2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

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Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
February 13, 2011

If you’re alright sinking into anonymity but want a delightful top-down experience with an excellent all-season folding top, the 2011 Volkswagen Eos is it.

Landing somewhere between the budget rent-a-car cruiser convertibles, like the Chrysler 200 and the Volkswagen New Beetle, and drop-top sports cars like the Mazda Miata or Audi TT, is the 2011 Volkswagen Eos. While in appearance it's strictly a cruiser, a much more flamboyant personality lurks within—and, in our opinion, the Eos is one of the best-designed (and oft-omitted by shoppers) convertibles on the market.

The Eos is so often omitted because it's bland. You can see hints of Volkswagen's Golf-based Cabriolet from years ago, as well as hints of the sophisticated (Europe-only) Scirocco on which it's based, but the Eos can look a little ungainly from some angles, especially the way its proportions fit together with the top up. However, it's a subject of contention here, and at least one of our editors really likes the styling, calling it neat and straightforward—and fitting well fith both the top up or down, which is a task. Inside it's a different story; its interior feels a step above most other Volkswagen models, with a streamlined look and upgraded materials. It's hardly sexy, but it's nicely detailed with just a bit of brightwork, but not too much, and a neat, simple look that's slightly more rakish than in the Golf and GTI.

All 2011 Volkswagen Eos convertibles come with the same engine: a 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. With either the six-speed manual or dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Eos has strong acceleration and good responsiveness, thanks to its flexible engine, which makes plenty of torque across the rev-range. While the Eos might look like a relaxed cruiser-convertible, it handles better than the image suggests—firm enough to power through tricky corners, planted in higher-speed sweepers, and remarkably secure-feeling for a front-driver. Dynamically it's no sports car, but with quick steering, strong, reassuring brakes, and the responsive DSG transmission, it feels very eager.

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If you're in the front seat, the 2011 Volkswagen Eos is a very comfortable place; the seating and driving position is just a little more laid-back than in Volkswagen's other cars, and the seats themselves feel a bit better-bolstered than in its lower-priced models like the Golf. The back seat, while more spacious than that of many other convertible models, is still basically a 2+2; there's very little legroom for those in back, and adults, if they can wedge in, will only want to be back there for a gentle cruise out to ice cream and back.

When compared hardtop convertible layouts—from rivals like the Volvo X70 and Chrysler Sebring—it doesn't get any better than this. In less than 25 seconds, a total of eight electric motors work in conjunction to unlatch the roof from the windshield header and flip and fold it under the metal trunk lid. The convertible roof also has a setting that opens the front section only like a sunroof. And with the top stowed away, cargo capacity remains a decent (for the class) 6.6 cubic feet, which is enough for an overhead-bin-sized suitcase.

The 2011 Volkswagen Eos comes in Komfort and Lux models, with some high-end options like a sport package, Dynaudio surround system, and hard-drive-based navigation with music storage all available on the Lux.

7

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Styling

The 2011 Volkswagen Eos is handsome and plain on the outside, a little more charming inside.

Calling the 2011 Volkswagen Eos understated—at least on the outside—is an understatement. It's very, very bland, and looks styled to offend no one; unfortunately, no pulses are going to be raised as it passes by, either. You can see hints of Volkswagen's Golf-based Cabriolet from years ago, as well as hints of the sophisticated (Europe-only) Scirocco on which it's based, but the Eos can look a little ungainly from some angles, especially the way its proportions fit together with the top up. However, it's a subject of contention here, and at least one of our editors really likes the styling, calling it near and straightforward—and fitting well fith both the top up or down, which is a task.

Inside it's a different story; its interior feels a step above most other Volkswagen models, with a streamlined look and upgraded materials. It's hardly sexy, but it's nicely detailed with just a bit of brightwork, but not too much, and a neat, simple look that's slightly more rakish than in the Golf and GTI.

8

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Performance

he 2010 Volkswagen Eos feels quick and light, and is a far better performer than its staid looks suggest.

All 2011 Volkswagen Eos convertibles come with the same engine: a 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. With either the six-speed manual or dual-clutch (DSG) automatic transmission, the front-wheel-drive Eos has strong acceleration and good responsiveness, thanks to its flexible engine, which makes plenty of torque across the rev-range

While the Eos might look like a relaxed cruiser-convertible, it handles better than the image suggests—firm enough to power through tricky corners, planted in higher-speed sweepers, and remarkably secure-feeling for a front-driver. Dynamically it's no sports car, but with quick steering, strong, reassuring brakes, and the responsive DSG transmission, it feels very eager. That's no mistake; in a class of overweight convertibles, the Eos is one of the lightest, at about 3,500 pounds.

8

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Comfort & Quality

The Eos’s tight, well-designed folding hardtop arrangement, along with good seats in front and top-notch materials, make the Eos a great top-down tourer for two.

If you're in the front seat, the 2011 Volkswagen Eos is a very comfortable place; the seating and driving position is just a little more laid-back than in Volkswagen's other cars, and the seats themselves feel a bit better-bolstered than in its lower-priced models like the Golf. The back seat, while more spacious than that of many other convertible models, is still basically a 2+2; there's very little legroom for those in back, and adults, if they can wedge in, will only want to be back there for a gentle cruise out to ice cream and back.

When compared hardtop convertible layouts—from rivals like the Volvo X70 and Chrysler Sebring—it doesn't get any better than this. In less than 25 seconds, a total of eight electric motors work in conjunction to unlatch the roof from the windshield header and flip and fold it under the metal trunk lid. The convertible roof also has a setting that opens the front section only like a sunroof. And with the top stowed away, cargo capacity remains a decent (for the class) 6.6 cubic feet, which is enough for an overhead-bin-sized suitcase.

Otherwise, the story is pretty impressive inside. Materials and trims are top-notch, with more premium look and feel that's only rivaled in VW's product line in the CC sedan (and possibly the Touareg). Ride quality is firm but supple enough to soak up medium-sized potholes. Some road noise is present, but it's not any more than you'd notice in sporty coupes that don't have the Eos's convertible top.

9

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Safety

Thanks to some features that go above and beyond, the 2011 Volkswagen Eos is a very safe pick, top up or down.

Safety can be a worry for convertible shoppers—and rightly so. But the 2011 Volkswagen Eos has it covered with a good list of safety equipment, including standard traction control, head/thorax airbags for front seat passengers, and a pop-up roll bar located behind the rear seats.

The stylish convertible also has good test scores. Though the federal government hasn't tested the Eos, in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Eos earned top 'good' results in frontal, side, and rear impact.

The pop-up head protection system in the Eos, which automatically deploys when the car senses a rollover is imminent, is a standout in this more cost-conscious end of the convertible market—employing a host of sensors to deploy just before it's needed, when a rollover is anticipated. Additional safety-minded goodies include an optional Park Distance Control and a Technology Package that includes upgrades to the lighting system (an adaptive swiveling function).

8

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Features

The 2011 Volkswagen Eos offers a competitive set of comfort-oriented features, though there aren’t many ‘wow’ tech options.

The 2011 Volkswagen Eos comes in Komfort and Lux models. Standard on all models are Bluetooth connectivity and a touchscreen interface for the stereo, as well as a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and instrument cluster.

Komfort models come with a leatherette upholstery, while Lux models get available leather and a power driver's seat. Available on the Lux is a 600-watt, ten-speaker Dynaudio premium surround system, a navigation system with hard-drive music storage, Sirius Satellite radio, and SD memory-car slot, and steering-wheel controls.

iPod connectivity is a stand-alone option, but there are several packages, including a Technology Package that includes adaptive front headlamps. Also available on the Lux is a sport suspension and larger 18-inch alloy wheels.

7

2011 Volkswagen Eos

Fuel Economy

The 2011 Volkswagen Eos is one of the most fuel-stingy convertibles.

With all Volkswagen Eos models including Volkswagen's 2.0T engine, it's quite fuel-efficient, with EPA numbers of either 21 or 22 mpg city and 30 or 31 highway—that's better combined than even a Mazda Miata, and it makes the Eos one of the greenest convertible picks on the market.
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April 29, 2015
2011 Volkswagen Eos 2-Door Convertible DSG Komfort SULEV

A lot of fun.

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This car is better than performance car articles say. Very handy with convertible and panoramic sunroof. Sport mode is much tighter and quick. Inside is excellent. Great snow traction ,even with NEOhio snowy... + More »
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Styling 7.0
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