Sunday, April 13, 2008

VW Passat CC - Surprising style and comfort

Winds of change seem to finally blow through VW designing studios. Although, VW is a very successful manufacturer, from a financial point of, view it seemed constricted into producing well-rounded and purposeful but completely lifeless cars. I saw the fist glimpse of light last year with the new and crisp 5th VW Golf GTi. But VW’ s designers seem to be on fire; 2 months ago I laid my eyes on their new frisky creation VW Sciroco, which definitely started shaping up a fresher character for the German manufacturer, and they are not willing to pace themselves.

Today the design house put a smile on my face again. It was about time to look after the heavy retired-looking Passat. They thought straight and related Passat CC – Comfortable coupe - to the lean and sporty look which runs lately in the family.

The interior does reflect and complements the whole concept but only to a certain extend. You see, although it isn’t brand new, like the dashboard which feels quite familiar, is definitely upgraded. There are new seats back and front and several handy gadgets to show off. In terms of space it would be unfair for Passat CC to even compete in the sedan category. It’s actually a slick four-door car in a coupe body with smooth lines completing its rear part. Thus, reflecting its new toned-up shape, four spacious seats are definitely adequate.

Since, the head and legroom is really good and got right the surprisingly improved interior as well, VW threw in the manufacturing equation the final and standard factor; their reputed German quality, so consider the looks' box ticked.

The designer guys worked hard, straining their eyes over complicated sketches and calculations but delivered their job well and then called the engineers. The engineers loved the idea and started working on how to finally solve the equation producing a brilliant result. The Passat CC is a big car indeed, so first task to tone-up the engine. The 2.0 turbo diesel is the standard edition and although producing a quite moderate 140bhp there's plenty of torque to accelerate willingly. It only feels willing though, because of the good tuning, but Passat CC is actually more willing to joge rather than sprint, hence the 9.8 seconds for 0-62 mph is not an impressive performance at all. The good news is that a 170bhp version is expected soon and will improve things a lot. Beyond that, the range is complete with the very serious options of a 197bhp 2.0 TSI or an all-wheel drive 3.6-litre V6 petrol unit delivering 296bhp which will definitely shake things up in the category.

I think I am a believer now. Like its German rival and teacher Mercedes, VW has developed the Passat CC into a superb car, offering a great combination of looks, status and performance in almost half the price of its competition. The pictures above are only a few days old, so be honest now, how do you fancy it?


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