2012 Volkswagen Eos Performance

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Performance

There's no choice with the Eos, at least when it comes to engines. Every one sports a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder. With the addition of turbocharging, it's become one of VW's best powerplants and known for years for its strong mid-range pull and responsiveness. In the front-drive Eos, it can be teamed up with a six-speed manual, with the usual VW notchy feel, or the dual-clutch gearbox VW calls its DSG. The DSG's another house favorite, as it changes gears smoothly and very quickly, doubling down on the drivetrain's acceleration and zippy feel.

The Eos handles with more finesse than its relaxed boulevard cruiser looks imply. It's 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.

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