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Volkswagen Eos convertible (2006 – ) expert review

By Adrian Higgins and Andy Goodwin, 19th October 2007

The verdict

The Volkswagen Eos is a smart, stylish upmarket convertible with a premium feel and a clever metal folding roof.

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Expert rating:

3.6

Pros

  • Upmarket styling
  • Premium cabin
  • Impressive ride comfort

Cons

  • Limited trim range
  • Expensive options
  • Folding roof limits luggage capacity

Full Review

1. Exterior

Many convertibles are adaptations of existing models. Not the Volkswagen Eos though. It was designed from the outset for open-top driving. However, it does share many of its stablemates’ characteristics, with styling cues from the Volksagen Passat particularly in evidence. The overall look is stylish and upmarket while the neat roof-folding mechanism ensures Volkswagen have avoided creating an unsightly bump above the boot.
Our rating: 4

2. Interior

Inside, the car boasts Volkswagen’s usual combination of classy design, unfussy functionality and good quality materials. The information display is clearly laid out and easy to read. The same can be said of the central console. The car has a premium feel which has led many drivers to declare surprise the VW Eos didn’t go under sister-manufacturer Audi’s more upmarket brand. The model we drove boasted red nappa leather seats which only added to the overall impression of quality.
Our rating: 4

3. Practicality

The VW Eos’ five-piece roof-folding mechanism inevitably reduces boot space when the lid is off, to 205 litres, but 380 litres with the roof up is very decent. There’s another big tick for the VW Eos when it comes to passengers. The Eos boasts two very useable seats in the back, accessed by sliding front seats. The centre armrest houses the six CD changer – when fitted – leaving room for two cupholders in front. A wind-deflector springs up from the top of the windscreen and works with an optional rear deflector to help stretch the open-top driving season.
Our rating: 4

4. Ride and handling

Very impressive. The best compliment we can pay to the car’s ride and handling is to say it didn’t feel like we were driving a car with the roof missing. VW says this is because the Eos was created purely as a convertible, with no compromises to the cars structural rigidity. We loved the extra freedom of open-air driving and the responsive handling, which is also more comfortable on longer trips than the Ford Focus Coupe-Cabriolet and Vauxhall Astra Twin-Top. It won’t entertain in corners – for that you’d need a pricier BMW 3 Series Convertible – but it’s surefooted in all conditions.
Our rating: 4

5. Performance

Buyers can choose between a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with 120 or 158bhp, a 2-litre petrol with 207bhp or a 2-litre TDI diesel with 138bhp.  All cars have a six-speed gearbox, and a six-speed DSG semi-automatic ‘box is also available. We first drove an Eos fitted with the 2-litre petrol engine, also used to power the Golf GTi, which covers 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds with a top speed of 147mph. We have also tested the 2-litre TDI diesel, which is hugely popular in the UK thanks to its mixture of performance and economy. It’s a smooth and quiet engine, which is happy to rev quite highly for a diesel, making it feel more like a petrol engine.
Our rating: 4

6. Running costs

The cost of running an Eos depends very much on which model you opt for. Average fuel consumption ranges from 39.8mpg for the 2-litre petrol model to 58.9mpg for the diesel BlueMotion Technology model, while emissions vary from 165 to 125g/km. It’s obvious from these figures the diesel is by far the cheapest to run, so it’s no surprise it’s also a top seller. Volkswagen offers competitive fixed price servicing deals at the time of purchase.
Our rating: 3

7. Reliability

Volkswagen boasts a hard-earned reputation for reliable cars. The VW Eos has engines which are tried and tested in other vehicles and the generally very high level of build quality, motoring should be trouble-free. There has only been one recall, which affected Eos models fitted with the DSG gearbox.
Our rating: 3

8. Safety

The VW Eos scored four from a possible five stars following Euro NCAP crash tests. It features plenty of devices designed to keep you out of trouble including anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control and electronic stability programme (ESP). In the event of an accident there are rollover protection struts, six airbags and active front head restraints to help keep you safe.
Our rating: 3

9. Equipment

Buyers can choose between SE, Sport and Exclusive trim. SE trim includes CD/radio with Aux-in, air-con, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors with visual display, fog lights with cornering function and . Sport trim adds 18-inch alloys, sports suspension, MDI USB and iPod connection, folding door mirrors, ambient lighting and aluminium-look pedals. The top of the range Exclusive trim adds dark tinted rear lights, upgraded interior trim, leather upholstery and heated front seats.
Our rating: 3

10. Why buy?

A convertible which drives like a regular model is an unusual combination. The Eos’ handsome styling attracts plenty of admiring glances, and its folding roof can still draw a crowd. But with its sober Passat-inspired styling, it’s a flash car with a placid side.
Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.6stars

  • Exterior4
  • Interior4
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling4
  • Performance4
  • Running costs3
  • Reliability3
  • Safety3
  • Equipment3
  • Why buy?4

Our recommendations

Best on a budget:
Eos 1.4 TSI Bluemotion Tech S
Cheapest Eos benefits from Bluemotion technology.
Best-seller:
Eos 2.0 TDI CR SE
Best-selling Eos enjoys diesel’s plentiful torque.
Blow the budget:
Eos 2.0 TSI 210 Sport
2.0 Sport features GTi power and sports suspension.

The Eos’ handsome styling attracts plenty of admiring glances, and its folding roof can still draw a crowd.