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Car reviews - Volkswagen - Eos - coupe-convertible range

Launch Story

Volkswagen logo23 May 2011

By JAMES STANFORD

THE onset of winter is not about to stop Volkswagen launching its refreshed Eos convertible.

Armed with its first real facelift since its Australian launch in 2007, the new-look coupe/convertible is looking to make a comeback with customers.

Eos sales for 2010 dropped to just 965, but Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) is confident it can head back towards the 1852 sales it achieved in 2008.

The four-seat Eos, with its folding metal roof, will sit above the new fabric-roof Golf Cabriolet that touches down in Australia late this year, maintaining its position as the prestige convertible in the range with features such as a panoramic sunroof, leather trim and heated front seats as standard equipment.

VGA has dropped the manual Eos, saying only 15 per cent of customers chose it over the dual-clutch DSG automatic that had been a $2500 option.

The six-speed DSG box is now standard, contributing to a $3000 price rise, to $49,990 for the diesel model, while the petrol version goes to $51,990.

VGA says it has added a further $500 to cover Bluetooth connectivity and an iPod connection.

The exterior changes represent the biggest part of the Eos facelift, with a more slippery exterior design being credited for minor fuel economy improvements.

The fundamentals of the car are unchanged. Engines have been carried over, including the entry level 103TDI, a 2.0-litre four-cylinder common-rail turbo diesel generating 103kW at 4200rpm and 320Nm from 1750rpm to 2500rpm.

It is not going to help the Eos set any land speed records, with the 103TDI Eos recording an official 0-100km/h time of 10.3 seconds.

Fuel economy has improved by 0.2 litres per 100km to 5.9L/100km, while emissions now stand at 156g/km.

The 155TSI petrol engine is the same that propels the Golf GTI, which means it is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder with a turbo charger. This enables it to make 155kW at 5300rpm and 280Nm from 1700rpm to 5200rpm.

That enables the 155TSI to achieve a far more respectable 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.8 seconds.

Fuel economy slips down by 0.2L/100km to 7.8L/100km, while the emissions now stand at 179g/km.

Both the diesel and petrol Eos models feed their power to the front wheels and are assisted by an electronic differential lock.

Like the previous model, the Eos is fitted with a five-piece steel roof that folds up or down in 25 seconds. VGA says the metal lid with its coupe-like profile is a big selling point.

The roof is unchanged as are the doors and bonnet. Volkswagen designers have reshaped the nose, with fresh headlights, grille and bumper with new chrome highlights. Rather than give the Eos a unique look, Volkswagen has brought the Eos into line with its other models, taking on the horizontal bar grille and hard lines. At the rear, a sharper boot lid, twin exhaust outlets on the left side of bumper and new LED tail-lights are the main changes.

The interior design remains as before, while the chassis set-up remains unchanged, running the MacPherson strut front suspension at the front and four-link rear of the previous model. It also retains its electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering.

Standard safety gear includes a full suite of airbags, electronic stability control and steel roll hoops that pop up from behind the passenger seats in a rollover.

Standard features for both the diesel and petrol models include 17-inch alloy wheels borrowed from the Passat, rain-sensing wipers, leather trim, heated front seats, iPod connection, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming (plays your iPod or iPhone music without a cable), automatic headlights, a low-pressure tyre monitoring system, front and rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control.

Like most prestige players, Volkswagen charges for metallic paint or pearl finish paint and in this case it either costs $700 extra. Satellite navigation is available for $2500, a premium audio system is $2000, biXenon headlights with cornering function and daytime LED running lights are $2100, 12-way electrically adjustable front seats cost an extra $1500 and Park Assist, which enables the Eos to park itself with little driver input, costs $900.

For $2600, VGA offers a Sport package that includes 18-inch alloy wheels, adjustable suspension dampers, tinted windows and darker taillights.

Unlike the just-introduced Passat, the new Eos is not available with any of the radar based safety systems such as the adaptive cruise control or the collision prevention systems that can help prevent the car from hitting objects at lower speeds or reduce the severity of the impact.

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