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2007 Volkswagen Eos

by Martha Hindes

2007 Volkswagen Eos hardtop roadster
2007 Volkswagen Eos Interior

Young, vibrant, and with a Lindsay Lohan pre-crisis kind of mercurial attraction, VW's new Eos hardtop roadster shows what happens when all the best elements are in balance.

It's just oh-so good looking. But wait. There's more. Volkswagen blends the idea with a handful of capabilities meant to paint an instant portrait of its talent. How can one argue with "convertible coupe," "hard-top" and "sunroof" all in the same string of descriptors, or a pricetag a shade below the magic $30,000 mark?

This is a tidy little front-drive four-seater. A road runner with simple, elegant lines, just enough trim in the right places, and a neat trick for folding what's not needed out of the way with a flick of a switch. What's not needed on a warm Mediterranean-mood day, of course, is any top at all. What's needed when an evening chill makes wide open spaces less desirable? With sundown or under cloudy skies, the hardtop roof unfolds out of the trunk to secure itself firmly in place, or offer an expansive sunroof area area as five tinted glass overlapping roof panels slide back to open it up. The best of all worlds.

Under the Eos are a lot of predictable VW basics that underscore the small Golf and other models. Not surprising, considering such solid engineering has withstood the test of endurance, like a well-honored and canny Halle Berry accepting her latest acting award in breathtaking couture design. You know, sultry on the edge of daring without any career-warping diversions.

What would a sporty convertible be without the proper power? VW answers the question with a choice of a 2.0-liter, 200-HP four cylinder ($27,990) or a 3.2-liter, space saving "narrow angle" V6 ($36,850). The quiet "four banger" generates 207 lbs.-ft. of road controlling torque and ekes out 23 city miles and 32 highway miles per gallon. Pop-up roll bar-style protection augments other serious safety equipment should the temptation to rally test it take an unanticipated turn.

Unexpected amenities highlight the Eos, including heated, folding side mirrors with blinkers (self-dimming to mute neighboring auto light glare on the driver's side). Inside the Eos is pure pleasure, warmed wit walnut and brushed aluminum trim.

While some competitors suffer from sandwich shock (AKA very little trunk space with the top down), Eos manages to gain more than the average - putting it well above average in our opinion.

View VW's reaction to this "sexy" announcement here!