2009 Volkswagen Passat CC

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 by

Let’s get one thing straight immediately – the Passat CC shares very little in common with its namesake, the Passat. In fact, for all intents and purposes, it’s a completely different car.

Judging by the name, and taking into account naming history, the Passat CC should be a folding hardtop version of the erstwhile Passat, Volkwagen’s five-seater volume saloon that’s been around for years. The letters CC, on every car that has boasted them in the past, have denoted coupe-convertible.

But not this time. On the Passat CC, the last two letters stand for comfort coupe. But it’s not a coupe. It’s a saloon, dressed up to look like a coupe.  The best way to describe it is to look at the Mercedes-Benz CLS. Here was a saloon car that sacrificed a bit of practicality in terms of rear-seat passenger space for sharper lines, a lower roof and a generally sleeker profile. The Passat CC is cut from the same mould. It’s positioned above the standard Passat in Volkswagen’s range, offering a more ‘premium’ product that takes a bit more care over its appearance.

Putting the confusing name aside for a moment, the Passat CC does look handsome. It has a purposeful yet stately air about it, like a sheikh that’s also a respected athlete. It shares little more than a passing resemblance to the regular Passat – like a brother that moved away years ago and did very well for himself while the regular Passat stayed at home and worked at a fast foot joint.

And inside it’s considerably nicer than the standard Passat too. The design is logical and stylish although recognisably Volkswagen – don’t expect anything too outlandish when it comes to flair. The levels of refinement in terms of the touch and feel of the interior also feel a step above the traditional Passat fare (which is, to be fair, still pretty good).

The seats feature some fancy horizontal stitching on the leather and are nice and supportive – definitely chairs that you sit in, rather than on. The rear seats are also nicely sculpted, although there are only two of them – a storage tray in the middle stops any hopes of carrying a fifth person, which is a bit of shame. We’re sure another seat could have been shoehorned in for added practicality. However, the boot is of a decent size.

Fire the car up and the 2.0-litre engine purrs into life. It’s a fine unit, smooth and unruffled, with good throttle response that stops just short of being sporty – this is a cruiser rather than a sports car. Handling is also of a good standard – a decent amount of feel through the steering and a nimble chassis tuned to offer fine levels of comfort while being stiff enough to stop too much body roll around corners. The car features adaptive chassis control as standard – a series of buttons that allow you to select different suspension modes to focus on sportiness or comfort. The gearbox is a regular automatic – no twin-clutch DSG box here, although the auto is almost as good.

 

 

There are plenty of gadgets available on the Passat CC. The most fancy is Volkswagen’s Park Assist, which will parallel park the car automatically at the touch of a button. Press it, and sensors on the car’s side will find a space big enough as you drive past. Then the car will steer itself into the space – all you need do is accelerate and brake. It’s very impressive, although it requires quite a large space to work. Should you wish to cram the car into a tight spot, you’ll have to do it yourself.

Other available features include adaptive cruise control, which automatically slow the Passat CC down should a slower car appear in front of you, and then speeds up to the preset velocity once the road is clear. A reversing camera is also available.

The car is well equipped when it comes to safety. Standard features include curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, as well as front and side airbags for front seat occupants. ESP, ABS, brake assist and ISOFIX child safety seat fixings are all standard.

Additionally, the front of the car has been designed to offer maximum protection for pedestrians, which is good to know if those on the sidewalk wander aimlessly into the road.

Two versions of the Passat CC – an entry-level model and premium trim level with all the toys. Prices range between 115,000 and 139,500 AED.

Taken on its own merits, the Passat CC looks good and drives well. But we wonder if Volkswagen, in trying to offer a more premium version of the Passat, has shot itself in the foot by using the name of a much less glamorous car. Tell people you own a Passat and they’re unlikely to be terribly impressed. Tell them you own a Passat CC and unless they’re clued up, they’ll likely think you have a convertible version of a rather uninteresting saloon. Which will be a shame, as the Passat CC is better than that.

CC

Price: 115,000 – 139,500AED
Engine size: 2.0
Engine type: turbocharged four-cylinder
Driven wheels: front-wheel drive
Max power (bhp): 200
Max torque (Nm): 280
Trim levels: Basic, Premium
Standard safety features: ABS, ESP, pedestrian safety. Brake assist, curtain airbags, front airbags, side airbags, ASR,EDL,EDTC and TRSP

* Prices are indicative and may vary at the time of purchase. All prices are ex-Dubai showrooms. Please check with your local dealer for current prices and offers.

 

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