Even the entry-level 1.4 TSI petrol engine has 158bhp, so it’s impressively quick and very flexible. In fact, it’s all you need. The 208bhp 2.0-litre turbo provides genuine hot hatch pace, while the 138bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel provides strong mid range pull. Both 2.0-litre engines are also available with VW’s twin-clutch gearbox.
The Eos resists body shake well with the roof up, which gives you excellent ride comfort, even if you opt for the Sport models with their firmer suspension and larger alloy wheels. Things suffer a little when you lower the roof, but not by much. The steering is responsive and well weighted, and the handling is grippy, predictable and safe.
The Eos' metal roof does a better job of cutting out exterior noise than some rivals with fabric hoods, although there’s some wind noise at motorway speed. You don't get buffeted too much when the roof is down, however. Road noise is quite well isolated and all the engines are easy on the ear.
The Volkswagen Eos is pitched somewhere between mainstream rivals and prestige-badged competition from Volvo and Audi. This makes the Eos look pricey against VW's more usual counterparts, but the Eos has the image to carry it off, and this is reflected in strong resale values. Insurance is pricier than for some rivals, but fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are respectable, especially for the diesel.
Eos owners are unlikely to complain about the quality of the construction, which feels solid and crafted. Overall, it’s classy, too, although a few of the panels are a bit hard and scratchy. The Eos uses the tried and tested components that give VW a decent reputation for mechanical reliability, but some owners have reported problems with the folding roof mechanism.
VW's side airbags act like curtain airbags in the event of a side collision, but there is no airbag protection for rear-seat passengers. ISOFIX child seat mountings are fitted front and rear. All Eos models come with stability control as standard, while roll hoops spring up from behind the rear headrests if the car senses it might tip over. With the roof raised, the Eos is as secure as a hatchback.
The design of the Eos' roof means the windscreen pillars do not slope as steeply as those in some rivals, so entry to and exit from the cabin is easier, and you are less likely to bump your head on the windscreen pillars. The driving position is excellent, with plenty of adjustment and decent all-round vision with the roof raised. The dashboard layout is logical.
The Eos is one of the few four-seat convertibles that lives up to the tag. Two adults can fit in the rear of the Eos without feeling too cramped, even with the roof up. Entry and exit from the rear seats is good for this class, too. Boot space is sufficient for a couple of cases with the roof folded, and average for the class with it raised.
On all models, the folding roof design includes an integrated sunroof. Every version comes with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, all-round electric windows, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. Sport models have lowered suspension while Top-spec Exclusive versions have darkened rear lights, heated front seats, leather trim and climate control.
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Of the two 1.4 petrol-engined models, this feels the most sporting. It’s pricey, but resale values are strong, and the decent mpg, low insurance and low CO2 emissions make it cheap to run.