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Volkswagen Eos

2015 Eos Final Edition 2

Base Price: $35,795
Price as tested: $39,156

By Russ Heaps

With winter fast approaching, it might not seem like the ideal time to talk convertibles; but the Volkswagen Eos is a drop top for all seasons. Sadly, this is its final year of production. Sales haven’t been overwhelming, and VW feels the Beetle convertible is all it needs to check off the soft-top box.

Here’s the thing: If the Eos was a $25,000-to-$28,000-priced car, it would virtually fly off showroom floors. But with a price of $35,795 for the base Komfort model and $42,335 for the top-of-the-line Executive trim level, it’s much easier to see why sales haven’t been exactly robust. My test Eos was a $39,156 Final Edition version. As the nomenclature suggests, this trim celebrates 2015 as the car’s last year. It replaces last year’s Sport trim level.

Sure, there isn’t a value story here, but the price tag is my only “but.” In every other respect, this is a terrific car.

Because it is the last gasp for Eos, VW hasn’t made any significant changes from the 2014 version. All the things so easy to like 2015 Eos Final Edition 3in the 2014, such as a hardtop that retracts or deploys in just 25 seconds, a 200-horsepower 2-liter turbocharged engine, standard navigation system and nicely appointed interior all return for 2015.

Do you know of another convertible with a built-in glass sunroof? No you don’t because there isn’t one. Eos has a massive glass sunroof with a power tilt/slide function. A glass panel located aft of the sunroof adds to the illusion that the top in just one big sheet of glass.

Furnished for four, most adults will find the backseat too confining for anything beyond a work-lunch sprint to a restaurant. Up front, though, there is gobs of room and no shortage of comfort. Supportive bucket seats provide adequate side bolstering. Interior styling is clean and tidy. No one will get lost in the few buttons neatly arrayed across the center stack. Clear and concise, the gauges are easy to decipher. The cabin materials feel upscale and everything is carefully screwed together.

2015 Eos FInal Edition InteriorIn profile, with the top raised, Eos doesn’t much look like a Volkswagen. Front and rear views, however, will dispel any confusion. Dropping or raising the top may attract a crowd; a fair portion of its 470 components are in full view when they come into play during its operation.

Eos won’t pin you against the seat during hard acceleration, but get-up-and-go is spirited. It’s turbocharged four-cylinder generates 207 lb-ft of torque – the grunt to get the wheels turning – that’s all available very low in the rpm range. So, although it’s not jackrabbit quick, Eos accelerates with determination. A six-speed, driver-shiftable transmission hustles engine production to the front wheels. Fuel economy is OK, if not great. The EPA estimates 22 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway and 25 in combined city/highway driving.

With the top raised, the cabin is remarkably quiet. Even when lowered, wind buffeting and the resulting noise isn’t overpowering. If you head out on a trip, you will need to develop a packing strategy. There isn’t a lot of cargo space – 6.6 cu. ft. in the trunk when the top is lowered. That’s about 30% less then a Nissan Versa sedan.

Eos may be on the pricey side, but the standard-feature list is long. Even the base model comes with the power sunroof and 2015 Eos Final Edition 1navigation system already mentioned. Also standard are full power accessories, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, five-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity and an audio system with iPod connectivity.

The Final Edition, like my test Eos, adds push-button start, Bi-Xenon headlights with adaptive front-lighting system, two-toned leather seating, rearview camera and rain-sensing wipers. Making that $3,000 jump to the Executive trim adds wood accents in the cabin, a larger touchscreen, Park Distance Control and a premium10-speaker audio system.

Unique to say the least, Eos has no real peers. It will be missed.