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2012 Volkswagen EOS 103TDI Review and Road Test

by Brad Leach -

  • OUR VERDICT: 4/5 rating4/5 rating4/5 rating4/5 rating4
  • PRICE RANGE: $49,990*
  • PROS: New looks are even better; lots of car for your coin; usual Volkswagen top-shelf driving dynamics
  • CONS: Not as dynamic as its major German rival
  • Safety Rating: 
  • Green Rating:  N/A
  • Fuel Consumption:  6.9L/100km
  • Write your own review

Sometimes minor changes have big results – and Volkswagen’s running update for its good-looking EOS convertible is a perfect example. Incorporating the Golf’s latest styling changes has modernised the EOS just in time for summer.

Volkswagen has also added some extra goodies to the new EOS – starting price $49 990 – to maintain its value for money position versus BMW's sharply priced 1 Series convertible. 



So with Australia's beaches coming alive to the sounds of freshly cracked new bottles of sunscreen it's time to fold that roof and hit the road again…

Volkswagen EOS Overview


Volkswagen EOS is available in two models – a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel priced at $49 990 (as tested by Car Showroom), or the range topping 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol variant stickered at $51,990. Both drive the front wheels via Volkswagen’s six-speed DSG direct-shift automatic transmission. 



Volkswagen EOS boasts impressive levels of standard equipment including the roof system with a glass sunroof and wind deflector, ‘Vienna’ leather interior with heated front seats, cruise control and ‘Black Peak’ aluminium trim highlights. On the options list is satellite navigation and Volkswagen’s ‘Park Assist 2’ self-parking system which can automatically parallel park an EOS into a space only 100 cm longer than the car itself – just the thing for those crowded beachside locations.

The star attraction for the hot-selling Volkswagen EOS is the compact, five-part folding roof which takes just 25 seconds to operate. Thanks to Volkswagen's clever design, even when the roof is open the EOS delivers 205-litres of luggage space (380-litres with the roof closed).

Volkswagen EOS Engine


Petrol power for the Volkswagen EOS comes from a turbocharged 2.0-litre delivering 155 kW/280Nm, however Car Showroom tested the 2.0-litre turbo-diesel version. Where once diesel engines and sports coupes were not mutually compatible, the latest European turbo-diesels make fine substitutes for their petrol siblings – and you can't overlook the fuel saving/environmental benefits.

Volkswagen's 2.0-litre TDI is good for 103 kW at 4200rpm and 320Nm from 1750rpm to 2500rpm. A typically refined and quiet European turbo-diesel, the 2.0-litre TDI Volkswagen EOS drives the front wheels via that six-speed DSG automatic and covers zero to 100km/h in 10.3 seconds. 



With Bosch common-rail fuel injection, exhaust gas recirculation, catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter, Volkswagen's 2.0-litre TDI is EU5-compliant for emissions - exhaust CO2 rated at 156g/km. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 5.9l/100kms.

BMW's 118d also employs a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel – 105Kw/300Nm - and Peugeot's 308 CC delivers 100kW/320Nm from its 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, while the Renault’s Megane CC is only available with a 103Kw/195Nm 2.0-litre petrol engine.

Volkswagen EOS The Interior


For this latest upgrade, only minor interior changes for the Volkswagen EOS – ‘Black Peak (dark aluminium/chrome edged) accents were introduced to the dashboard and doors while the switchgear gained a chrome frame. A smart move because we think Volkswagen EOS’ Golf-derived interior is some of the best work of Volkswagen's interior designers – classy but uncomplicated, and of course oozing the sort of style coupe-cabriolet owners look for.

We liked the supportive and heated front seats nicely finished in Vienna leather with electronic lumbar support and manual height adjustment (if you opt for full electronic adjustment you'll also gain electronic ‘easy-entry’ to the rear seat). Naturally EOS’ sporty three spoke steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach to provide the usual high standard Volkswagen driving position.

Instrumentation is the current Volkswagen conventional gauge arrangement with nice back lighting in white. Audio is an eight speaker CD/MP3 compatible system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display in the centre console.

As we’ve come to expect, operation of the five-piece folding hard-top roof is automotive technology wizardry at its best. At the flick of a switch it whines and buzzes while automatically folding away and raising the windscreen mounted wind deflector – all in just 25 seconds.

Just as impressive is Volkswagen's ingenious roof storage system in the boot. While earlier coupe-cabriolet designs limited your luggage to one spare handkerchief, Volkswagen's clever system allows 380-litres with the roof closed or an impressive 205-litres when the roof is folded – and nothing gets squashed.

The Car Showroom juniors love open top cars so they had no complaints about rear-seat legroom. We suspect any lanky mates may not have been so happy if asked to sit out back.

Volkswagen EOS Exterior & Styling



Incorporation of the latest, modern Golf front end has really transformed the Volkswagen EOS – not that it was dowdy to begin with. Up-front, the more horizontal look of the new shiny black grille and modern headlights give a stronger, more purposeful appearance.

And the rear end looks much better this time around with two-part LED lights mounted on the boot and rear panels displaying a stylised ‘M’ shape when operational. There’s also a new rear bumper. 



Rounding out the re-work are new design ‘Michigan’ 17-inch alloy wheels with 235/45 R17 tyres (18- inch optional).

Despite some flashy new arrivals in its competitive set, the Volkswagen EOS is still a good looker.

Volkswagen EOS On The Road


Underneath, Volkswagen EOS runs the familiar MacPherson strut front suspension and four-link independent rear (a sport system with adaptive chassis dynamics is on the options list). Steering is an electro-mechanical system.

Volkswagen EOS is equipped with the usual Volkswagen traction control system boasting anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock and ESP. You can also check ABS anti-lock brakes, electronic brake pressure distribution, brake assist and hill start assist - all standard. 



Naturally during our week with the Volkswagen EOS, Melbourne's recalcitrant spring weather afforded us precious little time driving with the roof down. Never mind because even with the roof closed, Volkswagen EOS was a very handy weapon over our high-speed mountain roads test loop.

Sure it was no Golf R, but the Volkswagen EOS does share its platform with some more sporty siblings. Using the six-speed DSG to get the most from that 2.0-litre turbo-diesel, you get a real sense of high quality chassis dynamics as the EOS turns-in with precision and is nicely balanced and predictable when the going gets dicey - a situation where some coupe-cabriolets turn to blancmange.

Around town the Volkswagen EOS gave a similarly polished display – handy acceleration for freeway merging and reasonably good visibility for tight parking.

Volkswagen Eos Challenges


A wise man once said: “Occasionally it transpires that your enemies are sometimes those who are closest to you.” This could be the case the Volkswagen Eos in the form of the all-new Golf Cabriolet that has been spotted in Europe.

Volkswagen EOS Verdict


There are some very polished players in the European coupe-cabriolet mini market segment. In its latest updated form, the Volkswagen Eos more than hold its own against all comers. 



Sharp pricing by Volkswagen Group Australia sure helps.

Volkswagen EOS The Competition


BMW's good-looking 1-Series convertible racks-up impressive sales numbers in this segment. In turbo-diesel form the BMW is actually 20Nm short of the Volkswagen EOS and almost $3000 more expensive.

We love the look of the glamorous Peugeot 308 CC and it’s certainly handily priced in petrol form from $47,490. But the 2.0-litre diesel needs an investment north of$51K. 



Similarly Renault's Megane CC gets a definite green tick in the looks department but is currently only available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Priced at $45 990 it's good value and remember the regular Megane has just introduced a very handy diesel engine.

 

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