Volkswagen Eos review

No, it's not a collaboration between Canon and the car manufacturer. It seems Volkswagen just has a liking for the name of the popular SLR camera brand.

Naming aside, the Eos combines classic coupé with sporty cabriolet and boasts enough new gadgets to keep even the most restless of voyagers entertained.

The car sits neatly in between the Golf and the Passat - as though it has been designed for those who like their Golf but want something a bit more exciting than everyone else on the street.

The Eos's main boast is a hard top roof composed of five pieces that disappears into the boot in 25 seconds from the push of a button just above the gear stick.

Thankfully (with British weather being what it is) it means that you can enjoy the sun for brief moments without the need to stop and go through lengthy set up and take down procedures. There is even a sunroof option that allows you to bring the top half way back as if it’s a Citroen 2CV, just merely electric.

While the hard top does make a huge difference to noise and comfort levels - you do not feel like you are in a convertible at any point, it does make a dent on the boot space.

With the top up you'll get around 380 litres, with it down that drops by almost half to just 205 litres, and we found this meant barely enough space to pack a weekend bag for two let alone if there were four of you.

And that brings us nicely on to the next great thing about the Eos, it’s a four seater.

Now, we've seen four seater convertibles before and for the majority of time this means that you'll be lucky to get every one in if your plus two are over the age of 12 or 4ft 5in.

However, we found just like the Tardis, the Eos was amply capable of packing in two adults in the front and two adults in the back with enough space to be comfortable and enough space to easily get in and out without too much hassle.

And yes, for dad's looking to justify this purchase, it happily took a baby seat in both the front and the back (you can manually turn the front passenger air bag off), we just struggled with the Bugaboo in the boot.

Of course, whether or not there is enough space for all the luggage depends on who you are travelling with, but one thing is for sure, you'll have to go light.

As for gadgets, the Eos has plenty. Aside from the electric roof, windows and mirrors the car's entertainment and air con is all controlled via a central large screened unit. It's from here you can access the radio, CD player (the disc caddy is handily tucked in the central arm rest rather than the boot) and the optional satnav.

The system is a bit awkward to use, however the inclusion of satnav instructions on a separate screen next to the speedo so you can easily see what is coming up is welcomed.

Audio is as impressive as the leather trim and offers ten channel, ten speaker, 600w Dynaudio sound system, as well as iPod connectivity and USB port for connecting memory sticks carrying MP3 music files, however with no steering column option users are still expected to reach across the car to change channel or the volume.

Other gadgets include ESP (which you can turn off), cruise control, lights that go around the corners with you, and sensors that make sure they come on automatically when you enter a tunnel.

There are five engines on offer, four petrol and one diesel. These include the 1.6-litre 115 PS; 2-litre FSI 150 PS; 2.0-litre T-FSI 200PS, as found in the Golf GTI; 250 PS 3.2-litre FSI V6, as found in the Golf R32 which can accelerate from 0–62 mph in just 7.3 seconds; and a 2.0-litre TDI developing 140 PS.

We tested the Petrol 2.0-litre T-FSI 200PS model and found that it was incredibly responsive and comfortable to drive, if not a little thirsty.

Verdict

Aside from the lack of boot space with the roof down, the Volkswagen Eos sits nicely in the convertible market. Slightly smaller than the Saab 9-3 and the Volvo C70, but bigger than models from Renault, Vauxhall and Ford the actual footprint is only marginally bigger than the company's Golf model.

While the styling won't be to everyone's taste (We rather liked it and it certainly turns plenty of heads), Volkswagen has created a solid comfortable ride that still manages to carry plenty of kudos.

Prices begin at £19,385.