What is it?
Just so we’re clear, this is not the new Passat saloon, and it is not, despite the CC part of its name, a coupe convertible. It is instead Volkswagen’s take on the Mercedes CLS, and a third body style in the Passat range. This is our first test on UK soil.
There’s one final thing to get straight. If, like me, you thought TSI meant a VW engine with both a supercharger and turbocharger, that’s all changed too. Now anything with a turbo gets the TSI badge; TFSI is no more.
So here we have a 1.8-litre four-cylinder turbocharged (but not supercharged) engine producing 158bhp and 184lb ft of torque.
What’s it like?
The engine is a fine thing, smooth throughout the rev range, but with enough turbo whoosh beyond 2000rpm to give an impression of speed and make the most of gaps in the traffic.
For the most part the CC drives very much like any other Passat. So it’s predictable, if lacking in involvement, and the CC also rides particularly well, at least on the standard 17” wheels fitted to our test car.
Where the CC justifies its equipment-adjusted premium of around £1700 over the saloon is in the addition of a little style – something the conventional saloon lacks. From its more chiselled nose, sloping rear screen and frameless windows the CC leaves functional aside and injects a little glamour, and does more than a respectable impersonation of its Mercedes inspiration.
Inside the CC actually trumps the CLS, with less compromise on rear passenger room and a larger boot, and if you can stretch to the £1915 touch screen navigation and £1445 Nappa leather upholstery upgrade, you’ll find it very plush, too, even if some of its switchgear is beginning to look and feel dated.
Should I buy one?
Slightly dated switches aside, restricted visibility and the desire for a slightly more engaging drive the Passat’s only negatives; it’s otherwise a fine car.
So much so that you can’t help thinking Volkswagen should have been brave enough to make this car the standard Passat, and steal a little exclusivity in what is rapidly becoming a very over congested market.