11.8.2011 Volkswagen Eos Sport review
Another classy offering from Volkswagen in the popular coupe-cabriolet class for cars with metal folding roofs. Most rivals put the fresh air experience top of the list, but the Eos is dynamically an enjoyable drive too and rides as well as any saloon.
Yes, it looks expensive compared to a Peugeot 308 cabriolet or a Renault Megane CC, but the Eos feels in a higher class whether you are assessing style, build quality, comfort, refinement, residual value or sheer desirability. In fact, the Eos makes a powerful case to save you money rather than buying the more expensive fabric roof Saab 9-3 Convertible or Volvo's rather wooden handling C70.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
The Eos range offers a choice of 1.4 or 2-litre petrol engines or a 2-litre diesel; all are turbocharged to increase power and some have Volkswagen's Blue Motion fuel saving 'green' technology. The diesel versions have the lowest CO2 emissions and come with six-speed manual gearboxes or VW’s clever and responsive double clutch (DSG) system; the latter increasing output from 125 g/km to 139 g/km. Acceleration is livelier than the bald 0-60 mph time of 10.3 second suggests because the 138 bhp at 4,200rpm is overshadowed by a hefty 236 lbs ft of torque from just 1,750rpm to 2500rpm. It's easy to ride this wave of torque in the higher gears and achieve easy performance and good fuel economy. Top speed is 129 mph.
Handling is pleasingly agile and nicely balanced with good grip from the wide tyres despite the car's heavy weight. Good enough feel from the power assisted steering – it brakes fine in normal use but feels a bit soft if working them hard. Light clutch and smooth six-speed manual gear change. Ride comfort is very good, so that combined with equally impressive overall refinement of low engine and wind noise (roof up), long journeys are a pleasure.
Getting the best of both worlds of coupe and cabriolet takes some achieving, but lots of people commented on the Eos's elegant good looks which match almost anything from fellow German car makers like Audi and BMW. From some angles the requirements of creating a folding metal roof cause slight aesthetic doubts but that is being fussy. The five-piece roof opens or closes in just 25 seconds and is a lovely piece of engineering. It even has a glass sunroof section that opens. Boot capacity is 380 litres, reducing to 205 litres if you want to open the roof. A manual cover has to be pulled over your luggage to confirm the roof won’t hit anything. Length 4423mm. Width 1791mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Cabin is now much plusher and more upmarket and if you have driven a VW before you won't find any difficulty with the logical and consistently positioned controls. Leather rimmed multi-function steering wheel helps keep controls near the driver and reduces dashboard clutter. The front seats are very comfy with adjustable lumbar support.
A £1,500 option is 'cool leather' which is specially treated to reflect the sun's rays to prevent it becoming as hot as normal leather. There is reasonable space in the back providing those in the front will compromise a bit on legroom. Park Assist is available on the Eos for the first time. It aids both parallel and adjacent parking manoeuvres.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official fuel consumption figures are 48.7 mpg urban and 58.9 mpg combined for the manual gearbox model and 43.5 mpg and 53.3 mpg for the DSG gearbox version. We saw a best of 53 mpg for the manual. CO2 emissions of 125 g/km put the manual in band D, meaning first year road tax is zero and £95 per year thereafter. Exhaust pipe emissions of 139 g/km put the DSG auto into band E with £115 road fund licence for the first and following years. Warranty is three years unlimited mileage.
A visual gear change recommendation helps the driver optimise fuel consumption. Blue Motion Technology cars also have automatic stop-start engine function to save fuel in traffic jams and battery energy recovery during braking. The engine's direct fuel injection system uses Piezo inline injectors instead of solenoid valves for greater precision and response time. The injectors respond twice as fast as valves allowing the injector to meter the fuel and control the injection curve far more precisely. They can reduce fuel consumption by 3% and cut emissions by up to 20%, while increasing engine power by up to 5% and halving engine noise. Fuel consumption and pollution are further reduced by low temperature exhaust gas recirculation and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. A diesel particulate filter reduces sooty particles from the exhaust. Next Green Car Rating for the tested model is 35.
Air conditioning is a standard fitting in the Eos despite the ability to open the sunroof or, in just 25 seconds, the complete roof. Climate control is a £460 option. Other equipment includes an eight-speaker CD stereo system and sports seats. Metallic paint is £465 extra and cruise control £220. All Eos models come with an electronic stability system as standard to control skids and protective 'bars' spring up in fractions of a second from behind the rear seats if sensors think the car is going to roll over. Child seat mounting points are fitted front and rear but there is no airbag protection for rear seat passengers.
Model tested: Volkswagen Eos Sport 2.0 TDI
Body-style: Coupe Cabriolet
Engine/CO2: 138bhp 1968cc litre turbo diesel / 125 gCO2/km
Trim grades: SE, Sport, Exclusive
On-road price: £26,100
Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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