[en] Volkswagen Eos weekend drive [auto/cars]

23 iunie 2008
I’ve been fortunate enough to receive a nice car to test-drive for a looong week-end (Friday to Tuesday). It was a Volkswagen Eos (car configurator available) coupe cabriolet, the one year old break-through model Volkswagen introduced last year. The engine was the new TSI 1.4L, 122 HP with turbocharger. Beautiful and modern design makes this car a serious candidate to a cross-country road trip!
There is a big difference in motor-configurations across continents. While in Western Europe and America most motors are 1.6, 2.0 and 3.2 Liter petrol and 2.0 TDI engines, in Eastern Europe there is a big demand for 1.4 TSI engines which deliver 122 HP (having just turbo supercharger ), 140 HP and 170 HP (supercharger
and an exhaust gas turbocharger arranged in series) being a LOT sporty than it might seem.The standard means: 16 inch alloy wheels, LED tail lights, all airbags, disk brakes front and back, ABS< EDS< ASR, ESP,active headrests, central-locking with crash sensor,radio-cd with MP3 and 4 speakers (front), electromechanical servo-assist for the steering-wheel.
My test car was  more than a standard, with special alloy wheels (17 inch), Climatronic dual, "Plus" onboard computer, wind deflector in the back, Design Chrome&Style, Bi-Xenon headlights and washers, sport seats, an audio system with 10 speakers and 600 Watts amplifier, auto-pilot,heated seats.
After 4 days of driving more than 1000 km, I can summarize this:
Inside
Being a coupe cabriolet I wasn’t expecting too much space. But a lot of it is available. The dashboard is ergonomic (the ones driving the new Passat know about this), with all the controls at hand, with large, simple dials and nicely finished buttons.
 
 
The lateral windows are extremely big and wide allowing one to see over the shoulder without any obstruction. The materials used are top class and the finishing touches are perfect.It really feels like driving a Passat and one can’t tell a difference at times.
There is a wide sunroof which is standard. It filters the sun-beams very good and lets in a lot of light. One can operate it thru a button located at the back end of the front arm-rest, where the button to take the top down is also to be found.
The top is a hardtop and it takes 30 seconds to complete the operation. There’s a demo on the top link. The system is pretty smart: for example, it will memorize the temperature you had inside just before you let your top down and it will try to keep the same temperature while you drive in convertible mode. Also, by putting the top up again, it will command the dual Climatronic to switch back to your memorized temperature.
Note: buy the wind deflector in the back. It’s easy to deploy and it takes less than a minute.
 
 
It’s a must! Otherwise,your neck will be stuck in less than 20 minutes. Also, the front wind deflector (above the windshield and it’s standard) must be used in order to avoid currents passing thru the cabin.
 
 
Performance:
Knowing it’s a 1.4 petrol engine, I wasn’t expecting much. But it blew me away because the turbine has variable geometry which means it will work starting quite early featuring an impressive torque of 200 NM from 1,500 through
to 3,500-4,500 rpm.It has 80 percent of maximum torque starting at 1,250 rpm.
It accelerates constant  from 60  to almost 200 km/h! Constantly and  with power!  This is also very economic: my consumption can be seen above. Keep in mind it’s extra-urban, and that the medium speed was just under 100 km/h. Also, the car had only 800 km on board thus being a bit lazy sometimes and eating up to 10% more gas.
At some point it was 6.9 l/100 km.
 
 

Rain came at times but because of the frontal wind deflector
and speed (130-160km/h) we escaped clean. No rain entered the card even when it
poured for 10 minutes! When hitting bad roads, however, the windows rattled
badly and the car felt like coming apart. This wasn’t the case as the body is
well reinforced. This was a problem with convertibles in the past but it seems
like they were solved.

The ride was smooth, the handling of the car accurate. It
responds well to sporty approach but tends to over steer pretty easy. This was
something that caught my eye right away. When driving at high speeds it seems
unstable and it was most of the times. This reminded me "convertible"
is not the same as "sport", though the motor seemed convincing most
of the times. Driving with top down is a dream! You feel the air flowing, the
smells surround you and the sky is THERE all the time. Also the light is coming
from above and that’s not an usual feeling.

Earlier I said it feels like a Passat. And it is quite so.
The power-train is quite the same. It’s smooth and very German: like a tank.
The car feels sturdy and gives you confidence on the road. 

Road noise and wind at high speeds tend to get really
disturbing once you pass 130 km/h mark but they are countered by the fine music
system which is REALLY loud if you push it to 50%. At 90% you got to get out of
the car and you’ll be fine. Once you put the top on, it will
become the Eos will become a silent cruiser.
Of course , when it comes to buying and ownership, this car
is not cheap. Like any other convertible, that’s the main focus and you have to
pay for it: it starts from around 23.000 Euro (varies from country to country),
VAT included. And one must take into consideration at least 3.000 Euro in optional
features. Other  than  that, it’s  not expensive to operate ,  and the reselling value  is quite high  if you "remember"  to  give it up  in just  2-3  years.I  never thought  of buying a convertible  before but if  I’d  need one, I think  Eos would be a good  choice.
Because it makes you feel alive and seek adventure everytime you drive it. 

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