Volkswagen Eos

The Essentials

  • Price from £26,050
  • What Car? says: 4 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 58.9mpg
  • What is it? Classy, practical and good to drive. There's plenty to recommend the VW Eos.

Great

  • The perfect blend of fun and practicality
  • Actually seats four adults - a rare thing for a convertible
  • Looks classy, whether it's topless or clothed

Gripes

  • Can seem pricey next to the competition
  • It doesn't have the biggest boot (but it's still sufficient)
  • The diesel engines are too noisy
  • Drive

    Feels surprisingly shake-free for a convertible and sticks to the road really well

  • Inside

    It's easy to get comfortable and the controls are all in exactly the right place

  • Safety

    You get side airbags and stability control, along with "intelligent" pop-up roll bars

  • Reliability

    Volkswagens well built

  • Space

    Finally! A four-seat convertible that really seats four! No need to constrict your social circle here...

  • Standard and extras

    VW has been very generous but, if you can afford to pay extra, get the sat-nav and Dynaudio sound system

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Eos suffers hardly any of the body wobble you get in most convertibles, which allows the car to ride impressively smoothly, 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. Like the Golf it's based on, the Eos handles neatly and nimbly, and won't throw up any unpleasant surprises.
    With the folding roof up, it's so quiet you could forget you're in a convertible; fold it away and you're well protected from the wind, so won't arrive looking like you've come via a hedge. All the engines are easy on the ear, too.
    Even the entry-level 158bhp 1.4 TSI is fairly speedy, while the 208bhp 2.0-litre gives hot hatch pace. The other option is the flexible 138bhp 2.0 turbodiesel.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Volkswagen Eos genuinely seats four adults - a rare thing for a car of this nature - and the rear passengers should be able to get in and out without completely abandoning their dignity. Up front, you can climb in without bumping your head on the windscreen, then tweak the seat and steering wheel until they fit your contours perfectly. It's easy to see what's going on around you, even with the roof up.
    The integrated sunroof is a real advantage, making the cabin feel light and airy inside whatever the weather. You can get a couple of suitcases in the boot when the roof's down, plus a few extra bags when it's raised.

  • How reliable is it?

    Everything inside is finished to a very high standard, and the last time the Eos featured in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey its reliability was rated 'excellent'. Beware, though  we have heard a few horror stories about the reliability of the roof mechanism.
    Friends in the back seats aren't protected by airbags, but you do get ISOFIX child seat mountings in the front and back, plus stability control. Roll hoops spring up to protect heads if the car senses it's about to turn over. A four star Euro NCAP crash test rating isn't as good as we'd like, but child protection is respectable  four stars is a strong achievement in this area.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Volkswagen Eos costs similar money to an Audi A3 Cabriolet, and while it may not quite match the Audi for brand cachet, it is desirable enough to hold its value equally impressively. It also offers more useful space for four inside. Diesel versions offer the lowest running costs but are the most expensive to buy. Every model comes with plenty of kit, from air-con to parking sensors; upgrade for a sportier look and more luxury touches.