Used Vehicle Review: Volkswagen Eos, 2007-2015

Vehicle Type

Convertible

History Description 

Owners rave about a blend of comfort, performance, efficiency, uniqueness and fun-to-drive manners from the Eos. 

With classy styling, good fuel mileage, a unique folding-roof system, and the promise of year-round usability, the Volkswagen Eos catered to shoppers after a sensible and economical convertible. Notably, this two-door four-seater flaunted a motorized convertible hard-panel top, which included a built-in sunroof, and could fold away into the trunk in less than 30 seconds when desired.

The Eos enjoyed a lengthy life in its single generation, which launched initially for model-year 2007. Note that from model-year 2012, updates gave the Eos a refreshed look and revised feature content. 

Over its lifespan, Eos offered push-button start, steering-wheel-mounted controls, automatic climate control, heated leather, a touchscreen navigation system and adaptive xenon headlights with LED running lights. A 600 watt Dynaudio stereo system with 10 speakers could be specified as well.

If you’re cross-shopping for an affordable, sensible and family-ready drop-top, be sure to consider the Pontiac G6 Convertible, Toyota Solara, Chrysler 200, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Volvo C70 as well.

Engines

All models were powered by Volkswagen’s well-known 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, with direct injection, 200 horsepower and slightly more torque. Power goes to the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or six-speed direct-shift automated gearbox. Note that the manual transmission option was eventually dropped from the model line. 

What Owners Like

Many owners rave about a blend of comfort, performance, efficiency, uniqueness and fun-to-drive manners from the Eos, with the turbo engine and comfortable ride commonly listed as favourites. The premium audio system is also highly rated. Many owners say they enjoy the predictable front-drive handling in slippery weather, and the manual transmission is said to be very smooth and easily operated. One owner sums up the Eos as a “toy and a commuter car in one body.” 

What Owners Dislike

Gripes are minimal – with common complaints stemming from limited trunk space and a turbulent cabin with the top stored, and wind noise at speed.

Here’s a look at some VW Eos Owner Reviews

The Test Drive 

Approach any used VW Eos you’re considering with the following facts in mind: it’s a convertible, it’s got the VW 2.0T engine, it probably has the DSG transmission, and it’s a used German car. 

With this in mind, the following checks are advised.

First, start a test drive of a potential used Eos by looking for water leaks. Some Eos owners have reported some level of water leakage through the roof assembly past its rubber seals – so be sure to check carpeting, the roof panels, the area where the roof stores, and even the seats for signs of mold, dampness and standing water. Pressing your hand or a rag into the carpeting at the outer corners of the floor and trunk can reveal moisture. Note that leather seating panels that look dried up and beef-jerky-like have typically been soaked and dried. Water-stain lines on vertical carpeting surfaces may be another warning sign of leaks on the model you’re considering. A visit to a garden hose or coin-op car wash to soak the Eos you’re considering, and to check for leaks, may be a good idea.

Inspect all rubber seals with the roof assembly part-way open so they’re all visible. Seals should be plump and intact, not dried, cracked, broken or missing. 

A few tips on preventing leaks during ownership: first, regularly inspect, clean and lubricate all rubber seals to protect them from wear and damage. Second, locate all of the body drain tubes, and regularly clean them with a piece of weed-whacker wire or a blast of compressed air, so they drain water properly. Extra lubrication of the weather seals is a great idea in wintertime, to prevent freezing and tearing. Finally, note that if a leak is detected and all seals look intact, your VW dealer may be able to assist with adjustment of roof assembly panels and hinges. Here’s a valuable resource from an owners forum about addressing VW Eos roof leaks.

On a test drive, be sure to run the roof through its paces several times, confirming that no warning messages appear in the instrument cluster, and that the electric motor doesn’t sound strained, or fail to work. 

Moving on to the engine, note that the Eos is powered by the VW Group 2.0T four-cylinder unit, and that a few other checks should be considered mandatory in light of commonly reported potential issues with this engine.  

First, have the ECU scanned for trouble codes, whether or not there’s a Check Engine light illuminated. Note that a misfire code is often taken as evidence of a well-documented issue with valve gunk build-up in this direct-injected engine, and should be addressed by a VW technician.

Read this twice: running high-quality fuel and being religious about spark-plug change intervals appear vital in fending off valve-gunk accumulation, so ensure that the unit you’re considering has been properly maintained in this regard. Sporadic performance, a lumpy idle or inconsistent responsiveness at light-to-moderate throttle can also be taken as trouble signs. 

On models with the DSG transmission, note any signs of clumsy shifting, hard shifting, failure to respond or to shift as expected, or any other unexpected behavior. Typically, issues with this transmission, if noted, are software-related in nature and not mechanical – though a VW technician should check the transmission on any model you’re considering to make sure that’s the case, if issues are detected. Here’s some more useful reading. And another post, outlining how a warped clutch plate, not software, caused this owner's DSG transmission to act up.

As with virtually any used German car, be sure to check for proper operation of all on-board electronics, noting any lights, functions or systems that aren’t working properly. Ensure xenon headlights, if fitted, aren’t burned out – as these special bulbs can be pricey to replace. Confirm proper operation of the power windows on your test drive, too, as some owners have reported issues. Here’s some more reading, and a look at the repair.

The Verdict

A healthy used Eos with no signs of convertible-roof leakage, transmission issues or valve-gunk buildup should provide relatively affordable access to a year-round convertible motoring experience that’s upscale, efficient and comfortable. A well-maintained model with full service records, including spark-plug changes, and the manual transmission is likely the safest bet. 

Just 3 recalls.

Crash Test Ratings 

IIHS: Top Safety Pick (2009)

NHTSA: N/A

Eos loved by owners as an everyday convertible, but check for roof leaks and valve gunk 10/6/2016 6:30:00 AM