2009 Lemon Aid Sporty Cars

 


BMW Z4

GM Saturn Sky Mitsubishi Eclipse
Dodge Challenger

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Nissan 370Z

Ford Mustang

Mazda MX-5

Volkswagen Eos

GM Pontiac Solstice

Mazda RX-8

 

 

 

 


The sporty car segment is divided between sedan-based coupes like the Mitsubishi Eclipse and purpose-built sports cars such as Mazda MX-5. Sales in this segment are cyclical and driven by novelty. New designs sell well for a few years after introduction, but sales taper off in subsequent years.

The Sporty car segment is a busy one this year. Introductions include the mainstream (only the SRT8 was offered for 2008) versions of the Dodge Challenger, the production version of the (2010) Chevrolet Camaro and Hyundai’s new (2010) rear-wheel drive Genesis coupe. All new versions of the Nissan Z car (now the 370Z) and BMW’s Z4 went on sale in the spring of 2009, as did a rebodied Ford Mustang.


 

 

 

 

BMW Z4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOT RATED
BMW Z4 (RWD)
Body Style: 2CV
Engines: 3L-6 255 HP (30i), 3L-6 300 HP (35i)
Transmission: 6M*, 6A, 7 Double clutch transmission (DCT)
City fuel economy: n/a
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
All-new Z4 retractable hard top convertible.

Comments
The new Z4 exchanges the sturgeon-like visage of the old car for a sly cat-like grin. Though hardly elegant in a classical sense, the new Z4 looks better than its predecessor, and somehow evokes the spirit of the landmark BMW 507 from the 1950s. The new car is 148 mm (5.8 inches) longer and marginally wider and lower than the car it replaces. The interior features clear instrumentation, beautiful shapes and high quality materials. The dashboard controls appear less muddled than on other BMWs. The seats are comfortable, and the car is quite roomy for a sports car. Although visually appealing, some of the interior colour combinations will soil easily. The trunk is small, with a lot of space eaten up by the folded top. Two versions of BMW’s 3L straight six power the Z4. The sDrive30i is normally aspirated, and the sDrive35 is turbocharged. The awkward sDrive moniker is new-age BMW speak for rear-wheel drive. Two six-speed transmissions, one manual, the other automatic, can be hooked to either engine. The turbo engine can also be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. Made in Germany. 

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Predicted reliability is average, as most of the mechanicals are shared with other BMW models. Four year/80,000 km warranty.  

Safety
Door-mounted head/thorax side airbags. Not crash tested. Standard ABS and ESC.


 

 

Dodge Chalenger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOT RATED
CHRYSLER
DODGE Challenger (RWD)
Body Style: 2CP
Engines: 3.5L-V6* 250 HP, 5.7L-V8 370 HP, 6.1L-V8 425 HP
Transmissions: 4A* (V6), 5A, 6M (V8s only)
City fuel economy: 12.2L/100 km
ESC: Available
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new

Mainstream V6 and V8 models went on sale in the fall of 2008.

Comments
The Challenger is a retro-flavoured traditional “Pony Car” based on the LX platform that underpins the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. The long-hood, short deck proportions and Coke-bottle shape recall the 1970-1974 Challenger (and related Plymouth Barracuda), but with sleeker modern surfacing. Compared with the Mustang, the Challenger is built on a 226 mm (8.9 inch) longer wheelbase, is 258 mm (10.1 inches) longer, 44 mm (1.5 inches) wider and 65 mm (2.6 inches) taller. The cabin design is essentially modern with just a hint of historicism for nostalgia fans. Power units include the 3.5L V6, and 5.7L and 6.1L V8s available in the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Power reaches the rear wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission on V6 models, and a choice between a six-speed manual and a five-speed automatic on V8 cars. The manual transmission features a hill-holder that prevents the car from rolling back when the car is on inclines. Made in Canada.

Reliability
New car, not rated. Few complaints have been received about the Chrysler 300 this car is based on. A Chrysler extended warranty is recommended. APA members can receive a discount on the warranty through dealers approved by the APA. Three year/60,000 km warranty, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain.

Pricing
The SE, without ABS or ESC, is a non starter. The SXT package is very good value. The V8-powered R/T is priced roughly $7300 higher than the V6 SXT model. The Challenger has a more sophisticated chassis than the Mustang, and is roomier than the Chevrolet Camaro. The Challenger SXT has 54 fewer horsepower than the Camaro 1LT, but costs $3000 less.

Safety
Side-curtain airbags are standard. Seat-mounted side airbags are not offered. Not crash tested. Standard ABS. ESC is not offered on the SE, but is standard on all other models.


 

 

 

Ford Mustang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE AVERAGE
FORD
2010 Mustang (RWD)
Body Styles: 2CP*, 2CV                                       
Engine: 4L-V6* 210 HP, 4.6L-V8 315 HP, 5.4L-V8S 500 HP (Shelby GT500)
Transmissions: 5M, 5A*, 6M (GT500)
City fuel consumption: 12.2L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
Re-skinned Mustang featuring a new cabin.

Comments
Ford has re-skinned the Mustang and fashioned a new cabin over the existing mechanicals. Exterior dimensions are virtually unchanged. The new shape is curvier than before, losing the delicious linearity of the old car. Repositioning the radio antenna and door mirrors, and an enhanced acoustic package has, according to Ford, improved refinement. Ford has created a "Sound Induction Tube" to funnel high quality induction sounds to the cabin. The cabin is all new but uses similar design language as the old Mustang. The most notable difference is an improvement in look and feel of the materials used inside. More soft-touch surfaces are employed, and the appearance of hard materials is improved. The V6 engine is unchanged, but the new cold air induction on the GT boosts horsepower to 315, 15 more than before. The Shelby GT500 is powered by a 500 horsepower 5.4L supercharged V8. ESC is standard on all models, but independent rear suspension, expected on this update, is missing. The Mustang had the so-called “Pony Car” market to itself for years, but now has the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and the Hyundai Genesis coupe for competitors. Made in the United States. 

Reliability
Predicted average to above average reliability. Ford rear-wheel drive components are generally reliable. Three year/60,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain

Pricing
The V6 Pony option package represents good value and delivers a car with the visual appeal of the GT without the bigger engine. The V8 powered GT model is roughly $9000 more expensive than a V6 Pony with the same equipment. The convertible body style is priced $5700 higher than a similarly-equipped coupe. The Mustang GT is slightly better equipped than the Chevrolet Camaro 2LT, but is priced $5000 higher.

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side airbags. Side-curtain airbags are not offered. Not crash tested. ABS and ESC are standard.


 

NEW
GENERAL MOTORS
CHEVROLET
2010 Camaro
Body Style: 2CP
Engines: 3.6L-V6 304 HP, 6.2L-V8 (400 HP/automatic-426 HP/manual)
Transmissions: 6M, 6A
City fuel economy:
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
All-new RWD Pony Car based on the Pontiac G8’s architecture.

Comments
The Camaro returns after an eight year absence. Using the 1969 Camaro as a starting point, GM has created a shape that pays homage to the original while grafting on the small window/high body side proportions currently so popular with designers. The cabin, with its modern spin on a '60's esthetic, is nicely done. The Camaro is slightly longer, wider and quite a bit lower than the Mustang, while being smaller in all dimensions than the Challenger. The base engine is a direct-injection 3.6L V6, with an optional 6.2L V8 that produces 400 horsepower when hooked up to an automatic transmission, and 426 horsepower when linked to a manual. There is no engine comparable to the base V6 engines in the Mustang or the Challenger. GM’s 260 horsepower 2L turbo would be a great addition to this car, especially for Canada. Made in Canada.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. New platform for North America. Three year/60,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, with 5 years/160,000 km on the powertrain.

Pricing
Without an alloy wheel option, the LS will find few takers. The 1LT upgrade delivers a lot of content for the money. The 2LT package is priced to cover the value of its contents. The base V8 (SS) is priced $5400 higher than a 2LT V6. While the Camaro 1LT does have 54 more horsepower than the Dodge Challenger SXT, it also costs $3000 more than the Dodge. The Camaro 2LT (304 HP) is not quite as well equipped as a Mustang GT (315 HP), but is over $5000 cheaper.  

Safety

Standard seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. Not crash tested. Standard ABS and ESC.


 

 

 

 

Pontiac Solstice

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE
GENERAL MOTORS
PONTIAC Solstice, SATURN Sky (RWD)
Body Style: 2CV
Engine: 2.4L-4* 173 HP, 2L-4T 260 HP
Transmissions: 5M*, 5A
City fuel consumption: 11.1L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
Solstice: ABS, ESC and a limited slip differential are all standard this year. The GXP hatchback debuts. Sky: Red and Blue special editions. Production of both these cars will cease when GM discontinues the Pontiac and Saturn brands.

Comments
The Solstice and Sky are a duo of sports cars built on GM’s Kappa rear-wheel drive platform. Compared to the Mazda MX-5, the Solstice is built on a longer wheelbase, and is wider, taller and a lot heavier. The wide stance, wheel-at-the corners look, disappearing top and dramatic shapes give GM’s new sports cars a much bigger “Wow” factor than the Mazda can muster. The longer wheelbase and greater width than the Mazda translate into roomier cabins for GM’s sports cars. The hard tonneau and disappearing top look very chic, but stowing or erecting the top is an ordeal, and trunk space all but vanishes when the top is down (there is more cargo space in the new coupe). This is a far cry from the easy-to-use top, and small, yet practical trunk in the MX-5. Paintwork and panel fit on the Solstice are quite good, but some interior materials look a bit low rent. The Sky’s more traditional cabin design is more elegant than that of its Pontiac platform mate. GM’s twins offer two engine choices. Mainstream cars are powered by a by the 2.4L Ecotec four seen in numerous GM cars. A turbocharged 2L Ecotec four that pumps out 260 horsepower is featured in the Solstice GXP and Sky Redline. Power reaches the rear wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. Reports in the automotive press note that the Solstice has a strong, flexible engine, an entertaining exhaust note, precise steering, stable handling and a surprisingly comfortable ride considering its high handling limits. Combined sales match those of Mazda MX-5. Made in the United States.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. A GM extended warranty is recommended. APA members can obtain a discount on a GM extended warranty through a dealer recommended by the association. Three year/60,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years/160,000 km on the powertrain.

Pricing
The base Sky sells for around $1800 more than a Solstice with a 1SB package. A Sky Redline has an MSRP roughly $1200 higher than a similarly-equipped Solstice GXP. The Solstice GXP coupe is priced $1150 higher than its soft top showroom companion. Comparably equipped, the base Solstice is priced about $1600 less than a Mazda MX-5 GS.

Safety
Side airbags are not available. The Solstice provided good protection for the driver and passenger in the NHTSA’s frontal crash test, and good protection for occupants in the NHTSA’s side impact test. Not tested by the IIHS. Standard ABS and ESC.


 

 

 

Hyundai Genesis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW
HYUNDAI
2010 Genesis Coupe (RWD)
Body Style: 2CP
Engine: 2L-4T 233 HP*, 3.8L-V6 306 HP
Transmission: 6M*, 5A, 6A
City fuel economy: 10.1L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
All-new rear-wheel drive coupe based on the Genesis luxury sedan.

Comments
Built on a 115 mm (4.53 inch) shorter wheelbase, the Genesis coupe is 375 mm (14.76 inches) shorter, the same width and 110 mm (4.33 inches) lower than its donor sedan. The car is dramatically styled but not pretty in a classical sense. The drooping window line behind the front door is a novel feature. Though built on a longer wheelbase than the Mustang, the Genesis is shorter overall. The cabin, with prominent instruments resting at the back of long tubes, is fresh, modern, and constructed from high quality components. The front seats are comfortable, and rear space is quite reasonable for a car of this type. Power reaches the rear wheels via either a turbocharged 2L four with 233 horsepower, or a 306 horsepower version of Hyundai's 3.8L V6. Both engines can be linked to a six-speed manual transmission, or automatics with five speeds (2L) or six speeds (V6). The V8, optional on the sedan, is not offered on the coupe. Made in South Korea.

Reliability
New vehicle, not rated. Five year/100,000 km warranty.

Pricing
The Premium package on the 2L model is very good value. Poor value 2L GT package. Once additional standard features are accounted for, Hyundai charges about $2000 extra to upgrade to the V6. Very expensive automatic transmission option on the 2L car. The Mustang V6 Pony is priced about the same as a 2L Genesis Premium, but the Genesis has greater power, more sophisticated rear suspension and a sunroof. A Genesis V6 GT coupe is priced about $4700 less than a Ford Mustang GT that lacks the Hyundai’s sunroof and sophisticated chassis.

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side and side-curtain airbags. Not crash tested. Standard ABS and ESC.  


 

 

 

Mazda MX-5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE AVERAGE
MAZDA MX-5 (RWD)
Body Style: 2 CV*, 2 CV/CP
Engine: 2L 167 HP
Transmission: 5M (GX), 6M* (GS, GT), 6A, 6A Paddle Shift (GS, GT)
City fuel economy: 9.7L/100 km
ESC: Available
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
Facelifted exterior and minor cabin revisions. The engine gains one horsepower, for a total of 167. Seat mounted side airbags are now standard. The PRHT, Bluetooth, satellite radio, auto-dim rear mirror and an integrated garage door control are now standard equipment on the GT. 

Performance
The 2L four derived from the Mazda 3 is smooth, flexible and willing, but some drivers find the exhaust note tiring. A light, progressive clutch allies with a precise, short-throw gearchange. The ride is remarkably absorbent considering the big wheels and low-profile tires worn by the GT model tested. Terrific balance and agility. Strong brakes. The cabin borders on the luxurious, with careful assembly of attractive components. Big, clear instrumentation and simple, logical controls. The trunk is bigger than expected. The convertible top folds in a way that turns it into its own neatly-finished tonneau cover. Wind noise is well-controlled with the top up, and top-down wind buffeting is minimal with the windows up.

Reliability
Above average reliability is predicted, but some problems have cropped up on  Mazda products over the last few years. Three year/80,000 km, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain. 

Comments
The Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) option consists of two metal roof sections, a separate glass rear window and a rear-hinged tonneau cover that moves upward to allow the roof to be retracted, then repositions itself. The rear fenders, trunk lid and tonneau are unique to the PRHT model. The hard top folds so compactly it does not impinge on trunk space. The PRHT option adds only 36 kg (79 lbs.) to the MX-5’s weight. Power reaches the rear wheels via a five-speed manual on the GX, or a six-speed manual on the GS and GT trim levels. A six-speed automatic is optional on all trim levels, with thumb-activated shift paddles added on the GS and GT models. Made in Japan. 

Pricing
The MX-5 GX is a lot of car for the money. The PRHT is a $2295 option on the GX and GS, but is standard on the GT. The $4500 GS package is worth about $3200. The $6500 GT trim upgrade contains about $6000 in features. Fully equipped, the MX-5 PRHT is priced only about $1500 less than a similarly-equipped Volkswagen Eos.

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side airbags. Not crash tested. Standard ABS. ESC is standard on the GS and the GT, but is not offered on the GX.  


 

 

 Mazda RX-8

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE AVERAGE
MAZDA RX-8 (RWD)
Body Style: 4CP
Engine: 1.3L Twin Rotary 232 HP (manual), 212 HP (automatic)
Transmissions: 6M*, 6A
City fuel economy: 12.8L/100 km
ESC: Available
Emissions rating: n/a

What’s new
Mid-cycle remake with new bumpers, front fascia and revised lights outside, with an altered dashboard, redesigned seats and a restyled steering wheel inside. Improved structural rigidity. Keyless Go and rain-sensing wipers are standard on all models. Bluetooth and a sunroof are now standard on the GT trim version. The new R3 sport package includes sport tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks and foam filled suspension crossmembers. The engine warranty has been extended to 8 years/160,000 km.

Performance
The Renesis rotary engine lacks torque and feels little stronger than 170 horsepower in day-to-day driving. The engine has to be kept on-the-boil to extract maximum performance from it. However, the engine is so smooth at high revs that Mazda installed an audible warning device to remind you to upshift. The short-travel gearlever controls a well-chosen sextet of gears. The RX-8’s precise steering is allied to a chassis that combines good grip with a supple ride. The interior is tasteful, practical, and carefully assembled. The instrumentation is elegant and easy to read at night, but the gauges wash out in direct sunlight. The seats are comfortable on any trip and the innovative design provides enough cabin space for four average-size adults. The pillarless doors allow easy access to the rear seats, and provide anchor points for the front seat belts. The RX-8 is a hot car that was literally hot during our test. Heat-soak through the transmission tunnel combines with insufficient cabin cooling capacity to leave occupants warmer than they’d like to be in sultry weather. Very good audio system. Finding the dipstick, located low in the engine compart, puts hands in close proximity to hot engine components, and is a long reach for shorter drivers. If oil is needed, a decorative engine cover must be removed to reveal the oil filler.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Mazda looks to have corrected the teething problems encountered in 2004 and 2005. Repairs are limited to a small number of shops experienced with rotary engines. Three year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain, 8 years/160,000 km on the engine. 

Comments
The RX-8 is a genuine sports car, but it is also a practical daily driver for a small family. Despite updates to improve fuel economy, the Renesis rotary engine still has a great thirst for fuel, especially in urban driving. The RX-8’s styling, with faux cycle fenders, high beltline, small glazed area, and pillarless door construction, reflects a 1930’s influence. About 600 RX-8s were sold in Canada in 2008. Made in Japan.

Pricing
Except for the surprising absence of ESC, the base GS lacks nothing. No-charge automatic transmission. The GT package is short of content for the price. As the only four-seater four-door sports cars on the market, the RX-8 has no competition.

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags. The RX-8 provided good protection for the driver and very good protection for the passenger in the NHTSA’s frontal crash test, and good protection for all occupants in the NHTSA’s side impact test. Not tested by the IIHS. Standard ABS. ESC is standard on the R3 and GT, but is not offered on the GS.


 

 

 

 

Mitsubishi Eclipse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AVERAGE
MITSUBISHI Eclipse (FWD)
Body Style: 2CP, 2CV
Engines: 2.4L-4 MIVEC 162 HP, 3.8L-V6* 265 HP
Transmissions: 5M, 4A, 6M, 5A*
City fuel economy: 13.1L/100 km
ESC: Available
Emissions rating: n/a

 

What’s new
New front fascia (with Nissan GT-R style black accent paint on the GT-P), revised rear fascia. Giant wing spoiler, xenon lights, ESC and two extra horsepower on the GT-P variant.

Performance
The 3.8L V6 delivers strong acceleration and sounds great in the process. Very stable on the highway. Strong brakes. The chassis set-up on four-cylinder cars is particularly good.

Reliability
Not rated, insufficient data. Expensive parts. Five year/100,000 km bumper to bumper warranty and 10 years/160,000 km on the powertrain, the best warranty in the business.

Comments
The Eclipse’s cabin is quite avant-garde. The colours and textures used in the interior are unlike anything else, and a refreshing change from the humdrum cabins many makers foist on their customers. The Eclipse is built in the U.S. alongside the Endeavor and Galant. Despite its substantial bulk, the Eclipse is cramped in the back seat. The convertible body style is even more striking than the coupe, and its back seat is even tinier. Power choices are a 162 horsepower 2.4L inline four and a 3.8L V6 with 265 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels via either a five-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic on four cylinder cars, with a choice of a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic on V6 cars. Made in the United States.

Pricing
At around $26,000, the Eclipse GS coupe is well-equipped for the money. The Sun & Sound package offers a wealth of equipment, but is a bit overpriced. The GT-P model ratchets up the price by $8800, but includes about $7000 worth of extra equipment as well as 103 additional horsepower. Similarly equipped, a convertible is priced $3000 (GT-P) to $4000 (GS) more than a coupe. The base Eclipse GS is priced about $700 less than the Nissan Altima 2.5S coupe, with the MSRP of the Eclipse GT-P coupe being about $1200 cheaper than a base Altima 3.5SE coupe.

Safety
Side airbags are standard on all models, but side-curtain air bags are restricted to the coupe body style. The Eclipse convertible was rated Good in the IIHS frontal and side impact tests, and Marginal in the IIHS rear impact test, ranked 5th of the 10 cars tested in its segment. Standard ABS. ESC is standard with the V6 but is not offered with the base engine.


 

 

 

 

Nissan 370Z

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW
NISSAN 370Z (RWD)
Body Style: 2CP*, 2CV
Engine: 3.7L-V6 332 HP
Transmission: 6M*, 7A
City fuel consumption: 11.6L/100 km
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: LEV 2

What’s New
All new for 2009 (convertible sold as a 2010).

Comments
Spun off the Infiniti G37's FM platform, the 2009 370Z debuted at the L.A. car show in November 2008. The new 370Z, 69 mm (2.72 inches) shorter than before, is an even sportier car than its predecessor. While visually arresting, with a taut, muscular stance, the 370Z, from the currently popular "Brutalist" school of design, lacks the sleek beauty of its predecessor. The roofline, running in a straight line from the windshield header to the tail, makes the car look like it developed a kink following a severe rear impact. The cabin, with smooth flowing shapes and attractive materials, succeeds where the exterior fails. Displacement of the V6 grows from 3.5L to 3.7L, with a concomitant horsepower increase from 306 to 332. Power reaches the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Optional on manual transmission Zs is a feature that blips the throttle on downshifts to better match engine and transmission speeds. The coupe debuted first, followed by the cabriolet. Made in Japan.

Reliability
New model, not rated. Predicted above average reliability. Replacing a set of tires can easily top $2000. Three year/60,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain.

Pricing
Nissan charges $1500 for the seven-speed automatic transmission. These cars are fully-equipped, with the only options being special paint, navigation and a Sport package. At $4000, the Sport package, with gigantic wheels and stronger brakes, is very expensive.

Safety
Standard seat-mounted side airbags on both body styles. No side-curtain airbags are offered. Not crash tested. Standard ABS and ESC.


 

 

 

 

Volkswagen Eos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ABOVE AVERAGE
VOLKSWAGEN Eos (FWD)
Body Style: 2CP/CV
Engines: 2L-4T 200 HP
Transmissions: 6M*, 6A/DSG
City fuel economy: 10.1L/100
ESC: Standard
Emissions rating: Tier 2 Bin 5

What’s New
Nothing of note.

 

Comments
The Eos is VW’s answer to the burgeoning retractable hardtop cabrio market in Europe, where all the major makers field an entry. Based on VW’s variable platform that underpins the Jetta and Passat, the Eos is marginally shorter, wider, and lower than the Jetta. The two-piece retractable hardtop has a large smoked-glass retractable sunroof, a unique feature in this segment. The interior, which features mostly Jetta-based components, is attractive and solidly constructed. VW rates the Eos as a four-seater, but those in the rear had better be small and agile. With the roof down, trunk space is limited to a smallish storage box. Five engines are available in Europe, two in the U.S, but the sole choice in Canada is VW’s familiar 2L turbo four. Power reaches the front wheels through either a six-speed manual or VW’s Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) with six gears. Standard equipment includes ESC, and roll-over sensors that trigger roll-over hoops in the rear headrests to deploy if the car tips. The 2L turbo is strong, smooth and flexible, the manual transmission works well and the DSG is a delight to use. The structure appears stout, but the roof creaks a bit with the top up. The Eos is like a new age Karmann-Ghia, a civilized touring car at a reasonable price. Built in Germany. 

Reliability
Average reliability predicted. Mechanical units, shared with other VWs, have generated few complaints in recent VWs. Complex folding roof. Unproven DSG transmission. Four year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, 5 years/100,000 km on the powertrain.  

Pricing
The Comfortline package is priced to cover the value of its additional features. The Eos costs between $8800 and $10,405 more than a Volkswagen New Beetle convertible, but is priced around $16,000 less than a base model Volvo C70.

Safety
Combined seat-mounted head and torso side airbags are standard. Rollover protection system deploys protective elements in the event of a rollover or lateral tilt. The Eos was a Top Safety Pick, rated Good in the IIHS frontal, side and rear impact tests. Ranked 3rd of the 10 cars tested in its class. Standard ABS and ESC.