Panoramic Sunroofs Killed The Volkswagen Eos

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

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.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

More by Derek Kreindler

Join the conversation
4 of 111 comments
  • Sideshowtom98 Sideshowtom98 on Jul 25, 2014

    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.

  • Dave M. Dave M. on Jul 25, 2014

    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....

  • Hank Hank on Jul 27, 2014

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

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Aug 12, 2014

    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.