VW has always maintained that the Eos is more than a scalped Golf, insisting that it’s a stand-alone model that mixes components and styling from both the Golf and Passat.
Although those familiar with the Golf will recognise elements, the Eos certainly has a style of its own and, despite being 20cm longer than the Golf and with a broader track, it’s the Eos that looks the more diminutive.
Managing to look both squat and svelte, the exterior was initially dominated by the Passat-inspired chrome grille, cartoonish lamp clusters, broad-hipped wheel arches and our test car’s optional and conspicuous 18in rims.
The facelift did away with the round elements set within the front and rear light clusters, and replaced the chrome-framed grin with a horizontally slatted front grille in the current VW idiom: less distinctive, more modern. Inside, the bespoke interior architecture blends more swooping curves and aluminium finishing than you’ll find in a Golf hatch without the sobriety of a Passat.
Although VW claims its folding roof is a five-piece affair (rear screen, two side rails and two roof panels), in essence the system mirrors those of Vauxhall and Volvo, the roof folding into three layers (compared with two for Peugeot, Renault and Ford) – a choice that allows a shorter rear end and A-pillars, boosting the open-top feeling and reducing the need for a bulbous bottom.
Compared with rival systems, the VW solution holds two perceptible advantages: first, it allows the inclusion of a tilt/slide sunroof (simply the first stage of the roof operation), and second, while the roof folds in three, the side rails have just one seam, a touch that gives the coupé Eos a more unbroken and sleek profile.