2009 Volkswagen Eos Silver-Red Edition
2009 Volkswagen Eos Silver-Red Edition. Click image to enlarge

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2009 Volkswagen Eos

Oshawa, Ontario – Back when Volkswagen introduced the Eos for 2007, it had an unusual problem. According to Media In Canada, the Canadian office was planning a marketing campaign for its all-new retractable hardtop, but had to drop the program. It seems that word-of-mouth travelled so quickly from the earliest buyers that the showrooms were almost picked clean, and there wasn’t much sense in advertising a car that was all but sold out.

It’s certainly understandable. There really are no bad convertibles on a sunny summer day (or even better, on a hot summer night), but some are better than others, and the Eos is a pretty good one.

I’ve found that many journalists tend to look at the Eos’ relatively hefty price tag, and tell readers that they’re better off with sportier, less expensive and more cargo-friendly models from Volkswagen’s stable, but that makes absolutely no sense. You want to carve corners or bring home a sofa, buy a GTI or a Jetta Wagon. You’re getting the Eos solely because the roof goes away, and if that’s what you want, you will have to open your wallet. It comes only with the retractable hardtop; a soft top requires that you look at a New Beetle Convertible.

2009 Volkswagen Eos Silver-Red Edition
2009 Volkswagen Eos Silver-Red Edition. Click image to enlarge

At a base price of $35,975 for the Trendline, the Eos isn’t cheap, and it moves up to $40,275 for the Comfortline, and a considerable $44,575 for my tester, the Silver-Red Edition. But retractable hardtops always cost more than their soft-top siblings, and if you want the weather-tightness and security, you’re going to have to pay for it. You can get the Chrysler Sebring for as low as $27,445: it’s roomier, and definitely a viable contender if your main concern is toplessness alone, but it’s a slushy-riding cruiser. The Pontiac G6 is $36,995, but it’s not an impressive vehicle – the ride will jar your fillings loose, the last one I drove had a squeaky roof over bumps, and the model probably won’t be in GM’s stable much longer once Pontiac is retired. The Mazda MX-5 (formerly the Miata) starts at $35,790 with a retractable hardtop, and while it’s a fantastic driver, it holds only two people to the four that can fit into the Eos, Sebring and G6. Everything else with a retractable hardtop starts above fifty grand: the four-chair Volvo C70 is $52,095, while the two-seater BMW Z4 starts at $53,900, and the likewise-configured Mercedes-Benz SLK will set you back an initial $57,500.

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