Volkswagen Eos T-FSI Sport

June 2006

picture of car from the front

Family Volkswagen grille is incorporated into the Eos shape

Ratings

Overall Rating 7Overall rating

Value for money Rating 6Value for money

Space and Practicality Rating 6Costs

Space and Practicality Rating 6Space and practicality

Controls and display Rating 9Controls and display

Comfort Rating 8Comfort

Security Rating 8Car security

Safety Rating 8Car safety


Likes

  • Excellent roof design is practical and innovative
  • Interior is classy and well constructed
  • Turbo petrol engine is flexible and refined
  • Ride quality is good thanks to stiff bodyshell

Gripes

  • Handling is safe but lacks excitement
  • Performance is hampered by overall weight
  • Styling is inoffensive but not outstanding
  • Price is high compared with rivals

With coupe-cabriolets finding favour over traditional fabric roof convertibles, Volkswagen has joined the marketplace with its new Eos. With an emphasis on style, usability and desirability, does it have the key ingredients to take on rivals from both premium and mass market rivals alike?

An important feature of the Eos is the fact that VW has deliberately distanced it from the Golf hatchback. Although there are mechanical and visual similarities between the two cars, it is a separate model line, and not a folding roof spin-off from the conventional car unlike many of its rivals. As well as increasing the number of models in the brand, it may also help the Eos to take on more exclusive opposition.

Aside from the prominent VW badge and grille, the Eos does convince as a car in its own right. The styling is curvy and well proportioned, disguising the elongated tail that is required to house the folding roof mechanism with ease. That said, the Eos is not very distinctive, and lower specification versions with smaller wheels can look a little short on character.

The roof itself is a clever piece of design, using a five-piece mechanism rather than the usual three. As well as taking up less space when folded, it has also allowed VW to include a conventional sunroof in the roof design that can be opened when the roof is up. This allows light and air into the cabin without having to fold the roof completely, and VW has dubbed this design CSC - coupe, sunroof cabriolet.

The rest of the Eos is relatively conventional in terms of mechanicals, with a wide engine choice as seen in other VW products, and a mix of Golf and Passat suspension. One unique feature is the option of the DSG gearbox on certain models, which is not available in any of its rivals.

Our verdict on the Volkswagen Eos T-FSI Sport

On many counts the Eos scores highly, particularly the high quality finish, equipment levels and the roof operation. To drive it is comfortable and secure but not hugely satisfying, and even the powerful 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine feels blunted by its weight. However, as a quality all-round package it is hard to beat.

Costs
Costs rating 6

Running costs for the Eos are likely to be above average, thanks to the thirst of the petrol engines and moderately high insurance groupings. The initial purchase price is also relatively high.

Space and practicality
Space and Practicality Rating 6

Front seat passengers are well catered for in the Eos, with generous head and legroom. In the rear legroom is much more restricted, and its ability to carry adults depends heavily on the position of the front seats. Headroom is also reduced by the curve of the roof. Boot space is a useful 380 litres with the roof up, reduced to 205 litres with the roof folded. This also reduces the size of the aperture into the load space.

picture of car from the rear

High tail gives room for luggage and the folded roof

Controls and display
Controls and Display Rating 9

The Eos has a clear and easy to use set of controls, which require little familiarisation. The instruments and smart and easily readable, while the dashboard is clearly laid out. The optional sat-nav system uses a large display with 'soft' keys for easy navigation.

Comfort
Comfort Rating 8

The Eos delivers a good level of comfort, largely thanks to its well-sorted suspension and welcoming cabin. Choosing a non-Sport models means more supple suspension, while the well insulated roof cuts wind and road noise, for an impressive level of comfort.

Car security
Security Rating 8

Remote central locking, engine immobiliser and an alarm with interior protection are standard on all Eos models, which allows the driver to leave the vehicle securely even with the roof down.

Car safety
Safety Rating 8

The Eos has a wide range of safety devices as standard, including side, front and curtain airbags, a rollover protection system and anti-whiplash head restraints. All models are fitted with ESP as standard.

Driver appeal
Driver Appeal Rating 7

Although the Eos has sporty looks, it is at its best when driven at a more relaxed pace. The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is a willing unit, and while it delivers good acceleration there is an obvious weight penalty thanks to the roof structure. The suspension is also biased towards comfort, while the steering is accurate if relatively muted in terms of feel, discouraging enthusiastic driving. However, at a cruise the Eos is relaxed, quiet and comfortable, making it an impressive tourer.

picture of car interior

Cabin is well designed and constructed from excellent materials

Family car appeal
Family Appeal Rating 6

A smaller family could use the Eos as transport, although using it with the roof folded would reduce the amount of luggage that could also be carried. Shorter children will fit easily into the rear seats, and Isofix mountings are included on the outer two rear seats.

First car appeal
First car Rating 3

The Eos is likely to be outside of the price range of most first time car buyers, while the insurance cost also means it is not suitable on a cost basis. However, the Eos is easy to drive, and apart from the reduced vision for parking would present no particular problems for an inexperienced motorist.

Quality and image
Quality and Image Rating 6

The Eos displays a high level of quality throughout, with excellent fabrics and plastics and a high standard of construction. The quality is also reflected in the design, which is discreet and well thought out. The Eos's image is built on this quality feel, with a degree of individuality through the unusual styling for a VW product.

Accessibility
Accessibility Rating

Although the Eos has only two doors, access to the cabin is good for a car of this shape. Front seat passengers will have no trouble getting inside, while a tilt and slide mechanism for the front seats makes it much easier to get comfortable in the rear. Boot access is also good, although with the roof folded, there is only a narrow slot to access the luggage area.

Stereo and ICE (In car entertainment)

Standard on Sport models is a radio/CD unit with eight speakers. Thanks to a clear design and high location of the dashboard it is easy to use, and provides decent sound quality. An optional Dynaudio system adds a six-CD changer and two extra speakers, and delivers superb sound quality.

picture of car in detail

Eos was designed to look just as attractive with the roof up

Colours and trim

The Eos is available with a wide choice of interior colours, allowing the buyer to create a very light or quite dark interior feel. This is also in combination with wood or metallic effect trim, giving a wide range of options. The quality of the trim itself is very good, with quality plastics and fabrics used throughout the cabin.

Parking

The Eos is made more difficult to park thanks to its shape. The bonnet slopes away at the front while the rear has a relatively small window, however with the roof folded rear vision is much improved. Parking sensors are also available as an option.

Spare wheel

Space saver fitted beneath the boot floor.

 

Range information

Engine options: 1.6-litre petrol (113bhp); 2.0-litre petrol (148bhp); 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (197bhp); 3.2-litre petrol (247bhp); 2.0-litre diesel (138bhp). All bar 3.2-litre V6 are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox. DSG six-speed automated gearbox is available on 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, diesel and standard on 3.2-litre V6 petrol. Trim levels are Eos and Sport.

 

Alternative cars

Vauxhall Astra Twin Top Well-priced and fun to drive, interior quite plain

Renault Megane CC Smart roof but styling and dynamics are average

Peugeot 307CC Lethargic petrol engines and dated styling, good value

Audi A4 Cabriolet Fabric roof but smart, discreet and comfortable - expensive, though



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June 2006