Volkswagen's hardtop convertible received the first major update since it was introduced for 2007. The front-wheel-drive car comes standard with Volkswagen's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Last year's manual transmission has been dropped. Inside, the four-seat cabin features redesigned climate controls and a new steering wheel; other areas carry over with few differences.
Competitors to the Eos include convertible versions of the Mini Cooper S and BMW 128i. Those shopping a top-of-the-line model might also consider the Lexus IS 250C.
The 2012 model is recognizable, particularly from the side, as an Eos. Changes to the nose and tail, however, give the car a more assertive look. The front bumper cleanly separates the upper grille from the lower air dam. The Eos also gets new headlights and LED taillights.
Volkswagen says the Eos' five-piece hardtop folds in just 25 seconds. The top includes a power moonroof, which can open independently. With the top down, a small wind deflector deploys above the windshield.
Redesigned controls -- both along the steering wheel and center dashboard -- differentiate the 2012 Eos from earlier years. Chrome-flecked switches now operate the windows and headlights. Apart from that, the cabin carries the same conservative styling and upscale materials as before.
A leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls is standard. High-definition radio reception and keyless access with push-button start are both new for 2011. Volkswagen says the climate control automatically adjusts its intensity based on whether the top is up or down.
Under the Hood
Last year's 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder carries over. It makes 207 pounds-feet of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard. A six-speed manual, offered in years past, is no longer available. With the automatic, highway gas mileage is now up to 31 mpg, VW claims. Last year's automatic Eos got 29 mpg highway.
Standard safety features include front- and side-impact airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system.