Given the exceptional steering, evocative design and a dash of luxury, that’s what the letters “CC” should stand for!
Bearing the fore-tag of one of the most practical yet comfortable sedans in the market, the Passat CC is the most impressive input from Volkswagen to liven up a value-conscious market that is driven by a ubiquitous and sudden penchant for sporting luxury.
Honestly, the name Passat is a misnomer for a car designed to flaunt its sporting prowess rather than practical comfort (which by the way it has in plenty and explains the name Comfort Coupe). Hence you will often see it referred to by even its maker as merely the CC.
Even before it could complete its first 6-speed cycle, I knew I had to take it out on a long route. I chose the winding roads to Fujairah, with the mountains rising on both sides like welcoming wallpaper and the road offering enough challenges for a gratifying drive.
The CC has exceptional drive manners. Its light, effortless and precise steering control, with almost zero overplay, makes cornering so well measured and graceful. The steering is one of the best, especially on the highway; it’s like an unhampered flow of rich cream that leaves you satisfied at the delicious maneuver you just completed. Interchange speed limits too may be tested confidently with its effortless precision, rarely found in cars that cost less than 175K. Further, the CC comes with bending lights that compliment the steering at night.
If you are driving the 2.0 L version like me, be aware that this isn’t a car that gives you a feel of its power on a 300 m dash between signals. Once you are on the motorway, the power responds fluently to your call. On city roads, the CC rakes up an impressive torque range in bursts, with an effortless streak up to the 5500rpm range – which simply means excellent passing acceleration whenever you are out to impress. But the acceleration pedal hits the ground too soon, and power plateaus just when you get used to the generous mid range torque (mind you, it’s the 2.0 L CC I’m talking about). That said, never during the laid-back and comfortable journey did grains on the road disrupt the driving pleasure!
The sport engine roar is music to the motorist. Usually staying within the gentlemanly demeanour of a Passat, the CC gathers its voice worth the hardy motoring turf when pushed.
Three nights after I drove the CC up the Fujairah hills, butterflies fluttered in my dreams, like they did in my stomach during the drive. Not surprising, given the psychedelic effect those large butterfly eyes at the rear have. Those lights of the CC make it stand out from any other model on the road, though not very Volkswagen like. The classic VW arch has been pulled and flattened a bit to suit its sporty disposition and sometimes brings the Mercedes CL class to mind from the distance. But thanks to it, the sunroof cannot be drawn back, only lifted.
Cabin and Controls
The insides are elegant, premium and yet minimalistic and matter-of-fact in styling. With a bit of wood to complement the flagship Volkswagen flair, the CC offers pure leather as well as elegant fabric finishes to its comfortable, sporty seats.
Strangely, there is ‘nothing to hold on to’ when the car takes on sharp bends. Grip handles are conspicuously absent in this car. Agreed, passengers don’t get to know road imperfections, and the car doesn’t stray an inch from the intended path but it’s basic courtesy to have grip handles even for a car with minimal body roll.
The navigation unit is among the best in class, with accurate assistance for parking. The driver information system, as expected of VW, is amply adequate while the music system is good enough to keep you company on long runs – you won’t tire of it! In the night, the dash lights up in an amber glow, and highlights the trims that could belong to a class way above!
Passat, whether it’s the sedan or the CC, offers an absolutely secure feeling while driving with the family, like few other cars in their category does. Families with toddlers or infants: be wary of the sharp glass windows, exposed due to the coupe styling.
The boot is deep and spacious but the centre seat at the back is merely for the cup-holders to rest, sparsely usable due to the leather lump in between. Overall ride comfort too is better in front.
The CC delivers fuel figures that are pretty impressive, given its sporty dynamics – though I achieved only around 9.5 L per 100 km as against the company claimed 7.9L mixed mileage.
The Passat CC, or simply CC, is perfect for those who wish to have power up their sleeves but wouldn’t want to flaunt it at every light they take off from!