In-depth reviews

Volkswagen Passat CC review (2008-2011)

With a sportier design, the Volkswagen Passat CC is a stylish alternative to the standard Passat

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

  • Sporty design, great engines, sharp handling
  • No style updates, diesel performance, pricey

The Volkswagen Passat CC is the car for drivers who want the practicality of the standard Passat, but with a dose of extra style and a sportier driving experience. It used to be only available as a four-seater, but now comes with the option of a three-seat rear bench. The engine options all offer at least 158bhp and there's a powerful 296bhp 3.6-litre V6 at the top of the range.

In 2011, the Passat CC was replaced by the VW CC, essentially the Passat CC Mk2, but without the Passat name to help distance it from the regular Passat.

Engines, performance and drive

All models come fitted with a Sports suspension set-up, which is slightly stiffer than the normal Passat. It's still extremely comfortable, but it does mean the CC is sharper to drive. GT models get adaptive dampers, which can be switched between Comfort, Normal and Sport modes. The range kicks off with a smooth and punchy 1.8 TSI engine with 158bhp. It's as quick as you'll ever need, but could do with being more fuel-efficient. For that reason it's worth looking at the 2.0 TDI 170, which is just as quick but far more economical. A powerful 3.6-litre V6 petrol tops the range and offers 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds.

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

The CC is the sporty Passat, and for that reason it isn't available with any of the smaller, more efficient engines available in the standard car's line-up. The cleanest unit is the 2.0 TDI 140, which claims 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 125g/km. By contrast the 3.6-litre V6 manages just 30.4mpg. A fixed price service plan covers the car for 30,000 miles or three years.

Interior, design and technology

The Passat CC hasn't received the same visual updates that other Passat models received, but it's expected to get a refresh. Even so, it's still one of the best looking models in the Volkswagen line-up, with sharp creases and a low-slung roofline. Higher-spec models are differentiated by larger alloy wheels.

Practicality, comfort and boot space

With the rear seats in place, the Passat CC boasts a 532-litre boot – impressive considering its sporty shape and larger than its rivals, the Audi A4 or Mercedes C-Class. The rear seats can be folded for carrying larger items, too. The four-seat arrangement offers huge amounts of room for passengers, though you could opt for a three-seat rear bench instead. Entry-level models are equipped with Bluetooth, climate control, a multi-function steering wheel, electric front seats and a touchscreen audio system. The interior is well built and stylish, thanks to the addition of a pair of sports seats up front.

Reliability and Safety

The Passat CC has been on sale long enough for any faults to make themselves clear, and so far it's received a clean bill of health. This model hasn't been tested by Euro NCAP, but it shares many parts with the five-star rated Passat, and it comes with six airbags, ABS and ESP as standard.