I’m not the biggest fan of the current range of Volkswagens, especially that hideous Tiguan. The range of cars seem to lack any form of classic styling, and don’t seem to step ahead in technology for other cars in the same price range.
With all of this in the back of my head, I felt obliged to accept the invitation by VW to come in and test drive the new Passat CC.
I had seen the Passat CC many times on the road, and thought it was just a copy of the Mercedes CLS (still remains one of the most attractive Mercs ever made), but cheaper. I thought VW was jumping on the 4 door, 4 seater saloon bandwagon. But how could a VW Passat CC possibly compare to that of the CLS, Audi S5 Sportsback and Porsche Panamera? Well they can’t, considering the Passat CC is under $100,000, and the others are over. But does price matter?
As I approached the Passat CC, it gave me special tingles. There was something about it that just gave me an urge. Sitting in the showroom, in silver, black tinted windows, black interior and huge wheels, it sat there like a coporate fat cat leaning back in his leather office chair with a cigar. It made all the other little cars around it quiver in their boots.
It’s big. It’s wide. It’s long. It’s chunky. It’s beautiful.
I opened the door, and the window electronically dropped down, which is what most convertibles and the Mercedes CLS do. First sign that they aren’t just pretending to be part of the 4 door, 4 seater Saloon pack. The sexy thin and small windows make this look like a performance vehicle – very similar to the CLS and the Chrysler 300c.
I climbed in, slammed the door shut and instantly felt at ease. The first 5 seconds of sitting in the car, I said I loved it. I hadn’t even turned it on yet. I felt safe, snug, secure. The dash was attractive, somehow looking nothing like the Passat sedan. It didn’t resemble a Golf, Polo, Tiguan or Touareg. It sat in a styling class of its own. Was I impressed? I sure was.
Turning on the largest engine in the range of VW vehicles, the V6, 220kW petrol engine felt liberting. Like I just threw my bra on a fire. (Or not?!) There is a diesel option available too, with 125kW of power and alot more fuel efficiency. The diesel lags abit for it’s size and weight.
It did a quick roar, then quietened down to a purr. All the pretty lights, screens and buttons illuminated. I had a play with my 12-way electrically adjustable seat functions. The sumptuous leather seats are heated and also ventilated, which I liked. The rear seats are also heated with dials in the back for the passengers. The giant glass roof slid open and I put down electric sunblind in the rear window, letting the Autumn sun soak the interior.
Lots of little touch compartments pop open, with storage for silly things. The dual climate controlled air conditioning is easy to use, and looks good. It doesn’t feel flimsy and cheap, like a Golf. The steering wheel needs a little bit of refining, but I couldn’t complain for the price. It is still functional and feels good.
The center console is also good looking, the gear shifter is odd looking, but not hard on the eyes. The center console is a little boring, with just a big box. There is a slide open compartment infront of the console, which is fairly basic too. The glove box is chilled when the air con is on. The sales person thought that feature would impress me – if that’s all he had to impress me, was it all down hill from there?
Driving out of the show room, I loved the feeling of the large engine as I accelerated. It sounded a little like a Donzi. It was asking me to push it hard. I pushed it hard and it packed a good punch. It’s not afraid to go when you want it to. It’s loved stopping too. One thing I will give VW, 9/10 on braking.
The ride was gentle, smooth and refined. Suspension is soft and supple.
It has all the comforts of a decent luxury car; optical parking system, satellite navigation, reverse camera, bluetooth and so on…
I like the car very much, and really enjoyed my test drive.
Likes: Seating comfort, glass roof, high specification for price, neat and tidy boot mechanism, tan leather option, diesel option is $10,000 cheaper then the petrol. Petrol is all wheel drive.
Dislikes: Rear centre console should be appointed differently – perhaps add something electrical. It looks bare and empty. You may as well put another seat in it’s place. Steering wheel could be a little more refined. Diesel engine is a little small for a car of it’s size and weight. The car only seems to look beautiful, depending on the colour combination you get. I have seen some on the road that look boring, but only because of the colour combinations. The two-tone leather interior option is not available in Australia.
Would I buy it? Thats hard to answer. If I was going to spend around $75,000 on a four door car, I’d be looking elsewhere. The reason you’d buy this car is for the seating configuration. If I wanted a four seater, with the comfort of four doors, then yes. But if I was prepared to pay more for the same style, I would definately go for the Mercedes CLS.
Price: Petrol engine – $71,000 on road. Diesel engine – $61,000 on road. The car I test drove was the diesel with the glass roof and satellite navigation package, on road cost is $76,000.