designed inside, though. The controls are situated well, and there's a combination of lines and textures that Volkswagen seems to have mastered long ago, while other car companies still try to match it. ConsumerGuide lauds the "clear gauges [that] complement mostly handy, intuitive controls."

The designers at Volkswagen imbue the Eos with clean exterior styling in both top-up or top-down configurations, something that can't be said of most soft-top convertibles or many hardtops, either. Convertibles, by nature, have a split personality when it comes to styling. Their character can change dramatically whether the top is up or down. The 2009 Volkswagen Eos avoids some of this by using a hardtop convertible roof instead of the typical cloth number.

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2009 Volkswagen Eos

Performance

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos is fast, nimble, and fuel-efficient.

Convertibles don't generally perform as soundly as fixed-roof vehicles, but TheCarConnection.com finds that the 2009 Volkswagen Eos does surprisingly well, especially in terms of speed and handling.

A 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder is now the only engine offered on the Eos. However, reviewers think it provides admirable performance, and Cars.com finds it "responds quickly, and its power just keeps on coming." Fuel economy is strong at 21/30 mpg.

Volkswagen's "automatic can be slow to downshift in standard drive mode but is alert in its sport setting," ConsumerGuide says. Kelley Blue Book lists the "quick- and smooth-shifting dual-clutch transmission" as one of its favorite features on the 2009 Eos.

Aside from engine and speed characteristics, the 2009 Volkswagen Eos handles itself very well on the road, especially for a convertible. Edmunds reports that the 2009 VW Eos's "steering is fairly quick and its handling is capable." ForbesAutos claims that in the Eos, Volkswagen "delivers decent handling" along with "secure stopping power."

The editors at TheCarConnection.com also give an enthusiastic nod to the Eos' handling, one of its best features; it's relaxed enough so that you enjoy the convertible experience, but firm enough to charge around your favorite roads.

8

2009 Volkswagen Eos

Comfort & Quality

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos gets high marks for its top-notch interior and nifty convertible top mechanism.

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos has more room than many of its competitors paired with top-notch materials and assembly; in particular, many reviewers emphasize that the Eos' level of refinement is on par with that of much more expensive vehicles.

Popular Mechanics observes that the Volkswagen Eos' innovative roof causes the rear occupants to be "cramped, both in shoulder space and, with the top up, headroom." There is, however, ample room up front, and cargo space is pretty good even with the top down. Even so, it's advisable to leave big luggage at home if you have more than one passenger; the cargo area is a manageable 6.6 cubic feet with the top stowed, larger than that of the Pontiac G6 and Volvo C70 hardtop convertibles, but it's still kind of small.

Inside the Eos, Volkswagen's interior quality is typically top-notch. Consumer Reports recently chose the Eos as its favorite four-seat hardtop convertible, besting the likes of the BMW 335i, based in part on its quality. In a testament to the car's undeniable quality, Kelley Blue Book declares that "the Eos' interior is more attractively designed and better put together than those of some cars we've driven with sticker prices twice as much." Other reviewers feel the same way about the Eos' handsome interior and find little fault with the car's quality.

Reviewers from all auto Web sites are awestruck by the complex motions of the Eos' folding hardtop. Kelley Blue Book admires the "25-second mechanical ballet" that the hardtop performs during its reconfiguration. Edmunds notes that several competing automakers offer hardtop convertibles, but their "execution is nowhere near as polished as the VW's."

Even with the top up, the Eos "[suffers] from noticeable wind noise," ConsumerGuide notes, and "some testers complain of rear-tire roar on coarse pavement."

TheCarConnection.com's experience with the Eos, on a long drive in Portugal, brings out the best in the sunny four-seat convertible. The Eos' roof has a setting, sliding back one panel to mimic a sunroof, not usually found on convertibles.

9

2009 Volkswagen Eos

Safety

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos offers some thoughtful safety features that many drivers will appreciate.

Editors at TheCarConnection.com note that Volkswagen doesn't cut any corners when it comes to safety in the 2009 Volkswagen Eos. It has all the goodies and solid test scores.

Volkswagen's convertible performs very well in crash tests completed by the IIHS. The one area in which the IIHS calls for improvement is overall rear impact performance, where the Eos earns a rating of "marginal." Other than that, however, the Eos earns the IIHS's highest possible rating in both side and front impact tests.

To assist drivers with parking lot mobility and safety, upper-end versions of the Eos Volkswagen are fitted with a reverse warning system that alerts drivers if they are about to strike an object when backing up. Cars.com notes safety features that come standard on the 2009 Volkswagen Eos include "the active roll bar, an electronic stability system and side head-thorax airbags," which take the place of typical side curtain airbags.

One of the biggest causes for concern in a convertible is the danger of a rollover and what safety features are included in case one should occur. Occupants of the 2009 Volkswagen Eos will find themselves protected by what ForbesAutos describes as a "pop-up head protection system" that automatically deploys when the car senses a rollover is imminent. Additional safety-minded goodies include an optional Park Distance Control and a Technology Package with upgrades to the lighting system.

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2009 Volkswagen Eos

Features

The 2009 Volkswagen Eos offers a nice range of features across the board.

Experts at TheCarConnection.com find that the 2009 Volkswagen Eos comes with plenty of nifty features—enough to keep most drivers happy. The options list is decent but not outstanding.

Kelley Blue Book points out the "cooled glove box" in the 2009 Eos, which helps protect valuables like phones, PDAs, and chocolate from the sun on warm days. The most widely recognized feature on the 2009 Volkswagen Eos, however, is unquestionably its retractable hardtop, which Popular Mechanics describes as "a marvel of metallic origami." Also included in that folding top is a sunroof function, wherein one panel retracts, leaving the rest of the hardtop raised. It's a welcome feature for those sunny days when it's a bit too cold to take the top down.

ForbesAutos also mentions that "options include a premium sound system, DVD navigation...Park Distance Control proximity warnings, and adaptive headlamps." Those headlamps also serve as a great safety feature at night on twisting roads, as they swivel in the direction of a turn to provide additional illumination where you need it most. For 2009, the adaptive front headlamps are available as part of a Technology Package. Other popular options include heated front seats in the top-level trims and leather upholstery standard on the V-6 version. A navigation system is also offered on the Eos, as well as satellite radio.

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Styling 7.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 8.0
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