The Passat badge might have disappeared from the name of the Volkswagen CC in 2012, but it’s still very much part of the same family.
UK customers (with company car drivers accounting for about 80% of CC sales) have a choice of engines from the Passat range.
Volkswagen believes the bespoke styling of the CC (which stands for comfort coupé) is better able to offer user choosers a potentially better value alternative to cars such as the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The coupé definition seems to have evolved in the last few years as the CC (and its Passat CC predecessor) have four doors, a trend perhaps started with the Mercedes-Benz CLS – a more upmarket alternative to the E-Class – and with other manufacturers creating their own versions.
The CC has matured with a more sophisticated appearance, with tasteful chrome and more vertical lines in the styling. It is also now available with a three-seat bench in the rear as an alternative to the two individual seats offered by the Passat CC. Cars are rarely travelled in five-up, but customers like to have the option while the used market strongly prefers five seats in this class.
Our 2.0 TDI test car used the 140bhp diesel found in many other Volkswagen products. Performance is more than adequate but customers can also choose a 170bhp variant with a very modest penalty in fuel consumption and CO2.
Standard specification on the entry-level CC includes touchscreen satellite navigation system, digital radio, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and battery regeneration with stop/start as part of the Bluemotion Technology package on diesel variants.
Customers can choose to upgrade to a GT for a premium of just over £2,200 to add Nappa leather with heated front seats, larger alloy wheels, adaptive chassis control, front foglights and cruise control. There is a vast range of hi-tech options, most also available on the Passat, but in keeping with the preference of many drivers to tick a few boxes if the car remains within their allowance.
Refinement is exceptional, improved even over the current Passat, and the CC makes for ideal transport on longer motorway trips.
Our test car was fitted with optional sports suspension, which seems incongruous with the description of the vehicle as a “comfort coupé”, as it did seem to struggle with rippled and uneven surfaces on the fenland roads of my commute.
But if Volkswagen is expecting to lure drivers away from their A4s and 3 Series then it must include the option.
My personal preference would be for standard suspension and the DSG transmission. It is meant to be a “comfort coupé” after all.