Arguably more than any other year, the summer of 2021 feels like one for a convertible. What better to blow away the miserable memories of the past 12 months? The cliché exists, after all, for very good reason: it’s hard to be bothered by much else with the roof down, the sun out and an open road ahead. As the move towards electric travel continues, the cherry on top of all that would surely be a memorable engine.
Now, we’re not suddenly going to declare that the VW Eos is some undiscovered sports car gem from the mid-2000s – very far from it. It existed in that odd phase for the mainstream manufacturers, when seemingly no model was safe from having its roof lopped off and replaced by a folding hard top. Think Ford Focus CC, Vauxhall Astra TwinTop, Peugeot 307 CC, Renault Megane Coupe-Cabriolet… the list goes on. There were even diesel versions offered, because nothing says quite what a parsimonious fashionista you are (or otherwise) like an oil burning Astra drop-top. An odd time, the mid 2000s…
The Eos was typically regarded, when new at least, as the best of the bunch, retaining a lot of what made the donor Golf so good and integrating the hard top well. It even managed to look pretty good, which was seemingly a task too far for a lot of the opposition – and which ought to be first priority for a convertible. Obviously there were penalties to pay – the additional weight hurt performance and handling – but they weren’t as severely impacted as in some other CCs, and it was deemed a worthwhile sacrifice for some nearly glamorous convertible motoring.
Alongside the popular 1.4-litre turbocharged petrols and punchier diesel, the Eos was also offered with the Golf GTI’s 200hp 2.0-litre. An entirely decent flagship it was, too, but that wasn’t enough for VW. Remember this was the era of the Passat W8, Touareg V10 TDI and Phaeton W12 – Volkswagen was not averse to putting chunky engines where they didn’t really belong. And so the R32’s 3.2-litre V6 was dropped into the front end of an Eos. Yes, really – here’s one for sale.
Back then it didn’t make a great deal of sense, the additional weight of the V6 offsetting the extra power over the four-cylinder… making it about as fast, and a lot more expensive. So not that many were sold. Today, however, when any car with more than four cylinders is a real novelty and with Golf V6 values continuing to soar – this R32 is on offer at £25k – the allure of a 3.2-litre Eos is greater than ever. Well, it will be to some people. Because who cares if it’s a bit leaden to drive? It still looks good, and the sound will be even better with the roof down.
It’s not even like £5,000 buys a real snotter, either. Where cheap R32s (and those are the ones less than £10k) are usually well past 100,000 miles, this Eos is yet to hit 60,000 miles; its Paprika Red paint and Cornsilk leather still look in decent condition, and the MOT history doesn’t throw up anything terrifying either.
Any Eos is unlikely to be issue free, with the roof having proven troublesome over the years and the additional weight taking its toll on consumables. The early DSGs don’t have the best reputation, either. But it’ll be hard to consider any of that, surely, having paid £5,000 for this and with V6 growling along. The Eos may not be the greatest convertible ever, but it does have a great engine under the bonnet – which makes it more than good enough for us.
SPECIFICATION | VOLKSWAGEN EOS V6
Engine: 3,189cc, V6
Transmission: 6-speed DSG auto, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 250@6,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 236@2,500-3,000rpm
Recorded mileage: 59,347
Year registered: 2007
Price new: c. £28k (2006)
Yours for: £5,487