Volkswagen Eos review
The VW Eos folding hard-top convertible was refreshed in 2011, and it's now sharper and more stylish than ever
The Volkswagen Eos is a stylish four-seater convertible which provides a mix of excellent ride comfort, sporty handling and impressive refinement. The clever folding hard-top roof slots neatly into the boot when stowed, and can be raised or lowered in around 20 seconds. The engine line-up is slightly limited, but they are all strong performers. There's a generous amount of kit in the cabin, and even entry-level models getting a sunroof, air-conditioning, electric windows and rear parking sensors. Go for a top-spec model and you get heated leather seats as standard.
Our choice: Eos 1.4 TSI SE
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 accommodate the folding roof. But the cabin feels bulletproof and the quality of materials is excellent. There is room in the back seats for two adults and there's not too much wind buffeting with the roof down.
The entry-level 1.4 TSI BlueMotion Technology boasts 121bhp and feels powerful enough most of the time. Though it may be worth upgrading to the 158bhp 1.4 TSI engine which cuts the 0-62mph by 2.1 seconds to 8.8 seconds. A 2.0 TSI engine with 207bhp is the quickest in the line-up. There is also an efficient 2.0 TDI diesel with 138bhp. The Eos is predictable and safe through the bends, with responsive steering and taut body control, even with the roof down. Sport models are slightly sharper thanks to stiffer suspension.
The Eos scored four out of a possible five stars for safety in the Euro NCAP test. It has side, driver, passenger and curtain airbags as well as hidden roll hoops which deploy in split seconds in the event of the car flipping. A few owners reported rattles and squeaks on the pre-facelift Eos, as well as some problems with the complicated roof mechanism.
With the roof up boot space is quite generous at 380 litres, but folding the top away sees this figure drop to just 205 litres. For the facelifted model, Volkswagen has introduced the ability to lower or raise the roof remotely from the keyfob, which can be useful considering it takes 25 seconds.
There's not one engine in the Eos line-up which is particularly expensive to run. Worst of the bunch is the 2.0 TSI, but this still returns 39.8mpg. The diesel is best with 58.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 125g/km, which means free road tax for the first year. Volkswagen offers a three-year/30,000 mile fixed price service plan.