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Volkswagen EOS Komfort convertible takes off its top

Volkswagen EOS Komfort convertible takes off its top

Car-Net provides vehicle status, remote control and monitoring, and safety features, with an iPhone app now and an Android app on the way.

Volkswagen is rolling out its new Car-Net service on select 2014 models, including the EOS Komfort.

Volkswagen is rolling out its new Car-Net service on select 2014 models, including the EOS Komfort.

You wouldn't buy a convertible unless you liked to show off, and in the case of the 2014 Volkswagen EOS Komfort, there's even an app for that. Volkswagen is rolling out its new Car-Net service on select 2014 models, including the EOS Komfort, with a focus on providing safety, remote access, family tracking, and diagnostics information. This information is nothing different or revolutionary compared to what you'll find on competing vendors' cars. But this is VW's first shot at it, and to the company's credit, the subscription prices (after a six-month free trial) are reasonable.

The iPhone app is already available on iTunes. (An Android app is in the works, per Volkswagen). Your dealer provides a login, and you can instantly check the status of the car: the fuel level, whether the hard-shell top is down or the doors are unlocked, or if you need to call for help by flashing the horns and lights. You'll find similar features in apps like MyLink with the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, and in higher-end Mercedes-Benz vehicles like the E550 using the mbrace app.

Helicopter parents will love the monitoring and geofencing features. The car alerts you when someone drives over the speed limit or leaves a set area of town. These features will sound familiar to those who have used the Ford MyKey feature in vehicles like the 2014 Ford Taurus.

One of the app's best features has to do with navigation: You can search for a destination and then send that navigation route to the car. Once again, it's something BMW and Mercedes-Benz already offer.

A few other features seem borrowed from GM's OnStar. The car can automatically call 911 if you are in an accident, and you can call for roadside assistance.

But here's the big win if you use the Car-Net app: Few car companies can boast that they have all of these features in one app. And, the price is affordable. OnStar costs $28.90 per month with navigation. Car-Net costs just $17.99 per month (or $199 per year). Mercedes mbrace costs a jaw-dropping $43 per month (including the personal assistance). Lexus Enform with Safety Connect costs about $23 per month (based on the yearly subscription price of $264.90). Only the Hyundai BlueLink, available on most 2013 and 2014 models, beats the price at about $8 per month--and it matches most of the features.

Will this improved version of Car-Net make you want to buy a Jetta? That depends on how much you rely on your phone and how much you want to use the geo-fencing. In the EOS Komfort, it might be the only way a parent could be talked into buying this fun and super-sporty convertible for a hopeful teen.


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