2012 Volkswagen EOS 2.0 TSI Review & Test Drive


Hardtop convertibles are the latest ‘niche’ vehicles that many manufacturers, especially fromGermany, are offering their customers.  It all started with the Mercedes-Benz SL, then BMW joined the fray, Mazda offered a MX-5 model, then VW came up with the EOS a couple of years ago.

For 2012 VW features an updated and freshened exterior design with numerous new interior features to tempt consumers looking for a sophisticated four-season vehicle that is fun-to-drive, fully featured, the perfect complement of style and performance, and is the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof.

The new Eos is clearly structured and horizontally contoured, slightly boxy from the front doors back to the rear fascia.  New colors are available, and I had the Indium Gray Metallic exterior and reddish orange leather interior.  The Eos follows the code of the VW design DNA.  Extending now between the new headlights is a grille consisting of three shiny black louvers, each trimmed with a narrow chrome strip.  From behind the Eos stands out through its reworked, two-part LED rear lights with a fiber optic technology system and redesigned rear bumper, dual exhaust tip and diffuser.  It is a unique design unlike any other hardtop convertible.

The refined interior, also available in several color options, showcases new trim on the instrument panel and doors with standard ‘matte chrome’ detailing, as well as chrome-framed window switch buttons and light switches.  All Eos models come standard with a leather-wrapped multi-function tilt/telescoping steering wheel and shift knob that is surrounded by a satin aluminum bezel.  The 12-way power driver/front passenger seats are very comfortable and supportive with all of the switches, buttons and dials within easy reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel.  The instrument cluster is easy to see and understand with center readout for your trip computer.

Providing a dynamic driving experience, the 2012 Eos features the powerful and efficient 2.0 liter, DOHC, cast iron block/aluminum head, exhaust turbocharger/intercooler with direct injection.  This potent powerplant develops 200hp at 5,100rpm and 207lb.ft. of torque between 1,800-5,000rpm for quick launches.  You race out to 60mph from a standstill in just 7.4 seconds while getting a top highway fuel economy rating of 31mpg.

For 2012 the Eos features the automatic Direct-Shift Gearbox transmission as standard.

This technologically advanced six-speed transmission incorporates an automatic dual-clutch system that instantly engages and disengages gears without the need for a clutch pedal.  With a special computer controlling the process, one clutch is engaged on the next gar needed while the clutch from the previous gear is released.  The results are crisp, quick shifts without the loss of power that is experienced with a traditional manual gearbox.  Just tap up to advance your selected gear or tap back to lower your selected gear.

The chassis and frame are very rigid thanks to the use of high-tensile steel and bracing underneath the Eos.  I never experienced any cowl shake when traveling over poorly paved roads.

The unique fully independent suspension makes driving the Eos even more fun and exciting when the spirit of attacking steep curving roads comes upon you.

Up front is a MacPherson concept with triangular wishbones, telescopic gas-charged shocks an anti-roll bar and an axle acoustically decoupled from the body.  The independent rear setup has four-links, telescopic gas-charged shocks, an anti-roll bar and an axle that is acoustically decoupled from the body.  These front and rear isolated cradles lesson noise, vibration and harshness.

The electro-mechanical, dual pinion, speed dependent power-assisted steering system is a perfect match to steer the Eos with pin-point precision, excellent turn-in with a great feel for the road and on-center feel.  The steering wheel never felt ‘loose’, always ready to quickly change my direction.

Slowing the new 2012 Eos down from speed is no problem with the larger, 12.3 inch vented front discs clamped with dual piston calipers, while the rear features 11 inch solid discs clamped on by large single-piston calipers.  Standard ABS, BA and electronic stability program helps keep you in control during severe braking maneuvers.

This new Eos rides on large 18X8 inch alloy wheels wrapped with 235/40R18 inch all-season radial tires for excellent grip and a compliant, smooth ride.

In technical terms, numerous contemporary details set the 2012 Eos apart.  With a robust five-part roof unit, the fully opening hardtop converts the Eos from a coupe to a convertible, and visa-versa, in just 25 seconds with the touch of a button.  Unlike any other convertible, the Eos features a full-functional sunroof with shade, allowing the open-air experience when the convertible top is up.  A wind deflector has been cleverly integrated into the roof bow above the sun visors that effectively reduces wind noise when the top is stowed.  And as temperatures rise and fall, the Eos is ready to respond with its dual-mode automatic climate control system that adjusts temperature based on the position of the convertible top.  All of these make Eos a great alternative for all-season fun.  Also new on the Eos this year is the Keyless Entry and Start System, which allows you to get in and start up the car without taking the key out of your pocket or purse.  Music lovers will enjoy the HD radio reception alongside SIRIUS satellite radio programming and MP3/WMA music file playback through the color touch-screen radio.

Standard safety features include driver/front passenger airbags, driver/front passenger head/thorax side airbags, 3-point safety belts for all four passengers with front pretensioners/load limiters, rollover protection system with automatic rear head restraints, LATCH child seat anchors, tire pressure monitoring and foglamps.

Standard features not mentioned above include memory for driver seat, leather seating, RNS 510 premium touchscreen radio/navigation system, Dynaudio premium speakers, climatronic dual zone climate control, heated front seats, cruise control, power windows with one-touch up/down, power door locks, power folding/heated sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, dual lighted vanity mirrors, dual map lights, center console with dual cupholders, rear seat dual cupholders, rear park-distance sensor control, automatic headlamps, LED tail lights, rain-sensing intermittent wipers/washers, rear seat pass-through, two-12-volt power outlets, front/rear carpeted floor mats, and storage slots in each door.

If you like the sun in your face and the wind in your hair, no matter the outside temperature, the new updated 2012 VW Eos is an excellent choice for a four-seat hardtop convertible that also comes with a fully functional sunroof when the sky opens up on your trip.




  • Price: Base EOS MSRP $33,995 As-Tested $39,220.00
  • Engine: 2.0-liter  TSI Turbocharged 4-cylinder 200 horsepower @ 5100rpm / 207  lbs. ft. Torque @ 1800 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 101.5in.
  • Total length: 173.5in.
  • Total width: 70.5in.
  • Total height: 56in.
  • Track: f/r-60.8/61.1in.
  • Headroom: f/r-37.5/35.8in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.7/32.5in.
  • Curb weight: 3,569lbs.
  • Turning circle: 35.8ft.
  • Fuel tank: 14.5 gallons
  • EPA passenger volume: 77.4cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 6.6cu.ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.4 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 22mpg/city, 30mpg/highway