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Used Volkswagen EOS review: 2007-2008

Convertibles are great when the weather is fine and you can drop the soft-top, but they have their issues that make them a compromise for everyday use

They're not very secure, or particularly refined. It's easy for a would-be thief to slash a gaping hole in a fabric roof and make off with your mobile phone, GPS, laptop computer or any other valuable item left inside, and a soft-top simply can't provide the same noise isolation a solid steel roof can.

Car designers have been trying for years to come up with a folding metal roof that could deliver the wind-in-the-hair driving experience of a convertible with the security and refinement of a coupe or sedan.

As far back as the 1950s they were playing with steel roofs that could be lowered out of sight into the boot, but they were clunky mostly unreliable things that could only be lowered when the car was parked on a flat, level surface.

The breakthrough really came in the 1990s when efficient folding metal roofs began to appear. At first it was only more expensive cars that had them, the likes of the Mercedes-Benz SL/K sports car, which had a folding roof that worked a treat, but like all new things they have worked their way down the price scale and can be found on more affordable cars like the VW EOS.

MODEL WATCH
VW was producing convertibles almost since its inception. The Beetle cabriolet was a popular little soft-top, and still is with the classic crew, and the ragtop Golf was an equally popular car.  Arguably it still is, but the EOS took the VW convertible to a whole new level of sophistication with its folding metal roof.

Like its soft-top forebears the EOS was a four-seater with a metal roof that delivered the security of a coupe or sedan when in the raised position, but at the touch of a button it could become an open- top car ready for that special wind-in-the-hair driving thrill.

With the roof raised the EOS is a stylish coupe with pretty lines; when the roof is lowered and tucked away out of sight it becomes a sleek convertible with a rakish stance.  On the road the EOS was nicely balanced and responded quickly to steering inputs, while its ride was comfortable and compliant.

VW offered the choice of two engines, a 2.0-litre FSi turbocharged four-cylinder that put out 147 kW and 280 Nm, and a 2.0-litre four- cylinder turbo diesel that boasted peaks of 103 kW and 320 Nm.

The Transmission choices were a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG automated manual 'box.  The list of standard features was comprehensive, and included auto climate-control air, cruise, central locking, power windows and mirrors, six-CD sound, leather steering wheel, fog lamps and park assist.

IN THE SHOP

VW build quality has come on leaps and bounds in recent years and that's reflected in the relatively few complaints that come to Cars Guide.  Mechanically they are generally robust and reliable, the bodies are well finished and stand up well to the Australian conditions, and the interiors are durable.

The most common complaint Cars Guide receives about VWs concerns brake wear, and owners are often shocked to find they are facing a hefty bill for new disc rotors and pads even though their cars have done relatively few kays.

At this stage the earliest EOS's have clocked up less than 50,000 km and are not showing any sign of serious flaws.  Make the usual checks for dodgy crash repairs, and make sure of a regular service routine.

IN A CRASH

ANCAP gave the EOS a four-star rating, which is a solid result, particularly for the time it was released.  It's packed with active and passive safety systems, including ABS antilock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist and electronic stability control for crash avoidance, with the backup of dual front airbags and side front airbags for when the steel began to crumple.

AT THE PUMP

Both the petrol and diesel models are quite economical. VW claimed a combined fuel economy of 8.4 L/100 km for the FSi petrol engine, and 6.9 L/100 km for the turbo diesel.

LOOK FOR

. Classy coupe, sassy soft-top
. Coupe security
. VW reliability
. Fun driver
. Diesel economy

THE BOTTOM LINE

. VW EOS offers all the fun of a ragtop with none of the downsides.

RATING

80/100

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2008 $9,020 $15,180
2007 $8,470 $12,980

View all Volkswagen Eos pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$8,500
Based on 24 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$6,913
Highest Price
$12,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
2.0 TDI 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $5,900 – 12,999 2007 Volkswagen Eos 2007 2.0 TDI Pricing and Specs
2.0T FSI 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,990 – 11,950 2007 Volkswagen Eos 2007 2.0T FSI Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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