Vw coupe looks for higher ground
Volkswagen’s Passat CC loses the Passat nameplate but gains another seat. Sadly the CC also loses some visual appeal
A PREMIUM new look won’t necessarily attract a premium price when the Volkswagen CC four-door coupe goes on sale in June or July.
Vw previewed its repositioned CC in France last week. The company’s Australian spokeswoman Nina Willoughby says the price won’t reflect the equipment upgrades as the Passat-based coupe is moved upmarket.
The aim is to take sales from the Mercedes-benz C-class Coupe and bmw3 Series.
Final specification is still being determined for Australia but the car will be better value when it arrives, Willoughby says.
The CC range will continue with two models in Australia— the 2.0-litre turbo diesel that delivers 125kw/350nm via the front wheels and the all-wheel drive 3.6-litre V6. The current vehicles are priced at $54,990 and $64,990, respectively.
Carsguide expects vw to keep price rises to a minimum— about $1500- $2000— to enhance the value comparison with rivals.
There’s a lot of bling to choose from on the European options list for vw australia. Adaptive chassis control is already available but the combined side warning and lane departure system is a first for vw and one that makes sense in this car. Radar monitors approaching vehicles, cameras focus on lane markings and the safety minder alerts the driver if there is a car in the rear three-quarter
‘‘ blind spot’’ or if they try to change lanes without indicating.
Adaptive cruise control is likely in the standard car to match the C-class. Satellite navigation and the adaptive headlight system— which dims parts of the high beam to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers or the vehicle in front — also could be on the list.
The horizontal grille and trimmed headlamps differentiate the new CC from the existing Passat CC range. Designers had no choice with the former— it’s part of the Vw corporate look— but embraced the three-bar grille to give the impression the new car is wider and lower than it is.
Dimensions are virtually unchanged from the Passat, with a 1mm trim in length the only difference, and new LED tail-lights continue the flat and clean look at the rear. The result is a typically tidy vw style that lets the coupe silhouette define the car.
A three-seat rear pew is expected to be standard in Australia, though the scalloped side seats make the centre seat suitable only for under-sized occupants. Buyers who want the carry-over two-seat layout will find it is a no-cost option.
Six airbags and a solid body make the existing Passat CC a five-star car. The CC continues this approach and will be one of the safest VWS on the road. The fatigue detection system monitors steering inputs and, if there are repeated minor corrections of the wheel, it uses visual and audio cues to alert a tired driver.
The CC drives like a Passat CC, which is no bad thing. The improved sound-deadening works on both models and there is only a muted growl from the base turbo diesel under heavy acceleration.
The range-topping V6 snarls harder but is still subdued enough to give owners a sense of power without becoming intrusive.
The steering is light but direct. The lack of feedback can be forgiven as this doesn’t pretend to be a sports car.
It feels more upmarket than the Passat but doesn’t have the tactile feedback to challenge a BMW OR Mercedes-benz. It
doesn’t cost as much either.
The move away from the Passat nameplate makes the CC hard to pin down.
It’s not a true prestige car but it certainly is better than most rivals at the predicted price. And that will give the VW A unique slot in the market — it has the looks and style to be a premium model but it will come down to pricing and specification of the Australian vehicles to determine whether it can find an easily identifiable niche. And we won’t know those details until closer to the mid-year launch.
New perspective: The CC’S styling is typically tidy. Horizontal grille and trimmed headlamps enhance the impression that the car is wider and lower than it is; (above) the quality rear cabin