Volkswagen Eos cabriolet
Price: £27,115 - £32,300
- Efficient engine range
- Surprisingly practical cabin
- Innovative roof design
- Relatively expensive
- Small boot compared to rivals
- Overall weight blunts performance
"The VW Eos remains an engaging drive, and the facelift has enhanced its already handsome looks. However, while its metal folding roof is clever, it's complicated too, increasing an already high purchase price."
The stylish Eos is one the best looking coupe-cabriolets in its class. And now it has been improved with a redesign inspired by the latest Volkswagen Golf. Despite the new look, the Eos is still every bit as well built as before, and it still has its complex five-piece folding roof which effectively makes the Eos two cars in one – a stylish hard top when the weather is bad, and a spacious open convertible when the sun shines. There's a wide range of engines, from powerful turbocharged models to both petrol and diesel eco-friendly BlueMotion variants. There's a price to pay as the Eos starts above £20k, rising to over £31,000 for the top-spec version with DSG automatic gearbox. That's a lot of money when you consider that the VW Golf Cabriolet performs just as well and costs a few thousand pounds less.
MPG, running costs & CO2
BlueMotion engines keep running costs low
Despite their widely differing outputs, all the engines return decent fuel economy, ranging from 37.7 to over 50mpg - which means the Eos should be relatively inexpensive to run. If money is tight, the BlueMotion models cost the least and use the least amount of fuel. Road tax and insurance are both equally manageable, but as with most cars that wear the Volkswagen badge, parts and servicing are likely to be the biggest costs of ownership.
Interior & comfort
Metal roof makes for quiet motorway driving and all-weather practicality
The Eos is a very easy car to live with. Comfort on the motorway is excellent, with both wind and engine noise well suppressed. It's a simple job finding a comfortable driving position, and Volkswagen has added the option of a new leather finish that reflects the sun's rays to prevent it heating up as normal leather would. The suspension remains composed over all but the largest potholes. The tall windscreen keeps driver and passenger well protected from the elements, and thanks to a large rear screen, the Eos is easy to park in town.
Practicality & boot space
Space up front, but rear-seat passengers and luggage struggle
Inside the Eos, there's more room than you might expect from a coupé, and all-round visibility is good. Although it is a bit of a squeeze getting in, there is space for adults in the rear seats on shorter trips. Still, headroom is restricted with the sloping roof in place. The boot is the car's other weak point. At just 205 litres, it's smaller than rivals such as the Renault Megane C-C and Peugeot 308 CC. It's only really suitable for small bags, the load space is awkwardly shaped, and larger items can get trapped under the roof mechanism.
Reliability & safety
VW's build quality is particularly impressive
The quality of the materials used in the cabin is extremely high - and it feels solidly built. The Eos is unlikely to develop many squeaks and rattles later in its life. No major mechanical faults have been reported either, and all the engines have been tried and tested in main stream VWs like the Golf hatchback and Passat saloon. In crash tests by safety body Euro NCAP, the Eos was awarded four out of a possible five stars, which is average rather than class-leading - but it does come equipped with driver and passenger airbags, traction control and pop-up roll bars that release instantly if the car turns over in a crash.
Engines, drive & performance
Strong engines and decent handling, but Eos is hampered by weight
The Eos engine range includes eco-friendly BlueMotion versions with both petrol and diesel engines. These offer the best mpg, and the petrol BlueMotion model is the cheapest Eos in the range. However, the clever folding roof adds weight, so the larger petrol and diesel engines offer the best performance. The characterful 2.0-litre TSI petrol is from the Golf GTi and provides plenty of pace, but the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel is noisy, but it offers the best blend of performance and economy. Six-speed manual gearboxes are fitted as standard, but the optional DSG automatic gearboxes make changes swift and smooth and suit the Eos's relaxing nature.
Price, value for money & options
Volkswagen badge means prices are high
Prices are on the high side, being around £4,000 more than the Renault Megane C-C and Peugeot 308 CC, which also have folding metal roofs. It's also a few thousand more than the recently introduced VW Golf Cabriolet. There's a decent list of standard equipment though, with all cars getting alloy wheels, air-conditioning and electric windows. Exclusive spec adds toys like cruise control, an on board computer and rear-parking sensors, and residual values for all versions are the best in the class.
What the others say
"Smart-looking, great-driving cabrio with top-drawer refinement and build. Expensive, but well worth it."
Following its refresh in 2011, the Volkswagen Eos received updates to the front and rear styling, including introducing Volkswagen's family face to the front end. It now gets a four-bar chrome grille and neater headlights. The styling updates can't hide the fact that the boot looks slightly out of proportion though – mainly to accomodate the folding roof.
Dull steering, plenty of body roll and ESP that cuts in early to reign in any exuberant cornering efforts rule this out as a satisfying car to drive quickly. However, it is softly sprung and so rides well, and even with the roof down there's hardly any buffeting from the wind, both of which are equally as worthy attributes in this market.
Last updated: 27 Oct 2013