Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

There’s a good choice of engines in the Eos – the original line-up included the entry-level 1.6-litre with 115bhp which feels a bit sluggish and is best avoided. The 2.0-litre is a much better choice, the standard FSI model has 150bhp and although it’s well suited to the Eos it’s not especially quick – 0-62mph takes 9.8 seconds and it does need to be worked hard to get the best out of it.

The best engine however is the 2.0 TSI with 200bhp. This unit is shared with the Golf GTI and propels the Eos from 0-62mph in just 7.6 seconds plus the power is hugely enjoyable to exploit. The added weight of the folding roof means that it’s a little off the pace compared to the hot hatch Golf, but is still great fun. The most powerful engine is the 3.2-litre V6 with 250bhp which is silky smooth and supremely refined, however while it’s swift it isn’t particularly responsive or frugal, averaging 31mpg.

In November 2007 the 1.6-litre engine was replaced by a newer 1.4 TSI – don’t be out off by the small size though – it uses turbochargers to deliver punchy and urgent response. There are actually two version of this engine, one with 122bhp and one with 160bhp. The more powerful variant is a real gem and 0-62mph takes just 8.8 seconds. The diesel option is the 2.0 TDI with 140bhp that’s used across the Volkswagen range, however it is showing its age.

Noisy on start-up and clattery under hard acceleration it’s certainly not the most refined diesel around but it does provide strong in-gear acceleration and returns a useful 50mpg. Early cars have a slick six-speed manual gearbox but later ones have the option of a DSG semi-automatic gearbox. In 2010 a Bluemotion Technology version was launched, powered by a 1.4 TSI petrol engine with 122bhp.

Thanks to an engine start/stop system it returns an impressive 46mph and emits 144g/km of CO2.

Thanks to light steering and a smooth gearchange the Eos is an easy car to drive while the metal folding roof means it’s as refined and quiet as a coupe on the motorway. The body is incredibly rigid, so there’s no flex when the roof is down and it rarely feels like you’re driving a convertible – as a result it’s great in corners with precise and nicely weighted steering.

The ride is good too and only deep potholes upset the composed road manners. The large rear windscreen means rear visibility, often a bugbear of many convertibles, is good and parallel parking doesn’t present too many problems.