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New Convertible Cars - Review of Three New Convertible Cars

eos performance features eclipse

Few automotive experiences can compare to driving with the top down. Convertibles have always been associated with sporty performance and aggressive styling; however, with the recent global focus on gas mileage, these automobile characteristics have taken the back seat. With the removal of the Honda S2000, the Saturn Sky, and the Pontiac Solstice from the market, convertible enthusiasts on a budget may feel a bit limited in terms of available vehicles. Today, we will be reviewing three new convertible cars for 2011: the Volkswagen Eos, the Volvo C70, and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder.

While each of these vehicles is a two-door, four-seater convertible, the similarities end there. Each is marketed at a slightly different audience, making a comprehensive review essential.

Volkswagen Eos:
The Eos, which first entered Volkswagen’s production line in 2006, is quite simply a car designed with fun in mind. The vehicle is available in two trim levels, Komfort and LUX, and both levels offer a handful of unique optional features, including a ground effects kit and a lip spoiler. In terms of performance, both trim levels of the Eos are the same under the hood – the convertible comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0L straight-4 engine, generating a power output of 200HP. However, the LUX is available with an alloy wheel package, a navigation system, and a premium audio system – features not offered on the Komfort.

In terms of the three new convertible cars reviewed, the Eos can be defined by one word: unique. Volkswagen has decided against producing a pure performance machine like the late Honda S2000 and has instead focused on the vehicle’s overall enjoyability. Even though the relatively tame power output of the Eos won’t win any races, with features like premium audio and ground lighting, it’s almost impossible not to have fun with this convertible.

The 2011 Eos Komfort has an MSRP of $32,940, and the LUX edition is priced at $36,100.

Volvo C70:
The 2011 C70 sports a very different look from its predecessors, having a newly designed front end and a different gauge layout than previous generations. The C70 is only available in one trim level, and features a turbocharged 2.5L five-cylinder engine, producing 227HP of power. Optional features for the C70 include a multimedia package, premium paint choices, and Volvo’s useful “blind spot information system.”

Compared to the Volkswagen Eos, the Volvo C70 is definitely a more utilitarian vehicle. Instead of focusing on “fun” features like a ground lighting kit, the C70 is far more serious about its status as a performance car, while still retaining the level of safety that has defined Volvo throughout the years. While tame enough to still serve as a relaxing daily driver, the power advantage offered by the C70 will also please drivers who prefer a more aggressive vehicle.

The 2011 Volvo C70 holds an MSRP of $39,950, making it the most expensive of the three new convertible cars reviewed.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder:
While the Mitsubishi Eclipse has been offered in convertible form for many years, past models cannot compare to the new 2011 Eclipse Spyder. This vehicle is offered in two trim levels: the GS and the GT. Unlike the Volkswagen Eos, there is a definite difference in performance between these trim levels. The GS comes equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.4L in-line four-cylinder engine, producing 162HP. The GT, on the other hand, features a 3.8L V6 engine, which raises the horsepower to a whopping 265HP.

While the Eclipse GS is fairly lackluster compared to both the Eos and the C70 in terms of performance, the GT is another story entirely; a six-cylinder engine is a rarity for a modern convertible. This is especially apparent considering the price difference – the GS has a base price of just $27,799, and the GT holds an MSRP of only $32,599. While the Mitsubishi Eclipse may not come with the same safety features as the Volvo C70 or the quirkiness of the Volkswagen Eos, the combination of price and performance for the GT are extremely impressive.

Whether swayed by the unique character of the Volkswagen Eos, the combination of safety and performance of the Volvo C70, or the extremely affordable performance of the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, automobile enthusiasts will surely find one of these new convertible cars to suit their needs.

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