TEST DRIVE | Used VW Eos Impresses


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I’ve always like the Eos since it was released in 2006. With its sleek image and folding metal roof up it’s refined and airy, and thanks to the built-in panoramic glass sunroof, you can go topless with style at the push of a button.

With summer upon us, I took one for a test drive…

Although it’s built on the Golf’s chassis, it was designed from the ground up to drive like a sports car – much like the Golf GTI does so very well. It was also engineered to drive like a sports car with the roof down, a trait which many convertibles lose when they go topless. I think of it as a ‘coupé convertible’.

It has four full-sized seats and a surprisingly large boot (when the roof is up) so a long journey with passengers would be tolerable. The roof mechanics are all hidden from view behind flaps and trim pieces which is important.

Depending on your choice of engine, you can get impressive performance. Although the bulletproof 2.0-litre TDI engine is available, I personally don’t agree with convertible diesels but it goes brilliantly in a Golf.

I’d also avoid the 3.2-litre V6 petrol as it only comes in automatic so my choice of engine would be the 2.0-litre TFSI from the Golf GTI and is the one I drove this weekend.

The interior is solid, very German and typical modern VW like you might expect. Standard equipment is adequate but navigation, cruise control, climate control etc. are optional extras.

The Eos’ party piece is of course it’s unique roof. It’s a convertible but the glass panel at the top also acts as a panoramic sunroof when the metal roof is in place. Which means you can tilt and slide the glass panel just like a traditional sunroof on an ordinary car. Good if you want some fresh air but don’t want the roaring wind in your hair. Here’s how the roof folds down:

As for build quality, it’s a Volkswagen so nothing will go wrong any time soon . BUT (and it’s a very big but), the folding roof mechanism is very complicated and many 2006-2009 cars suffered badly with leaking roof seals with some owners reporting an inch of water in the footwells after a night of rain. Don’t let this put you off though because VW were able to repair affected cars under warranty and most owners weren’t even affected by this issue.

You could check this by taking the car through a car wash on the test drive. There are also lots of cheap aftermarket fixes which seem to work.

One very irritating design flaw of the Eos is the lack of water channels along the side rails of the roof, which means after some wet weather you open the door and get a nice load of rainwater all over your arm or all over the arm rest and window controls. Not cool VW.

Despite its faults, I still like the Eos and would buy one. You can pick up an early example for around £5,000. But if your budget stretches, then a post-2009 model would be best when VW addressed and redesigned the leaky roof!



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