CC way to spice up VW Passat

It has all the Passat's virtues but the CC is even more desirable, says Steve Walker.Let's imagine that you're in the market for a family saloon car.

It has all the Passat's virtues but the CC is even more desirable, says Steve Walker.

Let's imagine that you're in the market for a family saloon car. You want something roomy, reliable, sturdily built and with a quality feel. Volkswagen's Passat ticked all these boxes in its sixth-generation guise, just like the five generations before it, but like those cars, it was not particularly exciting.

There is an answer though and it's called the Passat CC.


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What you get

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The design of the Passat CC is fascinating. Despite almost every external body panel being different to the saloon, many people won't realise this is a different car. The unique steel body is 31mm longer than the saloon, made up entirely by front and rear overhang increases. You might think this will mean more luggage space but the sloping boot deck actually reduces capacity by 40 litres.

Undoubtedly a tidy piece of styling work, the Passat CC still isn't extrovert but its elegant, clean lines are positively adventurous by VW's rather conservative standards and a more desirable proposition.

The cabin is more upmarket than the saloon's, with higher quality materials and extra equipment. The front seats are very spacious with lots of headroom but rear headroom is reduced and there only two seats. The boot is quite large but its long, flat shape limits practicality.

What to look for

The Mark 6 model tightened genuine, as opposed to perceived, quality a good few notches.

All of the engines available with the CC model are tried and tested and should prove trouble-free. The DSG twin-clutch gearbox offered with some engine options, and standard on the V6, is rugged but very expensive to replace so ensure it's working as it should. The Passat CC isn't a particularly sporting car and so it shouldn't have been given a hard time.

What you pay

Passat residual values are among the strongest of all medium range family cars and not a million miles from what you'd expect to get from a compact executive model like a BMW 3 Series or Audi A4. The Passat CC holds up similarly well and you'll need to budget about �15,000 for an 08-plate model with the entry-level 1.8 TSI engine. GT trim adds about �700 and insurance is between groups 11 and 15 unless you find one of the rare 3.6-litre V6 models which are group 18.

On the road

From a driver's perspective, the Passat CC differs from the more conventional saloon in a few key areas. Given that it rides on exactly the same chassis and uses a subset of the Passat saloon engine range, scope for modification was slim. The car sits 50mm lower, giving a centre of gravity closer to the road, and the driver sits 15mm lower in the car. Otherwise, the differences with how this car and a Passat saloon drive are not huge. That means good ride quality and handling that's safe and predictable.

Refinement is also impressive, regardless of the engine, and there isn't a duffer among the CC's powerplants. The 1.8 TSI unit uses a turbocharger to achieve 158bhp and is smooth and eager to rev. The 2.0-litre TSI has 198bhp but used buyers are more likely to come across the 2.0-litre TDI diesels. With 138bhp or 168bhp, they feel strong and have plenty of torque. The lesser one achieves C02 emissions of 153g/km and 50mpg fuel economy is possible.

Overall

Good looks can get you a long way. The sixth-generation Passat saloon never really had them but, while still no matinee idol, the Passat CC is a good deal easier on the eye. Retaining the four door and a boot layout but adding a lower, leaner shape with extra curves, the CC became a much more desirable proposition.

There are only two rear seats and that might deter buyers with families but elsewhere the recipe is much the same as the Passat saloon. High equipment levels and strong engines make the CC a solid choice on the used market.

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