Tuesday, June 10, 2014

2014 VW Eos- Desert Delightful

The triple-digit days in Palm Springs are fast approaching. It was high 90s this afternoon, and is still in the upper 80s a little after seven in the evening as the Eos and I head up winding Highway 74 toward the mountain town of Idyllwild. The turbo is humming softly, the DSG transmission is slapped into third with a couple thousand revs to go before redline, and the corner illuminating foglamps are darting back and forth to illuminate the twisty path. Of course the top is stowed. The passenger side windows are raised, partially in anticipation of the cooler temperatures up the mountain in Idyllwild, and partially to preserve a the remains of a really good hair day. The CD player is blasting K-Tel’s Greatest Hits of Drag and in this moment, the Eos is simply perfect. It and I seem to exist only for the enjoyment of the other.

I’ve always had a strong affection for open Volkswagens, and the Eos is no exception. In fact, if anything, the little hardtop-convertible-with-sunroof coupe might just be my favorite topless VW offering in recent memory. It’s certainly not the newest offering in the line-up, the Golf-based charmer has been around since 2007 and had only had a minor refreshing back in 2012, yet it continues to make people smile.

For how long is an open question, what with the seventh-generation Golf platform headed toward our shores, it’s just unlikely that VW will invest in a new generation for the likable little car, and that’s really a shame. Because the Eos has something most convertibles don’t- a sliding glass sunroof, which is a huge plus in Palm Springs. Yes, we love our desert but there are times of the day when it’s too hot for top down driving but just right for a sliding sunroof- and only the Eos gives you the choice of all three in a hardtop convertible. Drive to breakfast with the top down, then home with the sunroof open to avoid the sun on your neck. From there the little beret is tightly sealed until sundown, when the top does down and the Eos comes out to play.

Since the EOS is essentially a high-line Golf with a disappearing hardtop, I just have to take a moment to talk about the roof itself. It disappears completely in about 30 seconds, was water tight in the epic car wash test, rattle free and almost sedan quiet when raised. And the solid sunroof shade was a big plus in the desert heat. Yes, the roof is an expensive item, but at least you’re getting value for the money spent.

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a pricey little piece. My base-level Komfort represents the least expensive Eos one can buy, with a base price of $36,460 including freight. It’s pretty tall, but the level of standard equipment is quite high. There’s only one drivetrain- VW’s 2.0-liter turbo four with direct injection, it’s 200 ponies are mated to a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. Navigation is standard too, as is a back-up cam, bluetooth, 17” alloys, electronic climate control, a 12-way power driver’s seat, and VW’s pretty-darn good but unbranded audio. From there you can step up to a $39,190 Sport or a full-boat $42,960 Executive, which is some pretty serious coin indeed.

But don’t. The $36,460 Eos Komfort gives you a well equipped little VW complete with the sun, the moon and the stars.  Is it expensive? Yes. The power disappearing top with moonroof appears to add about five grand to the price. But on the other hand, I can think of a lot of $36,000 cars that aren’t nearly as much fun to drive as the Eos. And with the new seventh-generation Golf just around the corner, the window of opportunity will be closing sooner than  we’d like.

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