A fresh design and new name help the Volkswagen CC stay fresh, but the key problems with the previous car remain. While it looks smarter and feels sportier then the normal Passat on which it’s based, the driving experience and interior design simply aren’t special enough to justify the much higher price tag.
Most cars are given a visual overhaul halfway through their life cycle, but few have their name changed in the process. That’s what VW has done with the Passat CC, though.
As well as carrying out a facelift, it has dropped Passat from the badge, so the car is now simply called the CC – short for Comfort Coupe.
Cynics may interpret this as an attempt to hide the car’s humdrum ancestry and distract potential buyers from the high price. The range starts from around £24,000, but if you go for our GT and add a few options, you’ll be looking at more than £30,000. That’s Audi A6
To be fair, our car came fitted with sat-nav (which incidentally is standard on the base model, too), as well as adaptive dampers. It also had the dual-clutch DSG, but while the box is generally impressive, at lower speeds it doesn’t change gears as smoothly as a traditional auto with a torque converter. And despite VW’s attempts to disguise it with the change of name, the CC is still very much a Passat underneath.
True, it feels sportier thanks to the firmer ride, but the numb steering means it still lacks that key ingredient required for a good coupé: fun. This is a fatal flaw in a car with a similar price to a BMW 3 Series
The CC is also found wanting in the style stakes. Although the exterior looks smart enough, the interior lacks the panache of cars like the Citroen DS5
The quality of the finish is better and everything works in that reassuring VW way, but the dashboard has been lifted straight from a regular Passat. So although the new name has no reference to the CC’s roots, drivers are constantly reminded of what they’re really driving.