The Volkswagen Eos, named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, is the newest example of affordable hardtop convertibles coming onto the market, and is priced from $47,990.
Historically buyers were often put off purchasing convertibles because of their inherent disadvantages. Among them: noise, body shake, potential water leakage and increased risk of theft by break-in. Manufacturers of expensive luxury convertibles had overcome these problems with high-tech folding metal roofs. Now, manufacturers are beginning to develop more affordable systems for the rest of us.
With the flick of a button, the world’s first five-section hardtop with an integrated sliding/tilting glass roof, opens and closes in just 25 seconds (just in time before the lights change). This delivers the driver the thrill of top-down driving on a sunny day, or the warmth and comfort on a cold and wet day.
With the top up, the Eos feels tight and quiet as if you were driving a coupé. With the top down there is no sense of the body shake that one used to experience with convertibles of the past.
The large sliding/tilting glass roof captures light, air and a good mood. It weighs a mere 12 kilograms and its dimensions of just over a metre width and 60cm length easily exceed those of a conventional sun roof.
Given the compact look of the Eos, one could expect it to have a cramped interior. This is far from the truth. Front-seat passengers will find it as roomy as VW’s Jetta, with adequate headroom. Obviously with the top down headroom is unlimited, but even with it up the rear seat passengers will find it acceptable unless they are approaching six feet tall. Getting into the back seat is made much easier as the front seatbacks fold down and the seat moves up off the seat runner to provide easier access. However, legroom in the back is tight unless the front occupants move their seats forward.
Passenger safety is enhanced by an active protection system whereby a roll bar in the rear pops up within a quarter of a second when sensors sense a serious roll over is about to occur. Coupled with an extremely stiff front windshield frame, this helps protect passengers in a roll over.
The dashboard in the Eos is similar to that found in the Jetta and GTI. It’s the same layout with some changes to the trim.
The new Volkswagen Eos is truly a car for all seasons. When the metal roof is up, the Eos is sealed and you’d never know it was not a normal two-door, four-passenger coupé. On warm days it takes less than half a minute to transform the Eos into a four-seat convertible. Compared to the price of other metal-hardtop four-seat convertibles and, with its very long list of standard features, the Eos is truly one for the masses.
AUTO FACTS
Price: $47,990-$52,290
Engine: 2.0L turbo diesel, 2.0L turbo petrol
Transmission: 6-speed manual, DSG
Power: 103kW 320Nm , 147kW 280Nm
Good: all the inclusions for the price
Bad: options are pricey

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