Stylish, and an enjoyable car to drive even in entry-level guise

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.

Jamie Corstorphine

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chemist 13 June 2008

Re: Volkswagen Passat CC 1.8 TSI

Ever since the current Passat was launched I have been unable to convince myself that I should replace my 97 Passat TDI. This is mainly due to the fact that I do not like the styling of the current Passat. It is dull. However the Passat CC is a different matter. The external styling is exciting and is what the current Passat should have been. Now I feel enticed to change. I cannot wait to test drive the GT TDI CR version of the CC, especially one with the stunning Panoramic Sun Roof option.

Congratulations VW, I think you may be on to a winner. However the dedicated 2 seats in the back may not be to everyone's taste.

GD 8 June 2008

Re: Volkswagen Passat CC 1.8 TSI

This VW raises a number of issues. Nomenclature, CC TSI four-door coupe, Really? Yes recently CC has come to describe hard top convertibles, TSI, Turbos and Superchargers (with fuel injection, of course), OK, "four door coupe" - total nonsense, the original Rover 3.5 litre "coupe" was not a coupe, nice car, but NOT a coupe, same with the M-B CLS, and yet again, the same with the Passat. This may offend me, but it won't affect sales!!!

inthebin 8 June 2008

Re: Volkswagen Passat CC 1.8 TSI

I agree with that last bit of the article.

Why dont they get rid of the standard passat and make this CC thing it.

A far more distinctive interesting design.