VW Eos

With temperatures hitting the roof, why not go for a car without one this summer?

The blend of smart looks and a VW badge make the Eos a strong choice in a fashion-conscious market. But the 2.0 is pricey and Vauxhall’s Astra TwinTop has a roomier rear cabin. The Eos makes more sense for those with a bigger budget, where the performance of the turbo model and the DSG transmission sets it apart.

With temperatures hitting the roof, why not go for a car without one this summer? Topless models featuring folding metal lids are the latest must-have, and Volks­wagen doesn’t want to be left behind.

Its Eos convertible goes on sale next month. We’ve already been impressed by the turbocharged version, but how does the less powerful 2.0-litre variant cope in the heat? We grabbed the keys to find out.

As it doesn’t share its underpinnings with a single existing model, the Eos has a look all of its own. Smart headlamps and a Passat-style grille dominate the front, while a low stance gives it a sporty appearance.

However, it’s the ingenious roof that steals the show, taking only 25 seconds to convert the Eos from a refined and quiet coupé into a full cabriolet at the touch of a button. It also incorporates a clever sliding glass sunroof in its large centre section for when the weather prevents full exposure.

Fans of the VW Golf will recognise much of the interior, while the Eos’s metal-rimmed air vents and black roof­lining help create a classy cabin. Build quality is also impressive.

On the road, the light six-speed manual gearbox makes it easy to work the 148bhp engine – but, with 1,481kg to lug around, you’ll have to do so if you want rapid progress. Take a more laid-back approach, though, and this model’s fuel returns of 34.4mpg match those of the 200bhp T-FSI, while high-speed refinement is similarly relaxed.

It’s enjoyable enough to drive on twisty roads, too, if you can accept the body roll and eventual understeer. Tur­bulence with the roof down is minimal below high motorway speeds, too.

There’s plenty of standard kit across the line-up. The £945 Sport trim adds 17-inch alloys, sports suspension, plus aluminium-look dash trim and pedals. It’s harder to justify the extra cost on lesser models, but no competitor rivals the sunroof, and few match the Eos’s blend of styling and dynamic ability. Add the lure of the VW badge and the cabrio is sure to be a popular choice.

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