Volkswagen Passat CC saloon (2008-2011)
"With its sleek, rakish design, the four-door Passat CC sets a new standard of desirability for VW’s family car."
- More stylish than Passat saloon
- Low-slung, sporty driving position
- Powerful yet economical engines
- Not cheap to buy
- Rear headroom compromised by styling
- Comfort reduced by sporty set up
Sleek looks and a dramatic nose set the Passat CC (Comfort Coupe) apart from the Passat saloon. The four-door model, which gets the arcing profile of a coupe, is also very luxurious, with a high level of standard equipment. Although its low, wide stance might make it look impractical, there’s just as much legroom as there is in the standard saloon, and the boot is nearly as big. It only loses out a little on rear headroom. However, it has a good chunk of character that the saloon simply does not, making it a real rival to premium saloons like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The 168bhp 1.8 TSI petrol and 138bhp 2.0 TDI diesel engines offer a good balance of acceleration and fuel economy, returning 38.2mpg and 50.4mpg respectively. As with the Passat saloon and estate, there’s a £250 fixed-price servicing plan available that covers three years or 30,000 miles. The CC is a fairly new model, so resale values aren’t quite clear yet, although it’s predicted to hold its value even better than the saloon – so it’s a good investment. Avoid the range topping 3.6-litre V6 petrol edition if you want to keep costs down.
Engines, drive & performance
As its name suggests, the Passat Comfort Coupe isn’t a particularly sporty car to drive. It does have some sporty traits though, like a low-set driving position, a short, snappy gearchange and firm suspension. The punchier engines from the Passat range - three petrols and two diesels – are offered. But of the five available engines, it’s the least powerful that are the best, with plenty of power but reasonable running costs. VW’s optional DSG automatic gearbox provides quick, smooth gear changes, while actually improving fuel economy on the 1.8 TSI petrol version.
Interior & comfort
Top-spec GT cars get adaptive suspension, which allows the driver to switch between a softer, more comfortable ride and a firmer, sportier setup. Both four and five-seat cabin layouts are available. Either way, passenger space isn’t an issue, and all occupants - save for the middle rear, perhaps - will find the CC airy - even if rear headroom is limited by the arcing roofline. Two-zone climate control is standard too, allowing passengers at either side in front to set individual temperatures.
Practicality & boot space
At its 2008 launch, all Passat CCs were strictly four-seaters. However, an April 2010 update added a small fifth seat, making the CC nearly as practical as the standard saloon. The car has a lower roofline, but both front seat passengers have plenty of headroom. Taller rear occupants might find their heads too close to the roof lining, but the width and length of the CC means it provides ample leg and shoulder room. The boot is vast, with 532 litres of space, which is 19 litres bigger than the Passat Estate with its seats up!
Reliability & safety
There have been no reports of major reliability issues, although around half of the CC’s components come from the Passat saloon, which didn’t perform well in the 2010 Driver Power owner survey. Electrical issues were the main gripe with the standard Passat. Safety however is judged to be first rate. The car gets traction control as standard and both driver and passenger airbags
Price, value for money & options
The CC’s engine and trim line-up is simpler than the saloon’s, with just two specification levels – standard and GT – and both are generously equipped. All cars get touchscreen satellite navigation as standard, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels and two-zone air conditioning. GT specification adds bigger wheels, leather seats and adaptive suspension. The Passat CC does cost notably more than the saloon, but it is a far more stylish and better-equipped car.