New name for stylish four-door, but it’s still as refined as ever
19 January 2012

What is it?

It’s a revised Volkswagen Passat CC - you’re just not allowed to call it that anymore. VW is keen to give its swoopy four-door saloon an identity of its own, so the familiar Passat name has been dropped leaving the model simply called CC.

While the name has changed, the car itself isn’t radically different. There’s the trademark VW front-end, complete with a new grille and bumper, while at the back there is also a new bumper and LED lights. Inside, there’s an increase in the amount of standard equipment, while a three-seat bench is now standard in the rear, rather than the two individual seats that are optional on the continent.

Engine options include a 158bhp 1.8 TSI and a 207bhp 2.0 TSI on the petrol side, with a 2.0 TDI with either 138bhp or 168bhp offered for diesel buyers. It’s the most potent diesel with a six-speed manual gearbox that we’re testing here.

What’s it like?

The badge may have changed, but the CC is just how we remember it from when it was part of the Passat family: a comfortable, relaxing mile-eater that places the emphasis on refinement above all else.

Indeed, the only non-styling changes of note made to the CC are an increase in the amount of sound deadening in the doors, windscreen, side windows and under floor tray. While the Passat CC was never noisy, the revised model is whisper-quiet on motorway runs.

The main advantage of the 168bhp diesel over the 138bhp version most UK buyers will go for is the addition of the XDS electronic differential, which is now a standard fit to 207bhp TSI and 168bhp TDI CCs. It aims to provide greater traction for more engaging handling when cornering, thus addressing one of the Passat CC’s main criticisms, it’s lack of driver involvement.

In reality, while the CC doesn’t ever appear flustered when pushed, it still offers little reward or encouragement to the driver. Shame, as the engine has more than enough torque for swift progress and acceleration off the line is impressive.

This range-topping GT model comes with adaptive dampers as standard. Body movements are well controlled, it’s the broken road surfaces that cause some problems. The ride is comfortable enough, but is hampered slightly by the weight 18in alloys and low-profile tryes the GT trim level also brings with it.

The motorway is the CC’s natural habitat. Here, it’s a smooth, quiet and a darn refined car that feels more than capable of eating hundreds of miles every day. The engine is also well suited to this environment, and a tall sixth gear aids economy, with the official economy figure of 57.6mpg well within reach.

Should I buy one?

VW has pulled off a clever new trick of appearing to have launched a new car without having really done so. There wasn’t a lot wrong with the Passat CC before these mid-life tweaks, but it now has an identity of its own and is arguably the most desirable model in VW’s range.

It still looks like nothing else in its class, and is hard to position directly next to a main rival. For these reasons, even four years after it first launched, it feels like an antidote to the usual formulaic approach the four-door saloon market, VW’s own Passat included.

Volkswagen CC GT 2.0 TDI 170

Price: £28,620; Top speed: 141mph; 0-62mph: 8.6sec; Economy: 57.6mpg; CO2: 129g/km; Kerb weight: 1557kg (est); Engine type, cc: 4cyl, turbodiesel, 1968cc; Power: 168bhp at 4200rpm; Torque: 258lb ft at 1750-2500rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

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Comments
25

19 January 2012

"hard to position directly next to a main rival"

How about the Audi A5 Sportback then, another multi-door coupe which just happens to be an in-house rival.

19 January 2012

Why anyone would choose a boxy Passat over this is unimaginable.... Great work VW.

19 January 2012

Good move to drop the Passat name. Not so sure about the "XDS electronic differential" though, sounds expensive (at the risk of being labelled a Luddite again). But no V6, so of no concern to me.

  • Let depreciation be your friend, not your enemy...

19 January 2012

[quote BriMarsh]But no V6, so of no concern to me[/quote]

A V6 certainly would make the car a great deal more appealing.

19 January 2012

[quote BriMarsh]But no V6, so of no concern to me[/quote]

A V6 certainly would make the car a great deal more appealing.

19 January 2012

[quote Fidji]

[quote BriMarsh]But no V6, so of no concern to me[/quote]

A V6 certainly would make the car a great deal more appealing.

[/quote]

I quite agree, in view of the coupe-esque styling (which I really like) a V6 halo model would surely be worthwhile? After all VW did once manage to stuff a W8 in a Passat - maybe that should go into the CC?

However I doubt BriMarsh would want a V6 or a W8 as i believe that the CC only comes with an electronic handbrake!

Worse stiil a motor-trader friend told me earlier this week that it it only possible to change the rear brake pads on the latest Passat (so presumably also the CC) when it is hooked up to a VW diagnostic computer because using the computer is the only way to get the pistons back into the calipers to allow room to fit the new pads!

I know very few buyers are lilkely to try any DIY on modern cars (which is what makers are trying to achieve) but surely it would be useful for the private buyer if Autocar mentioned such potentially costly absurdities when they test cars.

19 January 2012

[quote toptidy]However I doubt BriMarsh would want a V6 or a W8 as i believe that the CC only comes with an electronic handbrake![/quote] Touché, you got me!

  • Let depreciation be your friend, not your enemy...

19 January 2012

I find it a bit dissappointing.

The old one was stylish and looked nothing like any other VW.

I dont think this looks particularly stylish - expecially from the front. Just looks like a curvy PPhaeton. I prefer the old model.

19 January 2012

[quote Fidji]

[quote BriMarsh]But no V6, so of no concern to me[/quote]

A V6 certainly would make the car a great deal more appealing.

[/quote] The Passat CC was sold with a 300bhp 3.6 V6 engine. Not many were bought...

www.thecarexpert.co.uk/forums

19 January 2012

[quote Rich_uk][quote Fidji]

[quote BriMarsh]But no V6, so of no concern to me[/quote]

A V6 certainly would make the car a great deal more appealing.

[/quote] The Passat CC was sold with a 300bhp 3.6 V6 engine. Not many were bought...[/quote]

That was the same engine found in the Passat R36, and whilst not many were sold, that was kind of the reason for its appeal. VW is probably too obsessed with profit to make a small number of V6 engined Passat CCs (oh, sorry, CCs) anyway.

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