Cleaner styling on VW’s cabrio

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THE five-piece folding hard top with glass roof section remains the Volkswagen Eos’ party piece but this new generation car now features cleaner, pared-back styling, a revised trim structure and a greater emphasis on engine efficiency.

It commands a premium price (£22,895 to £30,470) but sales thus far show that many British buyers will pay for a quality product.

The Eos had long been one of the better coupe-convertibles to drive, thanks in no small part to running on a Golf platform and utilising that car’s advanced multilink suspension system.

Couple that with a range of very good engines and the option of the superbly effective DSG twin-clutch gearbox and you have a package that gives the lie to the accusation that tin-top convertibles drive less elegantly than Jeremy Clarkson in a red mist moment on an airfield.

This model doesn’t change the formula as regards driving manners significantly. Customers get to choose between two 1.4-litre TSI engines, producing either 121 or 159bhp, or there’s the 210bhp 2.0-litre TSI powerplant.

Go for diesel power and your options narrow somewhat, Volkswagen offering a 140bhp TDI in regular and BlueMotion eco guises.

Refinement is excellent with the roof in place, and even when the hood is folded into the boot, normal conversation is still possible up to about 70mph, after which wind buffeting becomes intrusive.

Of all the engines, the 2.0-litre TSI is perhaps the best companion, offering effortless overtaking urge and low noise levels.

With the manual gearbox it will get to 60mph in 7.5s and keep going to 147mph. Many buyers opt for the twin-clutch DSG paddleshift and it’s still one of the very best automated manuals around, offering seamless up and downshifts and a well judged automatic mode.

The basic shape of the Eos remains largely unchanged. Given that it was probably the best proportioned of the coupe-cabrios, that’s perhaps no bad thing.

The interior benefits from better quality trims including a leather finish that reflects the sun’s rays to prevent it heating up as normal leather would.

In truth, the Volkswagen Eos hasn’t had a lot done to it in its most recent revision but then it didn’t need a lot of remedial attention.

Tidying up the styling has given it a cleaner, more stylish look which can’t hurt but any car this well built, running on Golf underpinnings and with a range of efficient and charismatic engines, is already off to a flier.

It’s a car with no obvious weak point. It costs less to run than its rivals thanks to its excellent residual values, it drives well, it looks the part and the roof is cleverer than any other coupe-cabriolet I can think of with the possible exception of the near genius Mazda MX-5 CC.

The pick of the range? Make mine a DSG-equipped 2.0-litre TSI Sport painted in Rising Blue metallic. Now there’s the small matter of £28,000 to find.