By on July 24, 2014

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Volkswagen has officially announced that the Eos hardtop-convertible is coming to an end. Not entirely surprising, given that the convertible market has been dwindling some time and shows few signs of life. But one of TTAC‘s industry sources shed some light on an interesting threat to the convertible market.

According to our source, the take rate for panoramic sunroofs has a correlation with the decline in the popularity of convertibles. Lacking access to that (very proprietary) data, it’s impossible to corroborate this assertion, but perhaps the B&B, especially those in the industry, have some insight into the matter.

As a two-time convertible owner, I understand that the idea of a convertible is romantic and enticing, but the reality is often the opposite. Hot summer days can lead to sunburns and sweaty scalps, while winters without a lined top (like the Thinsulate-lined roof in the Jaguar F-Type) can be nearly as miserable as being outdoors. If you’re ever stuck in traffic in an open-roofed car, you will fry like an egg on the engine block of Ted Nugent’s truck.

I happen to dislike panoramic sunroofs for the greenhouse effect it can have on a car’s interior, but many people seem to find them to be a fun novelty, and a viable alternative to a real soft top convertible.

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111 Comments on “Panoramic Sunroofs Killed The Volkswagen Eos...”


  • avatar
    seth1065

    I have a VW wagon with the Pano Roof and love it but it is no ragtop, I think one thing that cost EOS sales was their folding roof had a zillion motors and very few people had faith in VW to think they would not get stuck with a big repair bill. I also have a Saab ragtop and use that as a summer car so I get the best of both worlds but it would be hard to live with a ragtop all year round in Metro NY. The Eos was a good car that VW did not do a lot with. A Pano roof car is much much easier to have year round.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

      That’s what I said! Tad Nugent!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m looking at getting a Jetta SportWagen TDI with panoramic sunroof this weekend.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      My wife has a 560SL with a hardtop for the winter and a ragtop for summer. Win -win. (I have a similar situation with my Wrangler.

      The mechanical and electrical complexity of a mechanical folding roof is absurd. They can (and do) jam and there are some sample documents on the web with the procedure. Recommended for trained techs only, risk of serious personal injury and vehicle damage. (Big bucks repair)

    • 0 avatar
      Rasputin

      Bah! People today are weather wimps. I have had a ragtop of one make or another almost continuously since 1968. Currently in central NJ, but most of that time was in upstate NY – and I don’t mean Yonkers! I was North of Albany on the edge of the Adirondaks. In the early years often my Fiat or Alfa roadster was my only car – come a foot of snow & below zero temps or 95 degree cloudless July, that was my daily driver. Granted, now that I have lost most of my luxuriant(ha) youthful hair, my dermatologist insists that I wear a hat on sunny days. But really folks, top down, twisty open road driving can’t be beat. And if the tradeoff is a wee bit o’ discomfort once in a while, well… grow a pair.

    • 0 avatar

      I like the concept of the EOS. But the parts guy at the local VW dealership scared me off. He told me VW had to buy two back the dealer had sold under lemon laws in one year. He said the powetrain had the normal VW issues plus a top that breaks and cheap interior bits that fall off.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I believe you mean Ted /Nugent/

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Convertibles in general have a rough time of it. They’re a toy car; generally something you buy out of whimsy or a desire for what they provide.

    That means that a) they’re likely to have to be a little more outre than your regular car, and b) that they’re going to be more expensive (and thusly, c) have to justify their expense).

    This is why we don’t have things like the J-Body or Metro convertibles, or the Sebring and Solara. Not nice or interesting enough for the price they command.

    The Eos isn’t whimsical: it looks like a stubby Jetta and it costs a lot more. I’d imagine anyone who wanted a VW convertible went the Beetle route, or can cough up Audi money.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    This is not surprising, considering how much Eos sales have fallen.

    My wife’s Explorer has a supersized sunroof, but only the front part opens, the rest is just a glass panel. From what I can tell, she rarely rolls back the shade on the back part.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      My wife keeps the shade open on the MKT roof in the winter. In the summer, it tends to be too hot and our daughter doesn’t like the sun in her face.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Wifey and I are convertible people having both at one time owned 1964 Impala convertibles simultaneously years before meeting one another, she driving a 1970 Mustang convertible when we met, then in 1999, buying a 1992 LeBaron convertible, then in 2008, owning a 1992 Wrangler, culminating in buying a 2007 MX5 in 2010, selling it 2 years ago almost to the day.

    In 2012, we seriously considered an EOS and a Volve C70, and a few sedans before settling on my 2012 Impala LTZ.

    The Impala was a very wise choice due to our current circumstances.

    When considering the EOS, one look at the retractable hardtop in operation gave me a nightmare! The C70 really didn’t reassure me much, and I just haven’t come to trusting Chrysler products as yet. A Pontiac G6? Already dead. So, we decided to forego the toys and simplify our lives as we near retirement age – I’m already there, but will wait perhaps almost 3 more years.

    Presently, Wifey’s 2002 CR-V serves her well – she loves the thing. Me? Not so much, but it has served us very well.

    I love my Impala, mostly due to being “outdated” – (read: no high-tech gadgetry to distract me)- and being a great highway-runner for my lousy commute.

    Still, the EOS appeals to us because it is a nice-looking, well-proportioned car and is just the perfect size. However, if we ever buy another convertible, it’ll be a ragtop most likely.

    We’ll miss the EOS. We were enchanted by it when we first saw one at our auto show several years ago.

    Panoramic sunroof? Nah. The only time you can really use them to the full is in early morning before sunup or in the late evening. Our cars have sun roofs (moon roofs?) where we just pop open for a vent and keep the inside cover almost closed if we don’t use the A/C during the day. We open ‘em up other times.

    Having all that glass would turn me into “Burning Man”! No thanks!

    Funny, the OEMs offer sun roofs, both regular and panoramic, but won’t give us the option of roll-down back windows in coupes like the Challenger and Camaro! Funny, indeed.

  • avatar
    jco

    it’s a really nice convertible. my GF has one. i actually worry very little about the top mechanism, but it does have the typical VW issues (coil packs, random minor electrical gremlins, generally expensive maintenance). depending on the day and weather, it’s very versatile. personally i like driving it with the sunroof all the way open and all 4 windows down. not many cars except convertibles have that genuine hardtop window feature where there’s no B-pillar. and in the winters, you use it like a normal car and don’t even notice it’s a convertible.

    even driving it with the top down, all windows down, and without the wind block in place it’s really comfortable inside. and given the size and complexity of the top you can put a decent amount of stuff in the trunk as long as you’re leaving the top up.

  • avatar
    redav

    “I understand that the idea of a convertible is romantic and enticing, but the reality is often the opposite.”

    I don’t quite understand why anyone still sees them as romantic and enticing.

    • 0 avatar
      lzaffuto

      There are people that “get” convertibles and people that don’t. If you can’t drive with the top down through the Great Smokey Mountains national park and Cades Cove (or given your own equally majestic setting here), or drive with the top down through a twisty mountain road listening to the engine while you do a perfect heel-and-toe through a corner, and love it, you will never get it. Everything you have ever loved about driving your favorite car on your favorite road is made more special without a top.

      • 0 avatar

        COTD

        • 0 avatar
          lzaffuto

          Really I don’t think the panoramic sunroof is the reason for the decline of the convertible. I think the decline of the car as an an object of desire is more of the reason. A convertible is all about the experience of driving. A world that increasingly views the automobile as an appliance, a sterile vessel to get them to their destination as quickly and serenely as possible, has no use for a convertible.

          For the people that actually want a convertible because they enjoy that experience, the Mustang and Miata pretty much satisfy all demand for the market. Either one can be driven for touring or sport, and they are easy to find new and used, decently priced, and relatively cheap to maintain even keeping the extra cost of the top in consideration.

        • 0 avatar
          moorewr

          Yes, that’s a COTD all right.

      • 0 avatar
        dash riprock

        In the next few days I will learn if I get it. Driving down the Oregon coast to Napa in the wifes MX5. More than a little concerned about the comfort and the number of RV’s.

        • 0 avatar
          zamoti

          The RVs aren’t the problem on the open road aside from just being slow and irritating; however it’s misery to follow one in ANY car. The trouble with convertibles is being in the city and having a freakin’ smelly diesel bus sidle up next to you. I swear that they TRY to park that engine next to your ear. I had a Miata in Los Angeles and dodged Metro buses like the damn plague; despite my best efforts, I frequently got boxed in. Putting up the tiny window in an attempt to escape the heat, smell and noise was comical.

          • 0 avatar
            Japanese Buick

            This is why I love my PRHT Miata. The top goes up in about 15 seconds at the push of a button. My daily commute is about 20 miles of rural awesomeness followed by a 7 or so mile freeway slog. I start out with the top down, when I get to the freeway I put the top up while waiting at the light to get on the freeway. It’s the best of both worlds.

            In your case, it would be easy to put the top up in LA when you get boxed in.

        • 0 avatar
          lzaffuto

          My wife and I drove mine from our house in Atlanta GA to our wedding in Gatlinburg TN then to our honeymoon in Key West FL. For comfort, stop and stretch more often. Look into some coolmax shirts (they evaporate sweat very quickly and stay cool and dry easier). Don’t be afraid to use the heat or A/C on full blast to keep yourself more comfortable. Pull up the top in the middle hottest part of the day to give yourself a break from the sun. We bought some sheet memory foam, cut it into rectangles, and stuffed it in a pillowcase to sit on for extra padding on long drive (the miata seats are designed for minimum weight and kind of thin). It seems like a lot of extra stuff to do for a trip, but we had a ton of fun and it will be something I remember fondly for the rest of my life.

        • 0 avatar
          TheDoctorIsOut

          Made the same trip, same car only coming up from LA. Invest in a pair or two of noise canceling headphone to relieve yourself from the freeway drone for the trip up but ditch them the moment you get to Napa and immediately drop the top and keep it down during your stay. Especially enjoy the back roads, getting lost on Dry Creek Rd on the Sonoma side will make the car and trip worthwhile. The roof well behind the seats will hold about a case of wine, unboxed of course, for the trip home. Enjoy.

      • 0 avatar

        The problem is most people don’t spend most of the time driving their favorite car down their favorite road. They spend it sitting in traffic on their morning commute or driving to the grocery store. And for those things a convertible is more of a hassle.

        • 0 avatar
          lzaffuto

          Have you owned a convertible? Explain to me how it is more of a hassle for you, because I have both and the convertible top isn’t any more hassle at all for me. The A/C keeps me cool when it is hot. The heat keeps me hot when it is cold. It keeps me dry when it is wet. Eventually in 15-25 years it will cost me $2000 to replace the top with a new one. Or $500 to replace it with a good used one. That’s about it.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          I disagree. I find sitting in traffic more fun with the top down and the ability to look around and enjoy the sun. I live somewhere where summers are short and very pleasant. If you live in the Nevada desert, I can definitely understand a different perspective. Getting groceries is no harder, and is more pleasant, with the top down. Even my Miata has enough trunk space for $150 worth of groceries, and that’s before touching the passenger seat. Again, it’s a matter of perspective; if you’re shopping for a family of 5, it would be a bit dicey, but for a single person or couple, it’s no problem at all. In the last two months I’ve transported a BBQ grill and a full-suspension mountain bike in it by removing the passenger seat, which takes 3 minutes (4 easily-accessible bolts).

          I store my car over the winter because to me it’s not worth letting the salt ruin it (I’d rather keep it rust-free another 10 spring/summer/fall seasons than 3 winters), but I don’t see the vinyl top giving me a lot of trouble. It’s got a defroster in the rear window, and the heater is powerful enough to keep me comfortable until near-freezing temperatures with the top *down*. Top up, I don’t see heat being an issue, nor has the worst torrential rain been one. I just replaced the 15 year-old original top for <$600. I can live with that.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Oh, if it were only so simple.

        The weather around here means putting the top down is a disgusting, smelly, and terrible drive, regardless of passion, heel-toeing, engine sound or anything else. Hence, it’s not romantic/enticing.

        Even regular-roofed cars with full-blast AC have trouble keeping things comfortable, and getting rid of odors is even tougher, so simply putting the top up when necessary isn’t exactly a decent answer. Plus, I think everyone has a story of the top being knifed/ripped to steal something or just screw with it.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          Your problem isn’t that convertibles exist, it’s that it sounds like you live in a shithole.

          I love having the option of dropping the top on my commute and enjoying my beautiful city and clean air.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          I have no such story in the three years I’ve had my car. Unless I’m leaving it for the better part of the day in an unfamiliar place, or it looks like rain, I usually don’t bother putting the top up, so there’s really no worry of having the top slashed. If you leave nothing visible to steal, there’s no incentive to go slashing the top. I’ve also left a duo of sport motorcycles – one a brand new limited-edition Honda VFR – outside around-the-clock in the downtown core of city of 3 million, and no one ever messed with those, either. If ever someone does, I’m insured for that. Once every 10 years or so is something I could live with.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Nothing finer than driving a convertible on a perfect Maine summer day here on the coast. I took my Spitfire out today just because. I will always have one in the stable.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          We had a nice humid day here Saturday in Cincinnati, so it was an opportune time to drop the top on the cream colored Bentley Azure and drive around.

          Not me, but some old guy. Looked amaze.

  • avatar

    The pano roof killed it?

    I’m surprised the reason it died wasn’t because it was small, ugly, underpowered and overpriced.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      For once, I agree with you.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Don’t forget that metal contracts and expands with temperature. Meaning this roof squeaks annoyingly all winter long.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          Scion put out a service bulletin for the 2.0 tC’s pano roof for just that reason. It still rattles like a broken snare if you hit a pothole with the roof open but hey, it’s an econobox.

          I’m not sure I would seek out a pano roof again, and it wasn’t a selling point for me with the tC, but in a modern car’s pillbox greenhouse, the glass roof really does brighten things up. Plus there’s some truth to DK’s last paragraph: the pano roof is 50% of the convertible fun with 10% of the downstream maintenance/birdpoop/sunburn.

          Does any of this have anything to do with why people didn’t buy the Eos, I’m guessing “no” with the rest of you.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            My mom’s friend had a G6 with pano roof for a couple years, and it always leaked or had some other issue – like coming off of its track or horrendous wind noise at speed.

            I hated that car and it wasn’t even mine.

      • 0 avatar

        psarhjinian

        …and the funny thing was until now I’d never heard of this car.

        I just GUESSED that it was “small, ugly, underpowered and overpriced” when I saw the “VW” badge.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Plus, had a stupid name that sounds like an Apple gadget or a Canon camera.

      • 0 avatar
        LeeK

        Eos is the Greek goddess of the dawn. Canon used the name in their cameras because of the association with light. VW uses it because — surprise — the top lets the light in. Seems like a pretty good car name to me. At least, it’s not something dreadful like ZDR, which it would be if were in Lincoln’s, Lexus’, Acura’s, or Mazda’s lineup.

        • 0 avatar
          Roberto Esponja

          Interesting information LeeK, thanks for sharing it. Now it makes sense, but really, betcha most folks were not aware of the relation. They should have used a less obscure term.

          Oh, and I agree on the acronyms. Hate them with a passion.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think the issue was definitely that it STARTS at $35,000.

      • 0 avatar
        highrpm

        I read a study here or somewhere online about how the Boxster and BMW Z3 were selling great in their first years because they were relatively affordable as toy cars.

        As their prices ballooned, sales dropped. And this is for premium vehicles. Which a VW Eos is not.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Bingo. $10,000 less, and it would be the darling of sorority girls everywhere, like the old Golf Cabriolet. Maybe if it had been using the old 2.5 all these years instead of the 2.0T.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Think of how much used SL you could get for $35K!

          Or A4 cabrio, or 3-Series. Or probably 6-Series

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Mustang GT convertible starts at $36K new. That is MSRP. The V6 converitble can be had for under $25K right now. That makes me wonder why I purchased a GTI while we lived in AZ. I could have had a Mustang convertible. Fuuuuuuuuuuuu…..

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Oh yes, Mustang would be the least maintenance intensive of those options.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Corey-

            I checked about Mustang prices. The dealer near my house has a new V6 Mustang convertible for $27K. That includes sales tax and such.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            So cheap!

            If I were getting one, I might have a hard time keeping my pen off the options boxes though.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I think that’s the hard part. Ford has a few sweet packages for every level of Mustang. It gets to the point where you think, “I could just get the GT instead.” Then you are at $39K instead of $28K.

            In retrospect, I really should have purchased a V6 convertible. The GTI was sold once we had a kid anyway. I wasted pre child and no snow years on VW products.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    Convertibles have always been a bit of an enigma to my mind. They are generally heavier, they have sacrificed body rigidity, the deafening wind roar at speed, and the total exposure to other vehicle’s noise are utter deal breakers for me.
    The outsized amount of attention from the auto journalists compared to their meager marketshare has always annoyed me as well.

    That said, on an extremely tight twisty where speeds could not exceed about 40, something like a Miata would be nice. Being able to hear the tires directly rather than through the vehicle I could imagine would add to the useful feedback while pushing the vehicle to it’s limits.

    I recall seeing a man in a BMW convertible on the autobahn exceeding 120 mph. Imagine the wind noise!

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      Sounds like you haven’t been in one in 15 years…

      While they are typically heavier than the hard top (especially the motorized ones) outside of B-segment cars with tiny engines, the difference in performance is not typically noticeable without instrumentation. Rigidity hasn’t really been an issue since the 90′s, as crash requirements dictate that most structural reinforcement is designed at the belt-line and below (and rising beltlines help a lot.) Wind noise is a function of top material and seals, and unless the other vehicle is making an unusual noise, it doesn’t really phase me.

      Having said that, I typically prefer real GT-level convertibles, so 120 in, say, a 6-series or an SL is hardly noticeable.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    My wife drives an ’06 Solara, and while it certainly isn’t a “Driver’s Car”, she loves it. It’s spacious, has both a usable back seat and trunk, the V-6 is smooth, and it’s been reliable. The price premium over the coupe version was not especially large.

    I’m not sure I understand the comments about “frying” in traffic; if you are in traffic and get too hot, put the top up at the next light; it takes about 30 seconds. And in the winter, it seems to stay warm enough; it’s not like the roof of a regular car is stuffed with R-40 or anything.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I think the Solara got an undeserved bad rap. As you say, it’s no driver’s car, but then no one ever claimed that it was supposed to be one. Same Camry reliability, slightly flashier looks, and the option of putting the top down. I suspect that could’ve been a great formula for a lot of people had they given it a fair shake.

      My guess is that it didn’t succeed because the type of people who want a coupe or convertible also often want some cachet to go along with it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    You mean being about $5K to $7.5K overpriced didn’t kill it?

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    Rationalize the loss of the EOS however they want, but I imagine it was the Beetle Convertible sitting next to it in the showroom that killed the EOS. Let’s see; more updated, more options, lower price, more interesting styling, and less complex. Also, wasn’t the EOS based on at least a 2-generation old platform? They probably had to redesign it or kill it and the ROI simply wasn’t there to have two convertibles in the lineup.

    I like convertibles. I had a Miata for many years (a 1991), had a 1984 Porsche 911 Cabrio, and currently keep a 1994 Mercedes E320 Cabriolet as my fun car (obvious progression here… no kids, one kid, two kids). But the EOS held little appeal to me… what’t the point of a practical convertible (hard top) that looses all of its trunk space if you want to actually use the top?

  • avatar
    Vojta Dobeš

    And I thought it was the existence of Golf Cabriolet and Beetle Cabriolet is what killed the Eos…

  • avatar
    FractureCritical

    the Eos is overpriced for what it is, esp compared to something simpler and more visceral like a mustang, and there are plenty of those on the used market, particuarly in primary market regoins where the sun is warm most of the year and the plethora rental car agenies buy and sell convertibles in bulk. Most convertibles are second or third cars, so the idea of a used non-primary vehicle likely makes mroe sense to many buyers.

  • avatar
    z9

    Recently I had a ride in my friend’s new Eos and I remembered how much I liked mine. It was nice to drive, particularly with simple upgrades such as better tires and chipping the engine, and I believe it did better in crash tests than any other VW. It was a minor miracle of packaging. The back seat was vastly superior to comparable vehicles and with the top up, the trunk could almost be called useful. With the top down, the car had much more trunk space than a 3-series hardtop convertible. The top mechanism never let me down, and the folding sequence never failed to enchant kids. When parked, the Eos was a vaguely attractive car, but the styling was such was that other people looked dorky driving it. I noticed that once my teenage son started driving the car, he never once put the top down. I took this as a bad sign for the future of convertibles. I remembered that when my older siblings were of driving age back in the early 70s, the top on my parents’ Oldsmobile F-85 stayed down the entire summer.

    Perhaps another thing that killed the Eos is that it was simply too expensive to re-engineer the new VW modular platform to accommodate a folding hardtop.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Eos was a rattle bin.

    As for the trend, I suspect long term costs. While convertibles can hold their value, it’s only if well maintained. What matter a decent resale value if you have a three to five grand repair history on your top?

  • avatar
    roverv8i

    Aren’t a lot of Panoramic roofs found in CUVs/SUVs? This segment is very popular so it may just be a byproduct of that and not a direct correlation. I think you can not even get a “normal” sunroof in many of these.

  • avatar
    Chiburb

    Well, Mrs. Chiburb had an ’07 EOS and absolutely loved it. Hers was the 3.2 litre V6 which was discontinued in the second year. There were niggling problems, but overall nothing you wouldn’t expect from a VW. At 1 full year past warranty we considered replacing it “just in case” but couldn’t find anything she liked better until…
    Mr. Lang reviewed the (then) new C70 Inscription very positively (Polestar tuned, only 500 imported to North America). One extensive test drive later, she had a new love.
    So yeah, convertible lovers are out there. But mostly the product isn’t.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    the beetle is ugly. the newer versions are as ugly as the original but somehow w/o the originals’ cache. note that many of the dealer specials advertised on websites are beetles of all types; plain, tdi, convertible, etc.

    the eos is (was) too expensive. personally, i liked the looks and briefly considered a used one w/a 6mt. then reality hit and i said ‘can’t do anything in that bugger but drive myself.’

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The market for two-door cars generally has declined, and those two-doors have traditionally served as the base for the convertible market.

    Convertibles and CUVs don’t go well together, either.

    The elevated box look is on the rise, which puts the squeeze on all kinds of body styles.

    • 0 avatar

      “Convertibles and CUVs don’t go well together, either.”

      I don’t think that has too much bearing on it, honestly. Independently of the success of the crossover, the Eos just doesn’t sell well. It was always a niche product, and I only ever see one or two of them *a month* (possibly the same one or two, actually). At a starting MSRP of $36K, it’s *way* overpriced for what it offers. And besides, VW still has the Beetle convertible.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Convertibles have always been a niche, but they used to be a much larger niche.

        The convertible roof doesn’t suit the demands of this market for four-door elevated boxes with storage in the back.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          So, what we needed was a Murano CrossCabrio with a little more junk in the trunk?

          (and I say this as one of six people who liked the CrossCabrio)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There were six of you? Please don’t exaggerate.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            I’m sure there’s at least a few people who work at Nissan who loved it.

            Much like a mother loves an aesthetically-unfortunate child.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            That big folding roof gets in the way of storage space that could be used to carry stuff back from Costco. That would make a lot of those moms think twice.

    • 0 avatar
      Mandalorian

      Car prices going up in general is what is killing mass-market 2-door cars and convertibles. Unless one lives in SoCal or someplace like that, having only a convertible as a daily driver is impractical.

      This used to be offset by buying another car as a daily driver, but prices are so high, this is no longer a practical proposition. It’s the same Crew Cab pickups. One needs to tow a boat/trailer/etc for a few days a year, but buying two cars is too expensive.

      This is why the majority of 2-door cars are dedicates sports or muscle cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “The elevated box look is on the rise…”

      Or, in the case of the “elevated bathtub look” i.e. the Nissan Cross Cabriolet. That didn’t work so well.

      CUVs seem to be the new rule.

  • avatar

    I thought they’d already announced that. All of the VW dealers were telling me that MY2014 would be the Eos’ last year way back in February when I took my Mk3 Jetta VR6 in for some expensive repairs. I never thought the Eos was good-looking. The hardtop and the narrow, tall-ish Mk5 underpinnings give it very disproportionate styling. It would have looked better as as a soft-top, IMO.

    As for your heat comment, our 2012 Sonata Limited has a pano. sunroof. I believe that for 2011, the pano. sunroof wasn’t available at all on the Sonata, in 2012 it was made standard on the Limited, and in 2013 it became optional on the Limited. Our car has a grey exterior and grey leather interior and, yes, even with the cover over the sunroof, the car remains very hot if left in the sun. I can’t believe I’m thinking about getting another car with a pano. sunroof (Jetta SportWagen TDI).

  • avatar
    mars3941

    I’ve had sunroofs on every car I had since 1995 and total times I’ve used all of them might equal 10. 7 cars, 7 sunroofs, opened 10 times. I think I might be wasting my money but I like them and I like high end models that usually have them in their option packages.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      I agree, I’ve never found sunroofs useful, and I’ve had a lot of them. I almost never opened them on any cars I owned that had them. Now I have a Miata and I drive it top down a lot.

      There’s really no comparison between a sunroof and a convertible.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Sunroofs are fun, but I’ve never felt the need to pony up $1,000 or more to option one on the cars I’ve ordered. On cars without sunroofs, I never find myself wishing I had it.

    • 0 avatar
      turboprius

      My mom always wants a sunroof. This is the only reason we have a RAV4 Limited and a Rogue SL. If it weren’t for that requirement, we’d always own bottom of the line models.

      Yes, the Base w/Sunroof and Sport have sunroofs, but the dealership didn’t have any in the color my mom really wanted.

    • 0 avatar
      LeeK

      I wish there were more “sunroof delete option” (like Audi) available on higher-level models. I’ve had a bunch of cars equipped with a sunroof and have probably used them no more than a dozen times or so over the past twenty years. Occasionally I will open them to vent the built-up heat, but while driving I find them noisy, not very helpful in ventilation, and always subject to leaking which occurs when the drain plugs get stopped up.

      In places with fierce sun (ie every state I’ve ever lived in) the sunroof makes the car get hotter more quickly, and those sheer sunshades with perforations make it even worse when trying to cool the car down on a 90+ day.

      No thanks for me, but options packages make them standard all too often.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Have had a total of four Hondas with the “EX” trim (or higher), which includes a sunroof, over the last twenty years.

        Never a leak, only a couple minor creaks across the cars. (Fixed with minor adjustments within warranty or outside thanks to TSBs.)

        Would I own another car without a sunroof? Absolutely not!

        Pano. roofs, OTOH?! You couldn’t GIVE me a car so-equipped!!

  • avatar
    Dan

    Crash testing killed the convertible. Building an open bathtub that doesn’t fold up when you drive it in into a brick wall at 40-50 mph is heavy, expensive, and raising the beltline to deepen the girder means it isn’t even very open anymore when all’s said and done.

    The Eos is tiny. Fiesta sized tiny. It’s 3600 pounds, $35,000, and down 6 mpg on the brochure against a Jetta.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It didn’t help that the roof was not very reliable. I know two owners of the EOS and both had problems with the roof in the first 50K miles. Both solved them by selling the car. The equation VW mechanicals + complex multi-panel convertible roof = very expensive ownership experience.

  • avatar
    Japanese Buick

    I really liked the EOS and wanted to buy one when it was time to replace my NA Miata. My wife and I were getting older and less nimble and the EOS seemed like the next logical step up, it had more room and comfort but was still a convertible and small enough to be fun to drive. The two things that stopped me were: the price, and thinking that intricate, complex roof mechanism plus VW equals trouble.

    I ended up getting an NC Miata. Never regretted it.

  • avatar
    turboprius

    We were going to buy our neighbor’s barely-used 2004 C70 a few years ago, but gave up when we learned it used Premium fuel.

    That could’ve been for the better. Those things look like they have no backseat room, and I’m the same guy who thinks the RAV4 has a tight backseat.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Definitely for the better. There used to be a C70 that I would see from time to time and it was a complete and utter turd. Many electrical problems due to poor wire routing/isolation, and the transmission gave it up at about 90k miles. That was the end of that car.

      Interestingly, they replaced it with a G6 hardtop convertible. Other than periodic suspension rattles, it has been alright.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I have very little confidence in modern Volvo transmissions. The XC70 had big transmissions problems for several model years. Often times if you see a 5+ year old Volvo for sale, it’s got some transmission needs.

        • 0 avatar
          turboprius

          Many moons ago, when I was just a toddler, my parents looked at an XC70 Cross Country. They HATED it. Everything, from seat comfort to price to dealer attitude was awful. They bought the then-all-new 2001 RAV4, and it’s still going strong with my grandfather.

          With these issues you mentioned, I’m glad we didn’t get either of the Volvos.

          • 0 avatar
            Landcrusher

            Having sold light aircraft, I can assure that for any given person, there is no correlation between seat quality and their own comfort. Ergonomics is no certain science. There are plenty of humans out of the billions who will find the cheapest folding chair superior to a top of the line aerion (spelling?) ergonomic chair.

            I bought the XC70 primarily for the seat comfort and Volvo is generally believed to have the best seat comfort. As dealer experience, I have been to better Toyota shops and much, much worse Toyota shops. I luckily found a family owned Volvo store nearby which was excellent.

          • 0 avatar
            turboprius

            You’re right about the Toyota places. In October 2000, when my parents bought their first RAV4, the dealer experience was great. Twelve years later, same dealer, bad experience. We still have the badge and plate frame, though, on our new RAV4. My mom goes to another dealership for the Toyota Care stuff.

  • avatar
    KrohmDohm

    Convertibles are great until you have the top up and the visibility out of the rear quarters drops to nothing. I love the panoramic in our 2015 Forester and when I had my 2005 Outback. Too hot? Pull the cover shut. Want to see the sky pull it back. Want the wind in your hair(or on your scalp in my case) all it takes is the push of a button at any speed. No one can slash my roof open and the my rear window is made of real glass. I don’t have to pull over in case of rain and the mechanism is much simpler.

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    When i was a young lad my buddies family had a early fifties Ford hardtop convertible that i loved to watch open and close. I think they traded the car in after a few years because of problems with the electrical switches. I still love convertibles and had many of them over the years. Renaults, VW air cooled Beetles, Hillmans, New Beetles, VW Cabriolets and finally a Miata. Loved them all. Of course the Miata is a summer car but i have the hard top that i install every winter. Its funny my VW Cabriolet was stored in a barn for about 10 years before i brought it and i wanted to replace the top. I was quoted from $1,400.00 to $1,600.00 for the job. I purchased a new canvas top for about $200.00 and spent a weekend installing it (A total of about 10 hours) The job was perfect and that top was warm as toast in the in the winter Full padding with a headliner. Replaced my Miata top for $150.00 and 5 hours work.
    At my age i have no trouble getting into my Miata and my wife and i love riding the north shore of Long Island on a nice day. I figure i retired i want to enjoy life. Try driving a convertible before you leave this life i guarantee you will love it

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    Personally, I think the folding metal top trend was the problem. All of a sudden every carmaker had to go metal. The basic problems that existed with retractable hardtops in 1957 with the Ford Skyliner have never been really solved: (1) No trunk space with the top down. (2) Bulky, bloated looking rear styling. (3) Rube Goldberg mechanism with multiple failure points.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      @mad hungarian:

      1. Not in the Miata hard top. The hard top has its own compartment and the trunk is exactly the same (and fully accessible) top up or down
      2. Miata was styled from the beginning to be a ‘vert, so no
      3. Miata hardtop is relatively simple and reliable. In an EOS or some other German monstrosity that comment would apply but not to the Miata PRHT.

  • avatar

    I think the panoramic roof only replaces a convertible for people who have never ridden in a convertible. Totally different experiences, but I can almost hear the car salesman telling somebody, “look how big that sunroof is! It’s just like being in a convertible.”

    I’ve got both right now – pano roof in my XC60, and an A4 ragtop. They are nothing alike, but I enjoy both for what they are. There’s nothing like driving with the top down, and it’s completely worth the hassles. Besides, newer convertibles have pretty well-insulated tops so dealing with the cold isn’t such such big problem. And I really do like the light and open feeling of a big-ass sunroof in a car.

    I’ve had 3 of each now, and while convertibles seem to come and go from my driveway, the big-ass sunroof is probably going to stay.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t consider a folding hard top. Too heavy, complicated, and the space requirements almost always make the back of the car too bulky. At least with a soft top, I can manually close it (after a fashion) if the power assist goes out. Not so with the 12-step dance of something like the Eos.

  • avatar
    sideshowtom98

    I have had many cars, but the ones I loved best have all been convertibles. There is no driving experience, in good weather, that is not made better by experiencing it with the top down. Twistys through the mountains, cruising the coast, alongside a river, even city and highway driving, all are better in a convertible.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Sure, ragtops are a bit more maintenance, noisier, less secure, and there’s more frame flex. But popping that top on a moment’s notice
    for a beautiful cruise, either on an errand , commuting, or a ride to the beach/through the mountains….

    Nothing like it….

  • avatar
    Hank

    I would have thought it was the idea of $39,000 for a convertible economy car that killed the Eos…

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    How much of the drop in convertible take rate can be traced to living in the Era of Lowered Expectations? Are (some/many) eschewing a third car, or buying more practical cars in the hopes of a lower TCO or higher resale?

    My wife got her mother’s hand-me-down ’99 Sebring convertible and she loved it, but now with a kid that won’t work for her as a daily driver and we couldn’t justify the cost of tags and insurance on a part-time fun car.

    Plus I think the retractable hardtop hasn’t helped. Back when I had my Volvo 850 I wanted to replace it with a C70 until my dealer described the annual maintenance to keep the top in good shape.


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