Watch these curves
Volkswagen’s Passat CC is a luxury sedan at an affordable price, writes NEIL DOWLING
PEOPLE can be so unkind. Remember the stretchedrubber curves of the Ford Taurus sold here briefly in 1996-98?
Continuing Ford’s then organic styling and later disastrously adopted by the AU Falcon, the Taurus was never a hit because of its shape. Basically, people ridiculed it.
But was it the shape or was it just a bit too much too soon?
When Mercedes launched the CLS in 2005 with the same jellymould style, onlookers raved and buyers queued.
Now Volkswagen has its own interpretation of what the Europeans class as a coupe, albeit one with four doors.
It’s too easy to look upon Volkswagen’s Passat CC (for Comfort Coupe) and suggest it’s a steal from the Mercedes CLS. Or the Taurus.
It has similarities with the Merc with its target as premium-car buyers, but delivers a four-door, four-seat luxury sedan at an affordable price.
There are two models, turbodiesel and all-wheel-drive V6 petrol, at $54,990 and $65,990 respectively.
The V6 gets the big Audi-VW 3.6-litre unit that is surprisingly quick and, if you don’t drive with your body weight on the accelerator pedal, happily fuel efficient.
Externally the car is stunning. Inside, it’s practical and very Audi-ish, with soft leather, alloy trim and comprehensive, discreetly placed features.
You expect quality from Volkswagen, but this is above the company’s normal level.
It equates more to the Audi — arguably the world’s best-built production car — in the way the doors shut, the switches work, the dials illuminate, the seats glide and the stereo sings.
On the road the CC is a solid thoroughbred sedan that mimics the driver’s whims and doesn’t upset passengers’ tranquillity.
It could be $20,000 more and you’d be happy. But of course, you’re even happier it isn’t.
Most buyers want the diesel CC. It has the peppy 2-litre engine found in most Audi, VW and Skoda vehicles.
The petrol model is $11,000 more and has less fuel economy, though the feature list is stronger and includes the all-wheel-drive system and more power from the big V6.
It’s quieter than the diesel and not only better suits the premium image Volkswagen seeks, but also appeases buyers who like performance.
Premium image: the Passat CC is a quality product in the way the doors shut, the switches work, the dials illuminate and the seats glide.