From £23,627
Pricey and less practical than the saloon, but with plenty more appeal

Our Verdict

Volkswagen CC
The CC offers a handsome alternative to the staid Passat

The Volkswagen CC is not quite as pretty as it's predecessors but still superior to the Passat

8 April 2008

What is it?

The Passat CC is Volkswagen’s bold attempt at a stylish four-door coupe in the mould of Merc’s strong-selling CLS. Don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t a retractable hard-top convertible. Instead the CC is a lower and leaner version of the Passat saloon, sharing the same platform and mechanical layout.

Seen in profile the CC looks low and sleek. Every body panel is different from the saloon, and the ‘coupe’ is 31mm longer, despite sharing the same wheelbase. More importantly, it’s 50mm lower than its more practical sibling.

We’re told that the design was inspired in part by the chopped roofs of American custom cars in the early 1950s, and it’s certainly fair to say that the CC is the most visually arresting saloon that Volkswagen has produced for years.

What’s it like?

Not conventionally beautiful, to be fair – but the CC’s exterior styling is certainly audacious. Inside the cabin things are far more familiar, though – the frameless doors are pretty much the limit of the changes and the CC’s dashboard, centre console and instruments are pretty near identical to the normal car.

Rear seat accommodation isn’t exactly commodious, either – but there’s more room in the back than any similarly priced two-door coupe can offer. Luggage space is slightly down on the saloon, too.

The CC will be available with several direct-injection petrol engines, including the familiar 198bhp motor from the Golf GTI and a new 158bhp 1.8 TFSI motor, but the majority of UK sales will be fitted with the company’s new common-rail 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine, which will be sold in both 138bhp and 168bhp states of tune.

The basic engine is no firecracker, but a solid 236lb ft of torque gives plenty of low-down urge. It’s far more refined than the old ‘pumpe duse’ engine, too – and the official 48.7mpg combined fuel economy figure is impressive or a car this size.

On the road, it feels slightly sharper than the standard Passat, although it’s nowhere near the BMW 3-Series for dynamic competence. High grip levels are bounded by predictable understeer, and although the damping works well at high speed the ride quality gets too busy in town.

Should I buy one?

Viewed objectively, the CC doesn’t make a great deal of sense. It’s larger, less useful and more expensive than the Passat saloon on which it’s largely based.

But the CC’s combination of style and practicality means that it will appeal strongly to people looking for something to help them stand out from the crowd.

Join the debate

Comments
10

10 April 2008

Looks better here than earlier shots. The lines and detailing are more visible and im glad VW is offering a much wider choice of new models to buyers, even if some of them are a bit questionable...Seen a 'Golf Plus' lately?

The problem this car has is that it needs to appeal to fashion conscious buyers and that VW badge will put many of them off. More importantly though this car still looks too similar to the hum-drum Passat. Mercedes managed to make the CLS look completely unique. VW copied their idea, had loads more time, and still produced this half-hearted effort.

nh

10 April 2008

I quote: "Pricey and less practical than the saloon, but with plenty more appeal".

Really, in my (rational) book I only see less appeal: a higher price for less practicality...

that's like minus one minus one... and that's... Indeed!

And for the emotions? Women (often) are sexy. My wife is. Cars never are sexy. One can like or dislike the looks of it. And, to me, this VW certainly is not a good looking car. Put it next to an Accord, 159 or C-class and it's ugly at once. Anyway, that's taste.

But car's are not subjects. Their engineered objects. The best engineered car, is the best and thus most appealing car.

Now why would anyone who does not see or does not but needs to see a psychiater pay more for less?

And there's the "journaille"; a kind of journalists rating cars in terms of brands and so-called style instead of engineering. The only explenation I see is that those journalists write "n'imoprte quoi".

From one of the oldest carmagazines I did expect more.

I am very disappointed.

11 April 2008

"and the official 48.7mpg combined fuel economy figure is impressive or a car this size" did VW tell you to type this? A BMW 318d with 143bhp is 60.1mpg, I would say 48.7mpg is below par.

11 April 2008

How do you perceive the VW brand? Personally I see it somewhere between the Ford's, Hondas etc and the premium marques such as BMW, Merc. By this measure VW would seem to occupy a segment of the market that was, until recently, uncontested. The new Mondeo and C5 may consider themselves rivals for 3 series and A4, but let’s not forget that they first have to topple the Passat. I think VW’s biggest hindrance is in the name People’s Car. Surely in this more affluent day and age a 3 series rep mobile could be considered a “people’s car”. I think as a company VW is in a good position to be charging upwards of 25k for a saloon. As for the CC, the design just doesn’t do it for me. The cab forward design reminds me somewhat of the Chrysler Sebring.

11 April 2008

[quote 230SL]"and the official 48.7mpg combined fuel economy figure is impressive or a car this size" did VW tell you to type this? A BMW 318d with 143bhp is 60.1mpg, I would say 48.7mpg is below par. [/quote]

BMW may say what they like - 60.1mpg(4.7L/100km). Fact is I have not seen a single real test get near this figure - see below. BMW are becoming notorious for padding their consumption figures, by 10-30% average, diesels particularly(20-35%) - see Autobild feature last month.

A4 2.0 TDI v BMW 318d v Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI comparison test - BMW test consumption 7.8L/100km(36mpg) - 66% more than claimed and a longway short of Passat's claimed 48mpg.

http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/tests/vergleichstest/hxcms_article_509237_13987.hbs?ext_site_number=3

11 April 2008

Well my Dad used to really like his chopped roof Rover P5s 3litre and 3.5 in the 60's. He had 3 of them to commute in North London and get to Upton Park for West Ham matches. Not unlike the Passat a conservative saloon design given a spark of something or other.

Went like the clappers with the V8 but with overlight steering it was hard to stay in lane on the Winchester by-pass. I reckoned my Austin 1100 was safer and just as quick a way to get to Bournemouth!!

Cars feed our illusions to make the manufacturers money. Basic transport masquerading as a macho Jeep, sports car, or limo. While aesthetics is clearly subjective some designs probably invoke primordial notions of balance and proportion better than others. And what we see is influenced by what we know about the underlying engineerng.

12 April 2008

LOATHER: It takes a brave man to correct you, but I feel that I have to pick you up here.

1.All manufacturers MPG figures are gained using the same laboratory test techniques which are strictly adhered too. It is common knowlegde that these results are pretty much impossible to achieve in real-life driving situations. They should only been used as a guide. I dont think its possible for a manufacturer to "pad out" these figures. It may just be that BMW's stop-start system is particularly suited to these tests.

2.You mention the BMW 318d only achieved 36mpg in the Autobild road test "some way below the Passats claimed 48mpg" Spot the obvious error in that statement - you are not comparing like with like. Do you really think the Passat would have acheived anywhere near its official 48mpg? I think not.

3. Auto Express tested a VW Golf 1.9TDi Bluemotion against a BMW 118d. Both claim to achieve exactly the same figure of 62.8mpg. The BMW managed 49.6mpg whilst the Golf only managed 42.0mpg. You dont need to work out percentages to see the BMW is much closer to its claimed figures than the VW.

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/grouptests/219924/bluemotion_vs_efficient_dynamics.html

My point is that all official MPG figures should be taken with a pinch of salt and not as a realistic expectation of what you will actually achieve. This applies to ALL manufacturers.

13 April 2008

Quattro369 you're right, and I have little to argue with you here, especially your last point.

It may be that as you say due to stop-start, overly-long gearing in 5th and 6th and so on that BMWs 'over-achieve' in the standard consumption cycle test compared to Mercedes and VW/Audi. I'll see if I can dig up that Autobild article giving the percentage over consumption by model.

13 April 2008

[quote Quattro369]

3. Auto Express tested a VW Golf 1.9TDi Bluemotion against a BMW 118d. Both claim to achieve exactly the same figure of 62.8mpg. The BMW managed 49.6mpg whilst the Golf only managed 42.0mpg. You dont need to work out percentages to see the BMW is much closer to its claimed figures than the VW.[/quote]

Quattro369, I've dug out that 'real-world' consumption article by AutoBild in Germany. Just click on the '100 Bilder' in red colour link near the top right-hand corner of the page, under the four car picture box - the 100 pictures are arranged by manfacturer A-Z, BMW about page(Seite) 10-17. The VW Blue Motion Polo diesel(page 93) - similar to your Golf version quoted above from Auto Express's test - was miserable at 30.8% more than claimed(5.1 to 3.9L/100km)

http://www.autobild.de/artikel/verbrauchswerte-auf-dem-pruefstand_444828.html "So much guzzles your car really/in reality" 2/11/2007

14 April 2008

Am I wrong in thinking there's a bit of Peugeot 607 about the passat CC? It's sleeker, but I can't help but see 607!


Thankfully no similarities in the interiors though!

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run