Volkswagen Eos Performance
Reviewers find the 2008 Volkswagen Eos fun to drive, though its power and handling dynamics deliver performance that's more practical than sporty. Car and Driver says, "Most buyers will have no performance complaints," but "the passionate driver will be less satisfied."
The Eos has two available engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.2-liter V6. The Turbo, Komfort and Lux trims all come with the four-cylinder and the VR6 comes with the six-cylinder. The four-cylinder can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic, while the V6 can only be paired with the automatic. Either way, Autobytel gives "kudos to Volkswagen" for "assembling one heck of an impressive powertrain."
While "this is no sports car," writes MSN, the Eos' "steering is quick and communicative, and handling is good." BusinessWeek decides, "The Eos' suspension, ride, and steering are just about perfectly tuned for the average American driver." Body shake, which can be a problem with convertibles because of poor structural rigidity, is alleviated by an inverted brace that serves as a platform for the rear seat. Because of this, the Eos "is one of the sturdiest four-seat convertibles we've ever driven," reports Kelley Blue Book, "with ride and handling characteristics closer to those of a fixed-roof coupe than a typical longer-wheelbase drop-top."
Acceleration and Power
The Volkswagen Eos has two available engines. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that creates 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. An optional 3.2-liter V6 creates 250 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It can be paired only with the automatic. "Buyers choose from two fine engines," explains AutoMedia.com, "each with its own, distinctive personality." And both have "a reserve a passing power," according to The Family Car, "even cruising in sixth gear at speeds approaching triple digits."
With the four-cylinder, says Autobytel, "off-the-line acceleration is adequate," and the turbo engages "in what seems a millisecond, so power delivery actually feels linear." Automobile Magazine calls it "smooth and tractable," while noting "its tiresome exhaust growl." deems it "perhaps the best turbo engine on the market," saying, "There's no apparent turbo lag. The engine provides enough scoot just off idle that you don't feel importuned waiting for help from turbo boost. And when it arrives, the engine gets strong fast but not explosively." With the manual, the EPA estimates that the four-cylinder gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. With the automatic transmission, the Eos gets an EPA estimate of 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The six-cylinder engine delivers 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway.
Reviewers are split on the V6, with some appreciating the extra power and others unconvinced of its utility. Motor Trend represents the former, writing, "The V-6 is smoother and more refined, with much more grunt." It "really shows its stuff is in passing maneuvers at freeway speeds and in climbing hilly roads," argues AutoWeek. The New York Times, on the other hand, says the V6 "seems like overkill in a car like this." Motor Week agrees, writing, "Frankly, the turbo-4 is so flexible we think spending money for the V6 is a waste."
Both transmissions earn praise from reviewers. Newsday calls the manual "a gem - one of the smoothest you'll find anywhere." The reports, "Clutch take-up was smooth and the pedal resistance so light that driving in stop-and-go traffic caused no left-leg fatigue." The automatic, explains Kelley Blue Book, is "the innovative DSG transmission," which "functions as a no-touch automatic in traffic and a quick-shifting, no-pedal manual when you're feeling more enthusiastic." CNET claims that it "shifts so rapidly and invisibly it's tempting to leave it in manual mode all the time even without the steering-wheel controls. Luckily, there is a Sport full-automatic mode that holds gears longer and makes better use of the power band than the standard Drive mode."
Handling and Braking
Reviewers like the Eos' handling, though it's more suited to daily commuting than spirited driving. "It doesn't have the road feel of a true sports car," argues BusinessWeek, "but its ride is relatively smooth, even on bumpy back roads." The reports that their test car "seemed to handle slick, twisty roads with ease, and its road manners are pretty impressive for a non-sports car." Road and Track says, "The Eos actually has decent handling considering its ride quality." Car and Driver writes that on rough surfaces the "suspension rebounds hard. Road impacts are fairly quiet, however, which makes the ride seem more luxurious than it is. And the body structure is first-rate -- you'll feel very little shake, top up or top down." Cars.com finds, "For a front-drive car, it has pretty good balance in hard cornering."
Steering, claims the New York Times, "is spot-on precise." The says that the "steering response is quick and accurate." Newsday, on the other hand, says it "offers little feedback to the driver." As for braking, Edmunds reports, "VW equips the Eos with four-wheel disc brakes, brake assist and ABS, all of which combine to bring the car to a stop from 60 mph in 124 feet. Not too shabby, but after repeated test runs, telltale brake fade became apparent." Motor Week conducts its own tests on the brakes, writing, "They stopped our car from 60 in a good average of 125 feet, with very good stability."
The Turbo, Komfort and Lux trims comes with electromechanical dual-pinion, speed-dependent power steering and the VR6 comes with electromechanical dual-pinion power steering. All trims levels of the 2008 Eos are equipped with McPherson front suspension and four-link independent rear suspension and power assisted front vented disc brakes and rear solid disc brakes.
The 2008 Volkswagen Eos comes in four different trim levels with two different engine options. The Turbo, Komfort and Lux trims come with a four-cylinder engine delivering 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The VR6 trim comes with a six-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.