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2012 Volkswagen Eos (photos)

The 2012 Eos is the first convertible to include a sunroof. The car's retractable hardtop protects it from weather, and folds away into the trunk for fun in the sun.

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Wayne_Cunningham.jpg

Wayne Cunningham

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The Eos is a bit of an oddball in the Volkswagen lineup, a small car with a retractable hardtop. In size and other features, it is very similar to the Jetta.

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The Eos update gets the new Volkswagen look, a narrow grille running between the headlights, all inset in the front of the car.

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Volkswagen only offers one choice for the power train, a turbocharged direct-injection 2-liter engine producing 200 horsepower.

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The Eos can hold five passengers in the front and rear seats. But like most convertibles, it only has two doors.

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The retractable hardtop offers good weather protection, and folds up at the push of a button.

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The Eos uses front-wheel drive, but its weight distribution causes the front wheels to lose traction under acceleration.

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The trunk space is seriously compromised by the retractable hardtop, with just enough room to slip a foot between lip and safety cover.

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Volkswagen equips the front seats with powerful heaters with three settings.

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The wide sunroof is a unique feature in the Eos. Volkswagen boasts that the Eos is the only convertible with a sunroof.

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Soft-touch materials cover the dashboard, and Volksagen makes all the electronics standard at each trim level.

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An electric power-steering unit provides boost to the steering wheel.

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The Eos includes voice command, but it only controls the Bluetooth phone system.

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Watch-dial gauges look sharp in the instrument cluster, bookending a monochrome LCD.

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The six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox offers Drive, Sport, and Manual modes.

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The navigation system is the same as that found in the new Jetta. It stores maps in flash memory for quick response times, but does not have traffic data.

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This semicircular menu structure is used throughout the the infotainment system, and each function gets a different color scheme.

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The LCD is also a touch screen, allowing direct input.

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The instrument cluster display also shows navigation, music, and phone information.

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The phone system includes contact database download.

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The onscreen interface makes it easy to browse an iPod library.

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Audio sources include Bluetooth streaming.

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