I got to spend some time behind the wheel of the new Passat CC last week, and got a few surprises. The regular Passat may have a loyal following, but it's never been one of my favorites. Bland exterior styling and a Spartan interior bring it in a distant fourth behind the Accord, Camry and Mazda 6, in my mind. So I wasn't really motivated to test out the latest addition to the line.
But the CC is more it's own car than just a trim line option. It has a bolder exterior, a sleeker profile and more toys than it's older brother. (See the pics after the jump.) And it brings far more excitement than the standard Passat.
Here's what it offers:
The most striking thing about the CC is it's resemblance to a certain other German luxury sedan. One that would set you back two to three times as much. So if you're looking for that Euro-lux look, without paying Euro-lux bank to get it, look at the CC. The roofline is lowered and sweeps towards the rear, and it has dramatic lines flowing on the side panels.
Inside, the first thing you'll notice is the twin sport front seats. Which are even more noticeable if you opt for the two-tone leather. They're seated low, with great lateral support when you attack the curves. (And the car is comfortable enough that a couple of hours behind the wheel on a long trip are a breeze.) The two-tone dash also has a generous amount of brushed aluminum trim, and the steering wheel and shifter get skinned in leather.
More than you'd expect. Even in the base model.
The CC comes standard with a 2.0L, inline turbocharged four, that pushes out a very respectable 200 horsepower. Move up to the 3.6L VR6 Sport model and you get treated to 80 additional horses at 5100 RPM. All mated to a six-speed manual, or six-speed auto with Tiptronic and paddle shifters, and a sport-tuned suspension.
Features and Gadgetry:
Enough to keep you on the right path.
Besides the optional power 12-way heated front seats, oversized moonroof, pull-up sunshades on three windows, bi-xenon headlamps, and premium sound system, is VW's new touch-screen navigation system. It's got 32GB of hard drive space to store tunes and has a rear cam (hidden behind the rear "VW" badge, that flips up when needed), with a parking assistance system to make sure you don't back into the garage door. The CC also comes with
a first aid kit, should you hit something other than a door.
And the CC is a true four-seater - your rear-riding posse won't feel like second class passengers, they are treated to sport-seat comfort as well. No riding the hump either. Instead, there's a full center console to hold drinks and rest arms. (They split and fold down too, should you be hauling stuff in the trunk.)
It's amazing how car makers are squeezing more miles out of more powerful engines. The turbo four will get you 31 mpg on the highway, and the more powerful VR6, gets 27 miles per gallon. Not bad for a full-sized four seater that knows how to handle the asphalt.
Overall Bang For the Buck:
For the lux-sedan look, upper-class fit and finish, and a decent amount of toys standard, the base CC will set you back a mere $26,790. Peanuts compared to the price tags on its Euro brethren. Go all out and get the VR6 Sport package and you'll bump up to a more pricey $38,300.
For more info, head to www.VW.com/CC