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  • Sunroof/Convertible, Roof operation, Petrol Engine, Price, Bluetooth phone/audio, Safety
  • DSG in traffic, commonality with other VW products

OUR RATING
8 / 10



2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

The updated 2011 Volkswagen Eos hosts a range of cosmetic and technical enhancements to improve an already outstanding package.

It was back in 2005 that we first saw the Volkswagen EOS in its concept form at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The original Eos landed in Australian showrooms in 2007 and has since racked up more than 5500 customers. That’s a rather good accomplishment for a model that had no pre-existing name recognition or awareness.

At the time of its release, the Eos was a game-changing vehicle. A convertible that also housed a sunroof, it wasn’t something we were used to and even today no other competitor in its price bracket offers such a feature.

It was built on Volkswagen foundations, which meant it handled well, took the bumps with ease and carried Volkswagen’s hard-earned badge of reliability. Fast forward four years and the German company has given the Eos a facelift with exterior and interior cosmetic changes and a list of other improvements.

Before we get stuck into the ins and outs of the Eos, it’s good to understand a little bit about Volkswagen.

If you want to be the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, you have to stay ahead of the game. This means consistent improvements and a very steady and on-time product cycle. The Germans are known for their efficiency and Volkswagen has managed to prove that keeping a massive product line fresh is not as difficult as some would have you believe.

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

This year alone the German company has launched the Amarok, new Passat and now Eos. Before year’s end we will see an all-new Jetta, Golf Cabrio and Touareg as well.

There is a potential downside to this continuous stream of updates: it’s getting a little hard to tell the Volkswagen models apart. The new Eos, Golf and even the Caddy have a very similar front-end. In the rearview mirror it’s almost impossible to tell the three apart at first glance. The cross-company image is something the Europeans have been doing for decades, but the current Volkswagen range takes the ‘company-face’ principle further than ever before.

In a way it’s a good thing as you can’t mistake a Volkswagen for anything else and that’s undoubtedly the point of the design philosophy.


As part of the new Volkswagen design DNA, the Eos sports a new radiator grille, revised headlights and chrome highlights.

The rear gets a more contemporary streamlined look thanks to a redesigned rear bumper and diffuser. There is also new two-part LED taillight setup and twin-exhaust pipes that complete the family look all around.

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

Volkswagen Eos customers are statistically not big fans of a manual transmission. To date, 85 percent of all Eos vehicles sold in Australia have been equipped with the German company’s DSG (dual-clutch) automatic transmission. In order to keep its product range as simple as possible and in response to market demand, the 2011 Eos is no longer offered with a manual transmission. With a current 60/40 split between petrol and diesel Eos sales, both 2.0-litre turbo petrol and diesel engines are maintained and remain mostly unchanged.

Fuel efficiency has improved by 0.2L/100km for both engines, with the 2.0-litre turbodiesel (103kW of power, 320Nm of torque) consuming 5.9L/100km and the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (155W/280Nm) getting down to 7.7L/100km. In case you’re curious, the 2.0-litre petrol is the same unit as the one found in the current generation Golf GTI. So it’s a blast.

The convertible side of the business remains pretty much the same for the updated Eos. The five-part roof works like metal origami as it automatically transforms the Eos from a hardtop into a gorgeous convertible in 25 seconds. With the roof closed there is 380 litres of boot capacity, enough to store pretty much anything outside of furniture (and perhaps Golf clubs). Take the roof off and that goes down to 205 litres. Even so, we managed to easily fit two averaged size suitcases in the back without a hassle.

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

The new EOS gets leather trim standard and seats four comfortably. There is plenty of leg room front and rear and with the roof down, head room isn’t exactly an issue.

On the inside, the Eos is a Volkswagen to its core, so you’ll find it hard to tell its interior apart from the rest of the range. The front seats are spacious and comfortable plus they offer heating for those freezing nights when you just have to take the roof off. With the roof closed it’s a very quiet cabin with minimal road noise, but even when open you can easily hold a conversation when traveling at 110km/h.

Apart from the addition of standard leather, both models now come standard with an anti-theft alarm, USB media support (iPod/iPhone/USB sticks), Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming (a big tick in my books). The updated multimedia systems make using CDs relatively useless (but in case you still live in the 90s, it has a CD player a well). The eight-speaker audio system is top notch but if you’re serious about your sound system, $2000 will get you a Dynaudio Confidence 600-watt premium audio system with 10-channel amplifier and 10 speakers (not tested).

Around the hilly outskirts of Adelaide, we found the Eos to be as lively as ever. Anyone that says the Eos is a hairdresser’s car is going to have a big shock when the GTI powered variant screams past (especially if it’s red). With 155kW and 280Nm of torque, it accelerates from 0-100km/ in a respectable 7.8 seconds, but the in-gear acceleration feels much better than that. The diesel, despite it’s additional 40Nm of torque, is 2.5 seconds slower (10.3).

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

Herein lies a big dilemma for delivering a verdict on the Eos. I’d generally always recommend that if you’ve got the option for a diesel, it’s the better choice over the petrol in the long run. In the case of the Eos, it’s also $2000 cheaper (diesel – $49,990, petrol – $51,990), but it’s incredibly difficult to looks past the GTI engine.

Sure, the diesel uses 1.8L/100km less fuel, offers more torque and a better range, but the performance difference between the two is substantial enough to make me stick my neck out and recommend the petrol regardless. It’s the variant to buy if you enjoy taking the roof off and going for a spirited drive through the countryside. The diesel is the more logical choice, but really, you’re buying an Eos to enjoy the benefits of a convertible, logic shouldn’t be too high on the criteria list.

Ride and handling are superb given the application. The suspension is firm but still comfortable and although you can really feel the dismal state of our roads on the odd occasion, it’s still the sort of vehicle you can take for long distance drives without the need to visit a chiropractor at the end.

Around corners it’s surefooted and feels confident, even when pushed to its limits. There is noticeable torque-steer in the petrol variant when pushed hard coming out of corners but it’s easily manageable and hardly present when driven sedately.

Safety is guaranteed thanks in large to a hidden active rollover protection system as well as front and side airbags. Volkswagen has added daytime running lights and also offers Park Assist 2 as a $900 option. The Park Assist 2 system enabled the Eos to automatically park itself in a parallel park and in a bay. For some, the idea of a car that can park itself is still new so if that’s you, by all means go and try this out at your Volkswagen dealer because it’s real and easy to use.

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
2011 Volkswagen Eos Review

If you want more bling, a sports package is offered at $2600 which adds 18-inch alloys wheels, adaptive chassis control and darker LED tail lights.

Overall, the updated Volkswagen Eos is now $500 more expensive than the previous model but improves an already excellent package with a unique offering in the segment. Volkswagen will soon launch the soft-top Golf Cabriolet to sit below the Eos as well, so there will be plenty of choice from ze Germans if roofless motoring tickles your fancy.

Pricing:

  • Volkswagen Eos 103TDI 6 Speed DSG  $49,990
  • Volkswagen Eos 155TSI 6 Speed DSG  $51,990

Options:

  • Metallic / Pearl Effect Paint  $700
  • Park Assist 2 $900
  • Satellite Navigation RNS510  $2500
  • Dynaudio 600W Premium Audio System $2000
  • Bi-Xenon Headlights with LED Daytime Driving Lights $2100
  • Electrically Adjustable Front Seats  $1500
  • Sport Package $2600


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VOLKSWAGEN EOS BREAKDOWN

2011 Volkswagen Eos Review
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  • davie

    with that front styling, its certainly getting hard to tell them all apart Golf, Eos, Polo, caddy, sirocco.

    In my personal opinion, it looks more modern at the front but somehow a lot more cheap.

    • Jimmy

      Yeah, pretty disappointing in terms of the design. The attraction of the previous generation Eos was that it looked like no other VW in the range. This could be easily confused for the new Golf Cabrio. Very ordinary.

      • Matt Man

        I thought it was the Golf Cabrio…

  • o

    The front just looks cheap. Why are there no more projector headlights either, I noticed this on the passat and it makes the car look so much cheaper.

    • Stoney!

      I’e found non xenon projector headlights provide poorer vision than standard H4/H7 lights, this could be why!

  • t39

    I am getting very bored of colour choice being limited to the usual black, silver, grey and red.

  • nickdl

    Pretty boring all round. The interior looks much the same to me as the old one tested three days ago. At least they execute it pretty well as a convertible, i.e. a person with legs can sit in the back seat…

  • smeagle

    Prefer the current model to be honest… Has greater differentiation from the rest of the VW range… This is clad boring!!

  • Henry

    Option’s Should be Standard but it’s typical on these cars that they cost so much:

    Metallic paint: $700 Toyota: $400

    Etc, Etc…

  • Kang

    That front doesn’t look as good as on EOS. It just making this car complete boring. It looked awesome on Golf but not on EOS.

  • Europhile

    Nice packaging and the usual German efficiency. Should sell well. But this statement is rather misplaced on VW – “…carried Volkswagen’s hard-earned badge of reliability.”
    My own recent experience and other indepedent surveys says this is an area that VW lags well behind other European and dare I say Asian car makers.
    Until this improves substantially, all the new tasty products from VW is nice try but no cigars… if it spents too much time going back to the dealers. Poor user experience ignored is not good for VW. I guess it will continue to be ignore whilst the demand for their product continues… bit like the usual fastfood outlets, why change the formula if it sells? It depends what VW aspires to be…?

    • Twint

      Japan vs USA vs Germany

      Who wins?

  • Ford Man

    I like how VW people love their Diesels. I saw a Jetta Diesel under hard acceleration blow a large plume of black smoke from the exhaust. Fuel efficient = Yes. Environmentally friendly = No.

  • Maple leaf

    why does VW want to make all car front ends to look the same? The interior looks like a dungeon.

  • Gilbert

    Why is it so expensive? It’s not even worthy of that price.. Might as well buy a Lexus IS250C

    • DWS1

      But the cheapest Lexus IS240c the Prestige model is $83,500.00 drive away.
      That is around $30,000 more!

      • Twint

        It’s not IS240, it’s IS250, Lexus doesn’t make 2.4l engines.. V6 2.5

        • Albert

          All that is very nice but this review doesn’t address at all the issue of water leaks that the 2007-2008 models have been suffering from. If you do a little research on web you’ll find many forums where users like you and me have been eating dirt (almost literally) with this problem and many of them ended up returning the car to the dealer!
          It is a terrible flaw in the design of the roof which led to water floods, mildew smell, and scary situation for those living in sudden rain prone areas….
          Has this item been checked?

Volkswagen Eos Specs

103 TDI : 2.0L DIESEL TURBO F/INJ - 6 SP AUTO DIRECT SHIFT - 2D CONVERTIBLE
Car Details
Make
VOLKSWAGEN
Model
EOS
Variant
103 TDI
Series
1F MY11
Year
2011
Body Type
2D CONVERTIBLE
Seats
4
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
DIESEL TURBO F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
DIESEL TURBO 4
Max. Torque
320Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
103kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
65.1W/kg
Bore & Stroke
81x95.5mm
Compression Ratio
16.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTO DIRECT SHIFT
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
DIESEL
Fuel Tank Capacity
55
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.1L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1581
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1443mm
Length
4407mm
Width
1791mm
Ground Clearance
144mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.9
Front Rim Size
7.5x17
Rear Rim Size
7.5x17
Front Tyres
235/45 R17
Rear Tyres
235/45 R17
Wheel Base
2578
Front Track
1545
Rear Track
1503
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Heated Front Seats, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Engine & Transmission
Electronic Differential Lock
Entertainment
CD with 6 CD Stacker
Exterior
Electric Top, Fog Lights - Front
Interior
Leather Upholstery
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Power front seats
Control & Handling
Adaptive Damping Control, 18 Inch Alloy Wheels
Driver
Mobile Phone Connectivity, Satellite Navigation
Entertainment
Premium Sound System
Exterior
Metallic Paint, Xenon Headlights
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
8-M-6
Country of Origin
GERMANY