Oct 6 2008 Malcolm Robertshaw
Passat enters comfort zone
VOLKSWAGEN is rewriting some auto jargon with its sleek looking Passat coupe.
Throughout the motor industry the letters CC identify the folding tin tops favoured to be the crowning glory of some coupe convertibles.
However, in Volkswagen Passat-speak, CC stands for 'Comfort Coupe.'
Although the coupe slope of the roofline may perhaps prove a little restrictive to taller rear occupants, the CC is wider, longer and set lower than the standard version of the Passat rep-mobile.
It is offered with two trim levels, CC and CC GT, and there are a number of styling cues taken from the luxury Phaeton saloon.
The CC is a four seater with just two individual seats in the rear as opposed to the three-seater bench of the standard Passat.
VW's traditional blue backlighting has made way for white lighting, while chrome trimmed white on black dials creates a sporty look. Power options include a brace of petrol engines (1.8 and a flagship 3.6 V6) plus one diesel in 2.0-litre 138bhp TDI form, while two further 2.0-litre petrol and diesels are expected later in the year.
Paired with a smooth-slotting six-speed manual gear change, the 1.8-litre turbo petrol-powered entry model which, like all models of this particular range, boasts some top quality fit and finish giving an overall feel of a level of ambience usually associated with motors from the class above.
There is also a large boot, while typically generous VW kit levels come as standard and include comfortably supportive front sports seats with electric adjustment for the driver.
On the road, the sport suspension sits you lower than in the standard Passat, enabling the CC's stand-out, sleek-looking shape to reap the benefit of head-turning qualities while, despite some body roll, there is stacks of grip especially through a series of bends.
Accelerating from 0-62mph takes well below nine seconds with a reported top speed of 138mph being available, while a combined driving mpg figure of 37.2 and emissions of 180g/km are not to be sniffed at.
At cruising speed the Passat CC is refined with wind, road and engine noise intrusion well contained.
Overall, VW Passat CC is a striking looker and a smooth operator but exclusivity does come at a price. The range starts at £21,065, around a £2,000 premium over the standard Passat 1.8 TSI Highline saloon.
Nevertheless, the bespoke approach does have a value and VW expects 2,800 UK buyers this year - and the thick end of 6,000 in 2009.