With the top down, the Eos becomes a sporty convertible with four seats, although the rear-seat space is limited.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The cabin materials and switches are of very nice quality, and everything is fit together well. We were disappointed that the phone buttons on the steering wheel didn't work, and no Bluetooth option is available on the car.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

When the navigation option is present, the CD changer moves from in-dash to in-console. The in-console unit is not compatible with MP3s.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The top folds away into the trunk at the touch of a button. It takes about 25 seconds to go from hardtop to convertible.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Our review car was equipped with a Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG), a manual transmission that can be put into automatic mode or shifted normally. With the DSG, there is no clutch pedal to push because the transmission uses a computer-controlled dual-clutch.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

A further example of Volkswagen's design language is the top and bottom grilles, surrounded by a chrome inset that reaches through the front bumper. The grille and the rounded, drooping headlights give the front of the Eos a distinct face.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

A relatively short car, the Eos can fit four people for short trips, or two people and luggage for longer excursions.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Launched at the 2005 Frankfurt Auto Show, the Eos is a completely new model in Volkswagen's lineup. The small coupe is designed specifically for its retractable hard top.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The rear-end of the car rises high, sprung to handle the weight of the roof when it's folded up in the trunk. As a completely new model, it shows off Volkwagen's current design language, such as the molded bumper, without any legacy design issues.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

A cargo protector installed in the trunk shows how much space is available when the top is down. For maximum trunk space, the protector can be removed, but only when the top is up.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The Eos is the only current retractable hardtop car to also feature a sunroof. Opening the sunroof is also the first stage of putting the top all the way down.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The navigation system in the Eos is one we are familiar with from other Volkswagens we've reviewed. It suffers from a slow processor that takes a long time to redraw maps and find addresses.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

Instead of a touch screen, address entry and other applications are controlled with the buttons on the side of the screen. Labels appear next to the buttons indicating their current functions. We found it easy to get used to.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The Eos' navigation system has the usual categories in its points of interest database, although it lacks retail stores.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The stereo uses eight speakers and sounds good. Sirius satellite radio is available, and the radio interface takes advantage of the big LCD.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks

The engine in our review Eos is a turbocharged two-liter inline four-cylinder. We found even a moderate push on the gas pedal caused the front wheels to skitter and screech all the way across an intersection.

Updated:Caption:CNET Reviews staffPhoto:CNET Networks
Up Next

Six generations of the Ford Mustang (pictures)