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We test VW's Eos cabrio

2007-05-08 07:54

Hailey Philander

The Volkswagen Eos (Photo: Lance Branquinho)

VW Eos video clips
Dial-up (1MB @ 93kbps)
Broadband (2.1MB @ 193kbps)

Meet the Eos

Named after the Greek goddess of the dawn, Volkswagen's new Eos coupe-cabriolet has joined the drop-top club at a very busy time, but how does it weigh up?

What's it about?

The Eos may not be the prettiest of the current crop of coupe cabriolets, but its five-part CSC roof system - with one panel integrating a full tilt and slide sunroof - certainly is impressive.

It does appear very finicky with all sorts of extra bits popping up in the opening and shut process, and it's clear that should anything choose to go wrong during any part of these processes, you'll be in serious doodoo.

Thankfully, with a cold Cape snap the Eos was not required to spend too much of its time with the roof down. However, on those clear sunny (and wind-free) autumn days, the chance to take the roof down - and about 25 seconds - was an opportunity not to be missed.

Sans wind deflector, the cabin was breezy without being blustery and it is possible to conduct a regular conversation or continue listening to your chosen tunes without having to amp the volume on any of these, even at speed.

However, one of the disappointing factors concerning the roof is that - when the full-sized sunroof is slid open - it unleashes a din of rippling wind noise and offensive gusts that soon become very annoying.

Dropping or raising the roof takes about 25 seconds and is a very slick operation. Surprisingly, since much of the mechanical goodies on these vehicle types tend to be stored in the boot section, the Eos' boot lid is not as heavy as one would expect. A definite boon - particularly when juggling armfuls of paraphernalia.

Boot space itself is rather generous with 380 litres of space, more than enough for two largish overnight totes or wheelie bags. For longer items, a lockable ski flap is located through the centre of the rear bench's back rest.


The flagship 2.0 T FSI model with DSG tested was very comprehensively equipped. Our test unto was stocked with extras totaling about R30 000 with features including bi-xenon headlamps with cornering function, cruise control, heated leather seats with lumbar support and rain sensing windscreen wipers.

Several components, including the floor, door and side covers, rear seats and air conditioning system, have been developed specifically for the convertible.

Despite all this, I was left with one burning question... On a car bursting at the seams with kit and sporting a basic price tag seriously encroaching on those demanded in the luxury segment (R378 000), could it have been that tough to add power seats and perhaps an MP3 compatible audio system to the list of options too?

Under the bonnet

Thankfully, the Eos offers a perfect cover in the form of the Golf 5 GTi-sourced 2.0 T FSI that produces 147 kW at 5 100 r/min and peak torque of 280 Nm at 1 800 r/min.

Mated with VW's superb DSG transmission, the combination was sufficient to outrun what became a steady stream of robot gawkers. Equipped with this engine, Volkswagen claims a top speed for the Eos of 229 km/h with an acceleration time to 100 km/h of 7.9 seconds.

Driving it

Living with the Eos was a largely pleasurable experience. On the road, its body construction feels firm enough to deal with most road imperfections.

With the roof down, shudders through the body were only really noticeable over rippled road sections. Flex is minimal and the absence of any niggling shakes and rattles was almost alarming.

The body remains composed in most conditions as even shoving the cabriolet through some fast bends was met with classic nonchalance. Not bad at all.


  • Sound build quality
  • 2.0 T FSI and DSG combination
  • Large, sweeping "sunroof" (when closed or tilted)


  • Large, noisy "sunroof" (when slid open)
  • Hefty price tag


    Volkswagen's Eos offered us a last breath of fresh air before the winter chill sets in. However, even with an industry first roof system and VW's solid reputation, is this breath of fresh air really deserving of a sticker price edging towards R400 000?

    Opel's Astra Twin Top's comparable model starts at R299 995, and should you choose to add R30 000 to the price you'd be willing to pay for the Eos, you could very well have the pleasure of parking its "premium" cousin in your garage instead.

    VW Eos video clips
    Dial-up (1MB @ 93kbps)
    Broadband (2.1MB @ 193kbps)


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