Best Bet
  • (4.6) 29 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $4,320–$11,152
  • Body Style: Convertible
  • Engine: 200-hp, 2.0-liter I-4 (premium)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 6-speed auto-shift manual w/OD and auto-manual
  • Seats: 4
2008 Volkswagen Eos

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Volkswagen Eos

What We Don't Like

  • Pending further review

Notable Features

  • Retractable hardtop
  • Four seats
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • Active roll bar
  • Optional adaptive bi-xenon headlights

2008 Volkswagen Eos Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

Editor's note: This review was written in December 2006 about the 2.0T version of the 2007 Volkswagen Eos. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what details are different this year, check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

With its retractable hardtop and excellent drivetrains, the new Eos convertible is a welcome addition to the Volkswagen lineup and to the market as a whole.

VW has a habit of releasing convertible models in the fall (if twice makes it a habit). The last time was the Beetle Convertible, a soft-top. This time it's a little more appropriate because the Eos' retractable hardtop makes it more viable as a four-season car.

VW needs this convertible. True, it has one, but let's face it: Many men are as comfortable driving a Beetle as they are holding their wife's purse. (Note I said many ... I can see the hate mail already.)

Aside from a line of Canon cameras, Eos is also the goddess of dawn in Greek mythology — daughter of Hyperion and Theia. This being a convertible, it might be more relevant that she's the middle sister of Helios and Selene (the sun and moon). In "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," Homer describes Eos as "rosy fingered" and "saffron robed." I describe Eos as a Rabbit with the top lopped off. Actually, it's not lopped off, it's sectioned and articulated to store in the trunk; you'd only know it's not a fixed-roof coupe if you got close and looked carefully, or observed it going through its 25-second transformation. Though it shares its platform with the Rabbit, the Eos has the Jetta's plunging chrome grille, combined with more interesting, scalloped headlights.

Retractable Top: Form Meets Function
An intriguing U-shaped aluminum lever just under the center armrest operates the powered top: push down on the lever to lower the roof, lift it to raise. Press the black center switch and only the frontmost roof panel motors back, like a sunroof. It's similar to the Mini Cooper convertible, though that model is a soft-top. When the whole top opens, the two side rails detach from the windshield frame and move back as well. On the driver's armrest is a global window switch that raises or lowers all four side windows at once. Nice.

A Drawback Out Back
Like most retractable tops, the Eos' is fascinating to watch. One shortcoming is that its trunklid, when opening to accept the folded top, pivots backward farther than I've seen on such a car — a couple feet from the body and about a foot beyond the bumper. You might bash another car or some other obstacle if you don't leave enough room (see photo), and I don't think the warning on the instrument panel is enough to prevent it.

Decent Cargo Room
When the top's up, the lower two Eos trim levels have 10.5 cubic feet of cargo volume. Naturally, it's smaller when the top is stowed: 6.6 cubic feet underneath a rigid partition that must be in place to define the top's space. While there's no provision to raise the stacked panels for better trunk access, the clearance is actually quite generous. There's also a pass-thru to the cabin. The highest, 3.2L trim level has slightly less volume, 9.3 and 5.4 cubic feet, simply because it requires two trunk-mounted 6-volt batteries (wired in series) in place of the other versions' smaller 12-volt case.

Great Drivetrain, in any Car
Convertibles, especially retractable hardtops, are heavier than fixed-roof cars, so the Eos comes standard with a 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder instead of the Rabbit's 150-hp, 2.5-liter five-cylinder. (Even though the middle Eos trim level is called the 2.0T, the base car has the same engine.) The Eos 3.2L has a normally aspirated 250-hp six-cylinder called a VR6. (VW considers it a V-6, but it's more of an inline-6 with staggered cylinders ... don't get me started.) Where the other trims have a standard six-speed manual transmission and the 2.0T offers an optional six-speed automatic, the 3.2L comes only as an automatic.

Eos Drivetrains
Base2.0T3.2L
Engine type2.0-liter 4-cylinder2.0-liter 4-cylinder3.2-liter "VR6" 6-cylinder
Inductionturbochargedturbochargednormally aspirated
Horsepower
(@ rpm)
200 @ 5,100200 @ 5,100250 @ 6,300
Torque
(lbs.-ft. @ rpm)
207 @ 1,800207 @ 1,800235 @ 2,500
Standard transmission6-speed manual6-speed manual6-speed automatic
Optional transmission6-speed automatic
EPA gas mileage (city/highway, mpg)23/3223/32 (man.)
23/31 (auto.)
22/29
Recommended gasolinepremium
(91 octane)
premium
(91 octane)
premium
(91 octane)
EPA Green Vehicle rating (0-10 scale; 10 is cleanest)776
Source: Manufacturer, except where specified.

My test car was a 2.0T manual, for which VW cites a zero to 60 mph time of 7.4 seconds. It felt faster to me. I can't get enough of this drivetrain, which is used in many VW and Audi cars. It responds quickly, and its power just keeps on coming, evenly, as the engine rpm increase. When I floored it, the front wheels consistently broke traction when the turbo got pumping, even on dry pavement when the car was already moving. Naturally, this triggered the standard traction control and sometimes the electronic stability system, so things never got out of hand. The 3.2L has about 30 pounds-feet more torque, but it comes at a higher rpm, as shown in the table, so it's hard to tell how much difference it would make over the turbo 4 in regular city driving. VW estimates its zero to 60 mph time at 6.9 seconds.

Note that the 2.0-liter versions of the Eos get better gas mileage than the five-cylinder Rabbit, which is 22/30 mpg (city/highway) across the board. The 3.2L is just 1 mpg behind in highway driving.

Ride & Handling
With the exception of roadsters, convertibles tend to be less sporty, either because of the extra weight or because automakers have determined that buyers tend to be more "casual," as they say. This is why automatic transmissions rule the category. The Eos is actually sporty for a four-seater. I can't address the base hardware, but my Eos with the Sport package exhibited good cornering and roadholding with its firmer ride and larger stabilizer bars. For a front-drive car, it has pretty good balance in hard cornering.

By the numbers, the Eos' weight is distributed 57 percent front and 43 percent rear in the base model, but it seemed to me that the understeer was mitigated when the top was down. The animated photos show how the car squats when the top's weight shifts rearward, so it's no surprise. (My impressions were with the stability system turned off; it prevents under- and oversteer.) The lack of a fixed roof hurts a car's structural stiffness, so I was pleased to encounter decent rigidity and minimal shudder when traversing bumps. I rate the Eos' noodle factor as medium-soft.

An Interior Fit for a Goddess
In typical VW fashion, the Eos' interior has ample adjustments, including seat height for the driver and lumbar for both front seats (manual or powered, depending on the trim level). A standard tilt/telescoping steering wheel further accommodates drivers of different statures. All but the base trim's front seats are heated. Only the 3.2L comes standard with leather upholstery. It's otherwise available in option packages. While other brands have improved their interiors, VW still offers something extra in terms of quality. My car had the ubiquitous silvery bezel on the center control panel, but here it's not as objectionable, quality wise, as it is on many cars. More important, the standard "metallic trim" appears to be real aluminum. Congrats to VW for using the real thing — or doing enough to trick the eye.

The two-passenger backseat's usefulness depends on where the top is and how much legroom the front occupants care to share. With unlimited top-down headroom, even an adult might be happy. Top up, not so much. A rocker switch atop either front seatback on the 2.0T and 3.2L makes moving the seats and climbing in back easy.

When the top's up, the cabin is nice and quiet, a major benefit of retractable hardtops. The air is reasonably calm when driving with the top down; owners who want more isolation can attach the flip-up wind deflector screen that sits right behind the front head restraints. Behind the rear head restraints hides an active roll bar, which pops up only in the instance of a rollover. Other safety features, aside from those required, include side-impact airbags for the front seats that are claimed to provide head as well as torso protection.

Eos in the Market
Even though the ranks of retractable hardtops are growing, the Eos fills a nice niche. It fits between the Pontiac G6 convertible and the Volvo C70 in price, and it's much closer to the Volvo in quality. Obviously, there's some price overlap. The Eos starts below $29,000 for the base trim level and ranges up to about $37,400 for the 3.2L, including the destination charge. As equipped, my Eos 2.0T test car hit $36,110, but I think the truly casual buyer/driver would be happy without my car's optional frills. Because it comes with many extra features standard, a loaded 3.2L tops out at about $41,000. I predict success for this model, though I'm duty-bound to mention that VW has had reliability problems with many of its models recently. If this mechanically complex car holds together, it should keep its owners very happy.

Send Joe an email 


Consumer Reviews

(4.6)

Average based on 29 reviews

Write a Review

excellent used car

by john doe from sun city az on November 22, 2017

would own one again in a heart beat and it was so reliable ... to bad they don't make them any more had to buy a GTI instead this time around

Read All Consumer Reviews

4 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Volkswagen Eos trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Volkswagen Eos Articles

2008 Volkswagen Eos Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Eos Komfort

Head Restraints and Seats
M
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Eos Komfort

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
M
Overall Rear
M
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
A
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
A
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
M
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

48mo/50,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years