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VW Eos BlueMotion Technology

Smart styling, a clever roof and eco technology are trump cards for VW favourite

THE Eos is an Auto Express favourite.

Its blend of handsome looks, high-quality interior and clever folding hard-top make it the number one choice for family cabrio buyers. And in ultra-frugal BlueMotion SE guise, it adds eco credentials to its list of attributes.

Styling-wise, it’s easy to see what makes this car so popular. The bold nose is highlighted by a chrome grille, while the shapely headlights ensure it looks different to its Golf and Passat stablemates. And with the roof down you’ll be hard pushed to tell it has a folding hard-top, too. The sleek rear does without the tell-tale bulk of its rivals thanks to the clever design of the hood.

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The Eos even looks good with the bulky top in place. This shows off the neat glass roof, which appears to continue unbroken from the windscreen all the way back to the rear window, and includes a tilt-and-slide sunroof.

The cabin also impresses,with elements from the Golf hatchback and Scirocco coupé – it’s packed with quality materials and neat design details. Clear instruments combine with the firm’s superb touchscreen sat- nav audio system and intuitive climate control to make the interior very easy to live with.

The only thing the car lacks is a genuine sense of occasion: while everything is very solid, well built and efficient, the inside just isn’t quite as exciting as it could be. And passengers don’t fare quite so well in the rear, as the front seatbacks encroach on legroom. You get a pair of individual chairs, though, and there’s plenty of headroom with the roof up. A 1.4-litre petrol turbo under the bonnet means the Eos is never going to feel startlingly quick, but the car is both smooth and free-revving. It’s also economical, although our return of 30.6mpg fell some way short of the official combined claim of 45.6mpg.

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In all other areas the VW is just like its Golf brother, with faithful front-wheel-drive grip and a chassis which throws up no surprises. It rides well and is a comfortable motorway companion, but softer suspension means it lacks the sporty character of its fixed-head stablemate on twisty roads. It’s still adept, yet there’s more body roll in bends than you get in, say, the MINI.

Folding the hard-top is simply a matter of holding down a switch, and the roof goes about its business efficiently. However, the complicated gymnastics performed by the metal and glass mean you have to wait a while. It takes 36 seconds to put the roof up and just over 40 to retract it.

Once the top is out of the way, a simple pop-up air deflector on top of the windscreen helps to cut turbulence inside the cabin, and the Eos proves to be a comfortable choice – even when you’re sitting in the back. And if you specify the optional rear wind deflector and heated seats, the front row is warm no matter what the weather is doing.

That clever sunroof sets the car apart from its CC-style class rivals, making the Eos an appealing year-round prospect. Meanwhile, its spacious boot adds a dash of practicality to its glamorous image.

Details

WHY: Latest Volkswagen lets you enjoy roof-down thrills with low emissions – and the Eos is the manufacturer’s first petrol BlueMotion model.

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