Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life Can't Get Much Better than this... 2008 VW EOS LUX

OK, so it could - still one or maybe 2 things missing... but in the meantime things are pretty good...

For those of you who came in response to a google search for a review of my new EOS - jump to the last section of this blog, taking time to look at the photos I have included of my car if you want the bottom line - everyone else - grab a cuppa coffee, pull your laptop with you onto a comfy chair and read on...

As mentioned in my blog from earlier in the week, I have been doing my taxes and that has been keeping me pretty busy.  Well, that is just about all done now.    My accountant has finished the first pass on my company's books for the previous year and my personal taxes are ready to mail - and on both counts things are in good shape.  So I should, in the weeks to come, have more time for blogging, well except for  one new  distraction - my new car.  I picked it up on Tuesday night and am just enjoying it so much I will have a hard time doing anything but driving it around.

I got to go on  a mini road trip this weekend as I drove up to my Collingwood Shangri-La on Friday night for the weekend.  For those of you who have not been keeping up on my blog you can read more about my getaway on the shores of Georgian Bay in previous blogs here. 
Aside from the 2 hour drive there and back and the 3 hour tour of the Georgian Triangle I took on Saturday, I got to know and love the car a lot.  It is comfortable and it practically drives itself - at the ready to perk up and zoom ahead when you tap the gas.

Backtracking, let me give you the story of my urge to be topless  and how fate dealt me the tiny push to get a new car and how I lucked into this one.  I was not planning on buying a new car this spring - so that in itself is a story worth telling.  But first - a little history.

Life After A Minivan

I have been dreaming about buying a convertible for quite a few years and when I bought my last car - a 2003 Toyota Echo, I was in very different circumstances.  I was trading down my large Sienna,  which was needed to schlep my family of 5 kids down to their father's house every other weekend, for a smaller vehicle.  At the time, my eldest was at College and living with my X in the City (easier to both get to College and also to go clubbing when you live in the City of Toronto Beaches area instead of the outer reaches of the GTA in Caledon countryside where I was) and my other teens all had lives of their own with part time jobs and close friends which meant they seldom wanted to go to their Father's house for a weekend.  They were also learning to drive and I thought a smaller newer car was just what we needed.  I was not yet re-established in my IT career at that point and was teaching part time at Sheridan College and doing what I could to make ends meet.  I did not have a big budget.

When I finally landed a full year contract at CIBC in the spring of 2004, I decided it was time to replace the Sienna with something nearly new which would do for these interim years when I would not be the only driver and my new teenage drivers would presumably be bringing me tales to explain the dents and bumps which would inevitably appear.  That was 2004 and I ended up with the most basic and no feature Echo I could have found.

Since then I have learned emulate cruise control with extra attention to my foot, lean over and wind shut the passenger side window while flying down the highway and to be patient when I lose speed as I go up the Niagara Escarpment hills on the road to Colllingwood.  A fast car the Echo was not.

My daughter's first Car Accident

The event which put the wheels in motion toward my getting a new car occurred over a month ago when my daughter Laura had a bit of a fender bender with my Echo.  My Son Eric had been home visiting and Laura was going to take him over to their father's house to spend the night.  It was rainy and she had to stop suddenly and rear ended someone else.  No one was hurt and the other car suffered no real damage, however the Echo had sheet metal damage to both front quarter panels, hood, front grill headlights and bumper.  In my mind it was a certainty that it would be written off particularly when the estimate of repair was in the $4,000 plus range (it actually cost over $6500 to fix it). 

I decided to start shopping around for my convertible. At that point my fate was sealed.  By the time the insurance company said they would fix it I had my heart set on a new one.  I decided to go ahead and buy a new car any way - heck I had had the other one for 6 years and it owed me nothing and the now (mostly) adult children were out of the house..--well except the one who had the fender bender and she is promising to go out to forage for herself again in a couple of months.

In all honesty I had been wondering if this year should be the year I would get my new car and I had been eyeing the VW EOS since the first year that model had hit the show rooms.  Let's get this straight though, I am not a car person - if you asked me what kind of a car so and so drove I might be able to tell you the colour and whether it was a car, truck or SUV but that said - I do have this dream about owning a convertible.

Why a Convertible and Why an EOS? 

Don't you just love the curved lines on that baby?  

But I digress...There was a 6 year period of my life when I hung out with a guy who drove a late model Mustang Convertible.  He had two cars and the convertible was his summer vehicle.  We had such a great time driving with the top down and I learned to love driving with the wind singing in my ears and caressing my hair.  After he and I broke up in 2001, I realized that maybe I couldn't have him but I could have a convertible car of my own some day.  I have been biding my time for nearly a decade now waiting for the stars to align so I could get my convertible. 

Jumping back even further in my life, when my children's father and I first met he was driving a CJ6 soft top Jeep.  We drove around lots with the top off both off road and on road and did a few long road trips with the jeep as well.  When I got pregnant with my first we traded the jeep in for something which would be easier for a pregnant lady to get in and out of and with a hard top to provide better winter comfort and less road noise for those long trips - not to mention making it easier to manage the baby car seat with occupant I missed driving exposed to the big outdoors and the elements.  At that time I made a promise to myself that there would be a convertible in my future at some point.

The VW EOS  caught my eye when it first came out (late 2006 model year 2007) and it seemed to offer the best of all worlds:
  • the carefree top down experience of a convertible along with the practicality of a hard top roof for our Canadian winters, deployable at the push of a button
  • a more affordable price that the equivalent BMW or other high end manufacturer who offers a hard top.
  • a good compromise in size and form - it is sporty but it is no sports car - it will seat 4. Lacking great comfort in the back seat for a multi hour road trip but good enough for quick trip across town for the occasions I have some adult children in the car.
  • from all accounts the engineering of this German vehicle was consistent with the other offerings from its family.   I had driven a Jetta years ago with a great deal of satisfaction and that experience stayed with me.
Little did I know that I would end up owning such a car, but that it would be even better than I thought.  My first thought as I drove it out of the lot - this is much, much better than a VW!

I was sold when I saw the following Video Review.

How did I come to find MY EOS?

My car search started at my local VW dealer but after trading a few emails and realizing that a new EOS would run me way more than I wanted to spend and that the sales person I was dealing with was finding it a challenge to locate a resale from the dealer network he had access to, I turned to the internet. 

After typing into google "VW EOS for sale Toronto" I found a "previously  owned car dealer" advertising one and the next morning the salesman from Parkway Autotrade called and asked if I would like to come out and test drive the one he had.  Sadly, by the time I got out there someone else had test driven it and had decided to buy it - so no test drive for me.  Truth was that after searching I concluded that there were very few on the resale market and it would be difficult for me to find one for sale in the Toronto area.

I was discouraged, but not for long.  I happened to have gone to a motor vehicle reseller who not only was registered in Ontario (a must for me to minimize risk) but one who also acted as a broker, searching and shipping in cars "found to order".  Although disappointed that I did not get to test drive the car I went to see (I got to sit in it while Vince negotiated with the purchaser) , Vince Leluzzi, who also talks about his service on the local talk radio every month went thought the service he offered as described in his web site  "We find your car.  He assured me that he could find me a low mileage, gently used EOS guaranteed accident free somewhere in North America and he could manage all the details of shipping it to Canada and getting it certified.  And he did that right in front of my eyes and for a price way less than I was led to believe by the VW dealer salesman that I would end up paying.

Three weeks later, last Tuesday, I was picking up my new car!  It had been turned in under the "lemon law" act and as a consequence of attempts to repair and finally replace the megatronic unit - an expensive major repair.  Given that it was still under factory warranty, and that the unit had been eventually replaced I would go ahead with the purchase.   I also have to note that if this car was sold in Ontario the owner would not be allowed to exchange the car for a new one given any number of warranty covered repairs.

A New Owner's Review of the 2008 VW EOS
I won't say that my life has changed now that I have my new car - but certainly the hours spent in the car are infinitely more enjoyable than they were driving the Echo.  (I know, you are thinking dah!)...

The Bottom Line:

-From a woman's point of view:
  • The car I ended up buying was shipped from Florida.  It was graded a condition of 4.7 out of 5.0 - and for sure it looks, smells and seems new to me.  It only had 30,000 KM on it and as it turned out came with an extended 10 year extended factory warranty which the previous owner had purchased.
  • A few of my favourite features: automatic everything - the exact opposite of the Echo!  It has automatic sensor driven window wipers, headlights that automatically turn on at dusk and swivel into the corner as you turn your steering wheel, heated leather seats which adjust 12 ways to Sunday, all sorts of great information displays, a 6 CD changer radio with Sirius satellite radio and an iPhone/iPod input for music and the list goes on.
  • Best of all, the 200 hp turbo charged engine which really moves when you touch the gas.  It sure is a pleasure to drive.
  • I haven't found a way for it to make my coffee - but it wouldn't surprise me that I just missed that section in the owner's manual
-From a man's point of view:
  • I must admit I had the car several days before I felt the urge to look under the hood (didn't seem to be an important thing to do as I would never need to do anything there except fill the wiper fluid and check the oil).  For you guys who like to see such things I have included a photo. Pretty tidy, eh? 
  • I have it from a real good authority that the rims actually contribute substantially to the look of the car.  I maintain this must be a man thing.  I have also included a picture of the rims, just in case you would like to venture a comment on the rims - apparently they are as classy (or even more classy if that is possible) than the rest of the car..  


  1. Nice car, Peggy! Perhaps I will get to see it (and you) in person if you make a road trip down this way sometime this summer.

  2. Yes I can identify with 'nice rims" Peggy. A very nice car...

    Kindest regards, Michael


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