In March 2015 my wife and I went on the search for a new car to replace our old 10-year old Corolla, which was passed on and on from several generations before us. We did not set out to find a brand new vehicle due to the matter of depreciation, so instead we visited many dealers for CPO's. I heard good things about Carmax and its warranty, so we spent a couple weeks at different carmax locations to find the one that both of us would enjoy ourselves, since most of the time we are stuck with the kids on the larger SUV. We ended up with a few convertible that goes in a reasonable price range : the Volvo C70, Chrysler 200, MX5 Miata, VW Eos, Lexus IS and BMW M6. I personally hate the ragtop because that particularly part becomes very stiff and split during the winter time so half of the list was out of question. Also, I'd love to haul the kids around during the summer time with the top down so a 4 seater would be highly preferred. That left us with Lexus IS, VW Eos and Volvo C70.
Now everyone would enjoy guessing whether the driver of the Lexus we just pulled behind is older than Niagara falls or not, so we were a bit concerned before scheduling a test drive on this car. It turned out the drive is quite nice, smooth and quiet. Definitely would buy one when I'm a few decades older. The Lexus brand just lacks the exciting feel in their line up though the reliability rating is top-notch. The Volvo C70 is also a nice ride, but it's plain and the handling is rough. That's how we were left with only last option -the Volkswagen Eos. I didn't even know it existed then. Carmax listed a several Eos from 2007 to 2009, we were 90% close to buying one from them with a $4000 trade-in offer for the Corolla; but it turned out during our test drive someone requested a transfer so the car instantly became unavailable for sale. And we thought it was a huge bummer. We enjoyed the hardtop, the quiet cabin and the handling of a turbo charged engine very much but it slipped away the very moment we came to sign the purchase. But thank god, that was a blessing in disguise (more onto this later).
A week after, I took my wife out and about to buy some butter and breads. We accidentally stopped by Lindsay Volkswagen in Sterling VA (50mi from home) because the night before I searched and found an Eos in Fairfax VA and another one in Ellicott city. The funny thing is I did not intend to visit Lindsay Volkswagen, I used Google Maps on the phone to locate a nearby VW dealer in VA and thought this was the one that had an Eos I saw.
As we entered the shop, we were quickly greeted by Mr. Davit Simikyan. Knowing that we were looking for a CPO, he brought us to the front desk to find someone who could help us find the car we wanted. Within a few minutes, we were introduced to Mr. Clyde Htoon with a warm welcome. I explained that we were on a hunt for an Eos and we also plan to trade in our car. The Eos I found the night before was White in color and it gave Mr. Clyde a bit of a hard time tracking it down. I did not know I came to the wrong dealer, but since I was open to other option, I asked if he had any in stock. It didn't take long before Clyde presented us a Black Eos 2012 with 25k miles on it.
Now more about the Eos.
The production of Eos line ends on 2015 with what they call the Final Edition. This car is one of the best kept secret convertible out there and it will be a classic when it's no longer available. I'm surprised it successfully flew under the radar for the entire 8 years since birth. The Eos comes equipped with a 2.0T turbocharged engine same as the Audi A4 and Q3. It's a beautiful solid hardtop that opens in less than 25 seconds and closes in 30's. With the top up, the Eos seems like a completely normal coupe and when the top's down it transforms into a luxury, head turning convertible that you won't see very often on the road. In either mode, the cabin is surprisingly quiet. One huge plus is the Eos is the only convertible in the market that has a powered sunroof. The sunroof is also the widest you can ever find.
Now as for all convertible, there is a major concern from most owners -water leaks. I did my research beforehand and the 2007-2010 models have some serious issue with roof leaks, especially the 2007-2009. The 2011 to current has a nicer, newly revamped front look (like the late Jetta lineup) and a much, much better rubber seals around the top and rear windshield areas. I'm glad that the purchase at Carmax for the 2008 Eos did not go through. There has not been a leak reported for these newer models ever since, but nonetheless you should ask the Parts department (ask Mr. Brian Crossin if you are at this dealer) for the Krytox lubricant to treat the top rubbers --they also have wipes that cost about $12. This preventive care is necessary and clearly explained in the manual book. It's very effective against dried out rubbers under extreme weather condition that causes leaks.
So back at the dealer, we asked Clyde if we could take the car out for a spin and without any question he handed us the key. Clyde has been very attentive and patient to our needs and request. I tend to be a little annoying when buying some thing but Clyde never made things more difficult for us. Eventually we proposed a trade-in bid for the old Corolla and they struck a deal that's just slightly less than Carmax. But in return we had a CPO backed by a manufacturer 2-year 24,000mi warranty, a cleaner 2012 edition which rated the most reliable in the line up at JDpower. At the end of the sale, we put down a little haggling and they accepted our offer. The entire process has been very pleasant and not a single time we felt pressure by any sale tactics. I have been thorugh retail job and now work on my own as an editor for my computer review website custompcguide.net, I recognize excellent customer service when I come across it. Clyde cares for your purchase and he demonstrates it in a professional, friendly approach. Clyde called us often to make sure our inspection, license, registration went through smoothly.
There were a few hiccups along the way which is unavoidable, such as an incident we had with the passenger window. It made a weird, high-pitch noise every time I rolled it down so I brought it back for a checkup. Mr. Peter Herman was our service advisor and he took car of the fix seamlessly. I waited in the lounge for less than an hour and the car was ready. The problem never comes back ever since.
I like to extend my thanks to Larry Schiro who helped us on financing and choosing the right warranty for our car, and Mr. Glenn Rumingan who went through several concerns I had with the car when I brought it in for checkup and finally GM Jerry Holloway for listening and providing us a satisfying solution to all my issues. Everyone in this dealer understands extremely well the meaning of customer service. People can shop online, but if the local store cares for their customers --paying a little more isn't a lot to ask for. Yet, the price is very competitive.
I'm planning on paying off this Eos in couple years and come back to Lindsay VW for the 2015 Final Edition. I just hope they have it in stock by then. Meanwhile, I get compliments on this 2012 Eos everywhere I go, it's a beautiful and solid car that many more expensive convertible can't even come close. Some car ages horribly (Murano anyone?), this one doesn't. And again, since it's a VW you need to take care of the car. Don't miss service maintenance, treat it with proper care, get any problems fixed by a certified VW tech and it'll give you immersive joy of a ride for years to come, at least a lot more fun than the sleepy Lexus.
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