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2016 Volkswagen Eos: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2016

The 2016 Volkswagen Eos will be the farewell lap for this model from the German automaker. Based on the previous generation of the Golf, it's a 4-seater compact convertible with a retractable hardtop. The top folds away in 25 seconds and features a sunroof that can power open when the roof is closed. The car also has a high-quality interior and a confident German feel on the highway. But despite these compelling traits, the Eos just never quite caught on with the motoring public.

One reason for that may be the Eos' pricing. It's never been considered a bargain and used to start at around $37,000. A Ford Mustang V6 convertible is cheaper and faster. Because this is the final year, however, Volkswagen has dropped the price to below $33,000, and the only trim level available is still fairly well appointed.

What's New for 2016?

The sole trim level is now the Komfort, which used to be the entry model. All other trims have been discontinued, and the price has been lowered.

What We Like

Retractable hardtop with built-in sunroof; punchy and refined engine; classy interior

What We Don't

Not an athlete; so-so styling

How Much?

$32,860

Fuel Economy

The Eos has a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, which goes solely to the front wheels. A 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual is the only available transmission; it works like a regular automatic, but its shifts are considerably quicker than most humans could manage.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Volkswagen Eos is available only in the Komfort ($32,860) trim level.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, hill-hold control, an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat, power windows, a power retractable hardtop, a power sunroof with tilt/slide functionality, a wind deflector and heated front seats, as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gearshift knob and parking-brake lever. It also comes with heated washer nozzles, leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 5-in color touchscreen, navigation and an 8-speaker audio system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, auxiliary input and an SD-card reader. There are no major options.

Safety

The Eos comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain) and a rollover protection system that deploys aluminum posts from behind the rear seats if an imminent rollover is detected.

Volkswagen's Car-Net -- a telematics suite offering a number of safety-related features such as crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access and boundary and speed alerts -- comes standard. A smartphone app that runs many Car-Net functions is also available.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has no crash-test scores for the current Eos, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the car its highest rating of Good in every category.

Behind the Wheel

The 2.0T has long been a favorite among Volkswagen fans. It's a refined engine with consistent push across the rev range, suiting the sophisticated nature of the Eos. The dual-clutch automatic delivers extremely quick and generally smooth shifts, the main exception being low-speed transitions such as those that occur during parallel parking.

The big feature, of course, is the power retractable hardtop. It lowers in 25 seconds and features an integrated power sunroof that both tilts and slides independent of the rest of the unit. It's a remarkable engineering achievement, especially since the sunroof is one of the largest sliding panels around (44 inches wide and 22 inches deep). There's also a manual sliding sunshade. It's not unusual to feel claustrophobic in a convertible when the top is up, but the Eos provides the best of both worlds.

The dashboard's styling seems conservative for a fun-in-the-sun car, but the materials have a high-quality, premium feel that's enhanced by features such as the classy analog gauges and by the precise action of the controls.

The front seats provide long-distance comfort and surprisingly good lateral support. The 2-passenger back seat is cramped, predictably. Trunk capacity measures 10.5 cu ft. with the top up and 6.6 cu ft. when it's folded away. That's about average for a hardtop convertible, but a lockable pass-through for longer items is also integrated into the rear seats.

Thanks in part to that huge glass sunroof, the interior retains an airy, relaxed character at speed. Noise suppression from the insulated hardtop is good, and with the top down, the cabin remains free of turbulence at reasonable speeds. The built-for-comfort underpinnings are less than ideal for enthusiastic cornering, but for cruising around and soaking up the sun, the Eos is a great choice.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Buick Cascada -- All new for this model year, the Cascada comes with a power retractable soft-top but also has a usable back seat, along with decent power and a composed chassis.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible -- An all-new generation has debuted for 2016. The rear seats are virtually unusable, but this is the closest the Camaro has come to European-grade handling. The engine range starts with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder.

2016 Ford Mustang Convertible -- The V6 version outperforms the Eos for less, even with the VW's lowered price.

2016 MINI Cooper S Convertible -- The Cooper's back seat is definitely tighter than the already-cramped rear accommodations of the Eos, but there's plenty of style and attitude.

Used BMW 3 Series Convertible -- The rear-wheel-drive 3 Series convertible offers a retractable hardtop -- just like the Eos -- while delivering more performance and luxury. Check out BMW's certified pre-owned program for accessible prices and reassuring warranties.

Autotrader's Advice

While there are certainly other options when it comes to compact convertibles, 2016 is your last chance to hop in a new Volkswagen Eos. If you've been on the cusp of buying one in the past, we think this year's model is just as compelling as previous years and warrants a good, hard look.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Volkswagen Eos: New Car Review - Autotrader