Obvious thing first. The Volkswagen Passat CC is not a coupe-cabriolet. Volkswagen’s take on a lower-cost Mercedes CLS is a Comfort Coupe, rakish of roofline but still with four doors and four proper seats. No external panel is shared with the Passat saloon, and rear headroom is tight for executive-size power brokers. The whole idea seems an extravagant folly, a marketing indulgence of almost Phaeton-like magnitude.
But then the regular Passat, while a competent car, is hardly an object of desire. The CC offers a chance of one-upmanship sufficient, maybe, to secure a purchase instead of passing the Passat by. And it does look good, with a low, rounded profile and a tail almost Jaguar-esque apart from the tail-lights.
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Engine and performance
Inside, the regular Passat dash meets Mercedes levels of quality and plushness. And there are two features new to any Passat: adaptive dampers and, optionally, ‘Lane Assist’. Triggered over 40mph, it follows lines in the road and quite firmly tugs the steering in the required direction if you wander over the line without indicating. It’ll even let you take your hands off the wheel for up to eight seconds before complaining. However, it won’t steer you round a roundabout by itself, because it gives up if it needs to apply more than 2.2lb ft of torque to the steering wheel.
Best version? Not the V6 3.6 4Motion, which feels too heavy and clunky. It’s the entry-level 1.8 TSI with 158bhp, a crisp, punchy engine powering an agile, comfortable car. Less is more here, too.
Price and release date
The Volkswagen Passat CC is available now from £21,000.
|Engine||4-cyl, 1798cc, dohc 16v|
|Max power||158bhp @ 5000rpm|
|Max torque||184lb ft @ 1500-4200rpm|
|Top speed||138mph (claimed)|