There are not very many convertibles with a hard roof, but the 2013 Volkswagen Eos is one of them. Volkswagens have developed a reputation as fun-to-drive. The Eos carries that cachet. Room for four is a feature not always found in this segment, but the Eos provides it. The price of the base model is more modest than other hardtop convertibles, with the range being $35,175–$41,770. That is a tad more dearly than other more prosaic VW models with which Eos shares its platform.
The car is agile, compact, fuel efficient, and attractive in a mild sort of way. The accurate description would be a coupe, rather than a sports car. It is reasonably roomy, with the caveat being a loss of space when the top is down. Four models, the Komfort, Sport, Lux, and Executive are offered. Design and engineering make the 2013 Volkswagen Eos more sturdy and stable than most convertibles.
New For 2013
Last year saw a mild cosmetic and mechanical update for the Eos, so 2013 is a quiet year for the hardtop convertible. There’s a new Sport trim with eighteen-inch wheels, a lowered sport suspension, swiveling xenon headlights, paddle shifters, and a rear spoiler. Lux and Executive models get the adaptive headlights along with a bold, new interior color, Atlantic blue.
Rare is the convertible that has a hard roof incorporating a sunroof, but the 2013 Volkswagen Eos does. The coupe sports the current VW front-end design language: a wide, low profile grille with three horizontal chrome bars and a proud chrome VW logo centered. It also has the VW upswept headlamps and the secondary air inlet under the bumper. Round fog lamps sit on either side of the inlet. The rear looks high and thick, due to the need to find a place to store all the roof hardware. Reflectors built into the lower panel are nicely proportioned, and the twin exhaust tips on the left accomplish a nod to sportiness.
A decided rake is evident in the side view, enhanced by the downward slope of the lower body crease and an upper crease originating in the rear fender. Adding to this raked impression is an elegant singular sill line that runs undisturbed from the hood opening through left cowl around the back of the car to the right cowl and back into the hood line. It is a very clean element that flows down from the back. The cleanliness of the design is broken up a bit by the two cut lines in the roof that enable it to fold up and disappear. The car seems a bit stubby, being short and riding higher than a true sports car. Some think the look is Americanized bland, but it fits the understated look of VW’s and European design in general. Wheel choices are 17- and 18-inch sizes.
Interior & Cargo
The instrument panel is typical VW with blue markings and red indicators. The controls are highlighted in red when the lights come on at night. The three-spoke steering wheel’s top left and right spokes are dead horizontal, loaded with controls. The bottom spoke is dead vertical, and is highlighted by silver metal. The dash is German Spartan (but that does not mean poor quality), and the navigation/entertainment screen dominates the center stack, accentuated by a silver surround. The rear view mirror dims itself. Front seats can be heated.
The passenger space in the 2013 Volkswagen Eos is 77.4 cubic feet. The rear seat is narrow, due to mechanicals for the roof and will discourage adults from committing to long top-down trips. Cargo space is at a premium: 10.5 cubic feet with top up, shrinking to 6.6 when the top melts into the back of the car. The hard roof delivers increased safety and security, but there is a price for that. The roof is five pieces, constructed of steel and glass. When the button is pushed, 25 seconds of time is all it takes for the roof to move. For days when open air is desired without wind buffeting heads, the sunroof can be utilized, just like on any other car. It is 44 inches wide, which surpasses many solid-roof cars.
If the 2013 Volkswagen Eos encounters the unfortunate circumstance of wheels changing places with the top, two spring-loaded aluminum posts pop out behind the rear head restraints to protect vulnerable necks and heads. This happens in a quarter of a second. Crash test ratings have not been done yet on the 2013 model. All cars since the 2012 model year are required to provide anti-lock brakes and an electronic stability system. VW has chosen to comply with this law, as well as with the full complement of airbags that have been legal requirements now for several years.
The Eos carries what VW calls the Intelligent Crash Response System. If the airbags pop, the ICRS leaps into action, unlocking all doors, cutting fuel to the engine, and turning on the flashers. Crush zones have been built into the front structure of the car, and the increasingly standard tire pressure monitoring system is built in as well.
For a convertible, the 2013 Volkswagen Eos has excellent structural rigidity. That translates to good road handling and few squeaks and rattles. The turbo, four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque give surprising responsiveness. The peppy performance, partly resulting from the turbocharger, still yields fuel economy of 22/30 mpg city/highway. The six-speed, dual-clutch transmission is more driver enticing than a normal automatic.
Volkswagen engines have had years of refinement, and it shows in smooth, robust delivery of power. It is part of their fun-to-drive brand characteristic. For top-down driving a tall front deflector can be manually deployed from the edge of the windshield, keeping turbulence down. The Eos utilizes front-wheel drive, which will provide good traction in wet and snowy conditions.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Volkswagen Eos
- BMW 1-series
- Chrysler 200
- Lexus IS250C
- Volvo C70