Black is Black
Volkswagen have been busy updating their model range of the past couple of years, with a new Passat launched in 2014. One exception is the CC which is based on the Passat & although it has recently seen an upgrade, it is not actually new being built on the 2005 architecture of the previous model Passat.
German saloons are remarkably popular with company car drivers in the UK, so back in 2008, Volkswagen launched a new top of the range Passat & called it the Passat CC. Aimed specifically to compete with Audis A4 & BMW’s 3/5 Series, it sold a respectable 6,948 units in the UK in 2011, but by 2016 this figure had dropped off as the model started to show it’s age.Volkswagen have been busy updating their model range over the past couple of years, with a new Passat launched in 2014, the CC though has recently seen just an upgrade, as it is not actually a new model being built on the 2005 architecture of the previous model Passat.
We go to test the CC R-Line Black Edition recently, which offers customers a few extras over & above the other models in the CC range.
It may be getting on a bit, but the CC is an attractive car, with sleek narrow lights & a large VW corporate grille at he front. There are lovely frameless doors as well. Inside, the cabin is very VW, being well built & it even feels quite upmarket. With a black dashboard, black leather seats & a black interior roof covering, its is dark in the cabin. Thankfully there is a sun roof which on a sunny September day made it much brighter. In the back, the coupe style does the rear passengers no favours, with the swooping roofline eating into rear head room & also makes getting in & out more difficult. As with all VW’s, the CC doesn’t shout too loud at the driver, keeping to VW’s simple philosophy, which appeals to me.
If you’ve driven any VAG model, the switchgear is reassuringly familiar & works extremely well. The front & rear seats are almost bucket like in style & consequently very supportive. Although you’d be hard pressed to get an adult to sit comfortably in the centre seat in the rear, the other two rear sets come with great legroom & but with the CC’s slanting roof line, the head room is compromised as is entry & exit to the back. Those of you who need a boot get 452 litres of space with the seats in place, 33 less than the standard Passat. But be warned, it it isn’t very deep & will probably only take a couple of suitcases. The seats do fold down flat though to increase the load space when required.
What really surprised me about the CC is how it handles. It may be getting long in the tooth, but it’s fun to drive,hugging corners & with precise steering it felt good to drive & reminded me more of a youthful carefree twenty something. Unsurprisingly, the CC likes motorways. It’s smooth & with extra insulation, quiet in the cabin at high speeds & guaranteed to land you safely at your destination feeling relaxed & happy.
My test model came armed with everything, including front & rear parking sensors, bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights & heated electrically adjustable front seats. VW’s Discover SatNav with a 6.5” colour touchscreen is a highlight & with Car-Net providing on line access to traffic, parking & weather information, my longest trip to Surrey & back was made all the more enjoyable as I was able to circumvent some problems as I headed around the M25. What isn’t standard though is adaptive cruise control £735, lane assist with side scan £930, park assist £210 & 19” Talladega wheels £735. The 19” rims do not help the ride at all which is incredibly firm.
The CC may have bee updated bit there’s no hiding the fact that it’s showing it’s age. It’s fun to drive & it looks great but that is about it. The moral of this story really, is that if you are considering a German coupe saloon, you are better off looking at whats on offer from BMW with the 4 Series Gran Coupe. It’s not far behind Audi or Mercedes Benz in build quality, but these models are newer & that is why if you want a CC, you should wait for the new model to arrive.
Overall, a Bastian Schweinsteiger 2.5/5.
Price £33,485; Engine 4 cyls, 1968cc, diesel; Power 181bhp at 3500-4000rpm; Torque 280lb ft at 1750-3250rpm; Gearbox 6-spd dual-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1607kg; 0-62mph 8.1sec; Top speed 144mph; Economy 56.5mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 130g/km, 26%