From £26,805
Good-looking and reasonably good to drive, with a great engine, but let down by an unsettled ride.

Our Verdict

Volkswagen Eos

The Volkswagen Eos has much cachet and is pleasant and predictable to drive, but is feeling a little bit long-in-the-tooth

22 June 2006
What is it?
Volkswagen’s new folding hard-top convertible, complete with the 2.0-litre 197bhp turbocharged engine from the Golf GTi.

What’s it like?
Pretty good, if you want a 2+2 cabrio. Like every car in this class, the rear seats are best for children or vertically challenged adults, with poor legroom and headroom, and getting into the back is very awkward.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is a cracker: easy to rev, quick and grunty. It’s only a shame that it sounds a little rough, especially at tickover (on the move you can’t really hear it). It’s helped along by an especially slick six-speed manual gearbox, which makes shifting a real pleasure.
The roof is even slicker than the gearbox. Unlike in any of its rivals, the Eos has a glass section in the front of the roof that operates just like the sunroof in a standard tin-top. And should you wish to retract the whole roof it folds away in a beautifully coreographed mechanical ballet that takes 30sec. With the roof stowed, boot storage space is a bit tight, at a rather awkwardly shaped 205 litres.
On the road it’s quite agile. The steering is accurate and nicely weighted, if not that feelsome. Our test car’s ride, however, was marred by large (and rather stylish) 18in alloys and sports suspension. The ride is worst at low speeds, where you jiggle and jump, but up the pace and it’s far less of an issue. A Volvo C70 is much smoother. Then again, the Volvo isn’t quite as much fun to drive.

Should I buy one?
Maybe. We prefer the Volvo C70’s slightly more cruising-oriented set-up, but then the Volvo is pricier. At £23,315 this 2.0 FSi Sport seems good value. Until you add the options are test car (Nappa leather, sat-nav, electric seats, etc etc) and realise the total is closer to £30k.

Rory Lumsdon

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