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2012 Volkswagen Eos Overview
In spring, the robins appear and the convertible tops go down. For the safety and sportiness of a hardtop coupe, with the option to feel the wind in your hair, there’s the 2012 Volkswagen Eos. All refreshed and ready for good weather, Volkswagen has modified the Eos exterior slightly, with a new headlight shape and standard front foglights now integrating cornering lights. This year’s front grille sports three black louvers with chrome detail. Newly designed LED rear lights, as well as a revamped rear bumper (now with a rear diffuser), change the appearance slightly from behind. The Eos continues to boast that it is the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof. When retracted (which VW claims can be accomplished in 25 seconds), a wind deflector integrated above the sun visors helps to direct air and reduce wind noise.
All of the Eos trims (the base Komfort, midrange Lux and high-end Executive) carry forward a single engine for 2012: a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder, producing 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque. A big change for this year, however, is the elimination of a manual transmission option for the four-seater. Instead, the front-wheel-drive convertible uses an automatic Direct-Shift Gearbox, employing an automatic dual-clutch system with computer-controlled shifting of the 6-speed transmission. The standard transmission comes with Tiptronic and Sport modes to gain greater control of the shifting and improved acceleration power. VW reports fuel economy numbers of 29 mpg highway/22 city for the Eos with a 0-60 mph time of 7.3 seconds.
The Eos’s three trim levels begin with the base Komfort, which rides on 17-inch wheels. The Komfort includes power, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals and optional bi-Xenon headlights with an adaptive front lighting system that moves the headlights in the direction of a turn. Inside, the base trim provides standard Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control, which not only automatically increases air flow when the top is down, but saves preferred settings for “top down” or “top up” mode. The V-Tex leatherette covered seats in the base include 12-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat (including lumbar support) as well as an 8-way manually adjustable front passenger seat—both with heat.
The audio system in the Komfort features a touchscreen Premium VIII system with a 6-disc CD changer, 8 speakers, HD radio and a 3-month trial subscription to Sirius satellite radio. External music players can be integrated with an auxiliary jack and a media device interface that includes an iPod cable. As with the higher-end Lux and Executive trims, the Komfort also provides standard Bluetooth for hands-free phone use.
The midrange Lux trim adds a few features to the base Komfort, including keyless access combined with push-button start. Upgrades to the interior of the Lux include an RNS navigation system with a 5-inch color touchscreen and SD memory card reader, as well as leather seats with 12-way power adjustment for the passenger front seat and real wood interior trim. The Lux also provides standard self-dimming rear-view and driver’s side-view mirrors, a park distance control system to detect objects behind the vehicle and automatic headlights with the VW Coming Home feature, allowing the driver to leave the headlights on for a short amount of time for better visibility.
The high-end Executive trim adds larger, 18-inch wheels and a sport suspension with sport front and rear stabilizers. The navigation system gets a larger screen (6.5 inches) with a 30GB hard drive and a 3-month trial subscription to Sirius Traffic. The audio system gets a boost with the Dynaudio premium system with 10 speakers, a 600-watt amplifier and a digital signal processor.
Standard safety features abound across all three Eos trim levels for 2012, including four airbags and steel beams—hidden behind the rear head restraints—that deploy during a rollover. Other standard protections include electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock and engine braking assist. The standard antilock brakes come with electronic brake pressure distribution and hydraulic brake assist. An Intelligent Crash Response system automatically unlocks all doors, turns off power to the fuel pump and turns on the hazard lights when the airbags have been deployed.
The 2012 Eos is designed to offer upscale convertible fun at a price less than competitors such as the Volvo C70 or the Saab 9-3. The Eos’s fun seems to be found mostly in the front seats, however, with tight headroom in the rear when the top is up and minimal cargo room in the trunk (10.5 cubic feet with the top up and 6.6 cubic feet with the top down). But for those looking for a comfortable luxury driving experience al fresco, the Eos may fit the bill nicely.