I love car names that make sense. Give a car a name that reflects its personality, and I remember the car. Give a car a number, and I'm guaranteed to mix it up with all the rest of them. The name was the first thing I loved about Volkswagen's entry into the luxury-hardtop-convertible market, the Eos. You see, in ancient Greek mythology Eos was the goddess of the dawn. As in, here comes the sun, break out the SPF and put on your shades. Driving the Eos, I embraced my own inner sun goddess and shared my light with the world. That's how to name a car, people!
As soon as the Eos 2.0T appeared on the horizon, a beautiful sparkly red with creamy leather inside, I felt absolutely divine. Clearly, I love more than just the name of this one. The Eos looks like classy, European-styled fun. With the top up, it's a sporty coupe. Put it in Park and press a button, though, and it's a whole new day. My kids called it a "Transformer car" and insisted on showing the automatic roof off to everyone we saw. Based on our testing, the top can handle even the most capricious of drivers. Up, down, up, down, up, down - the magic just doesn't fade. And just when you thought you couldn't decide where you wanted the top, Volkswagen offers a third option: The Eos has a huge sunroof that should be impossible in a convertible. I'm telling you, this car has supernatural powers.
The Eos also has plenty of traditional power, though not in an over-the-top sort of way. The engine is plenty peppy in the hills, and the independent suspension took on switchbacks with a kind of authority that's typically reserved for mythological deities. The Eos comes standard with a race-tuned automatic transmission that shifts in two-tenths of a second, for those moments when you just need to gun it. This convertible goes all out on the side of safety, as well. Reinforced side beams, crumple zones, front and side airbags, a collapsing steering column, a Rollover Protection System and computerized braking protect your precious cargo. To see how this compares with the 2008 version, check out a side-by-side comparison here.
The front seats adjust in 12 ways and have five heat settings, and the steering wheel both tilts and telescopes. I was so comfy and had so much fun in this car I almost forget I'm not actually a goddess of anything other than myself.
Of course, then I put the kids in the car and instantly came back to earth.
First off, the Eos only has two doors. No matter how you look at it, two-door cars are a pain with kids. Yes, the front seats fold easily; there's a lever by the headrest, and the seat even has a power slide button, but it's still a pain. Room is tight in the backseat, but my kids fit fairly well. My 4-year-old's booster seat was too wide to fit properly into the bucket seat and kept sliding over his seat belt receptacle, but both he and his brother had enough legroom and made no complaints. With infant or toddler seats, though, it would be another matter. I wouldn't even try to put a rear-facing seat back there. The Eos is a four-seater, so there's no middle seat; kids have to ride directly behind the driver and front passenger. So unless your passenger is willing to ride with his chin on the dashboard, you aren't getting an infant seat in the back. There are two Latch connectors in the rear seats, but I think they may just be cosmetic. I tried putting a front-facing seat in, and with my seat in a comfortable position my poor 2-year-old niece's feet were squished. Basically, only kids who are out of car seats but still pint-sized are going to be comfy in the back of the Eos. The backseat is set fairly low in the car's body, too, so the view is pretty limited.
It's also difficult to shut the passenger door once the kids are in the back. Just as mine got themselves buckled in I realized that the door was still open, and my 7-year-old had to unbuckle his seat belt, fold the front seat and climb halfway out to reach the door handle, then duck back in before it shut on him. Either that or I would have to shut the passenger door from outside before I got in, since I can't reach it from the driver's seat. This happened with more regularity than anyone would be comfortable with. Like I said, two-door cars are a pain with kids.
In the end, I just can't fully embrace the Eos as a mommy-mobile. Yes, it brings out the goddess in me - and it got me out of carpool duty - but I only cried a little when it disappeared over the horizon.
For more information on the Volkswagen Eos and its safety features, visit Cars.com. With questions or comments regarding this review, write to email@example.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
Latch Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 4
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Groove On
2007 Volkswagen Eos 2.0T
Base price: $30,110
Price as tested: $36,414
Engine: 200-hp, 2.0-liter I-4
Fuel: 23/32 mpg
Step-in height: 5.5"
Turning radius: 17.9'
Cargo space: 6.6 - 10.5 cu. ft.
NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
Driver's side: n/a
Passenger's side: n/a
Front occupant: n/a
Rear occupant: n/a
Rollover resistance: n/a