Volkswagen CC V6 FSI Review
Driven: VW CC. Scott Newman samples the latest V6 Volkswagen
Volkswagen CC V6 FSI
It seems that looks matter after all. How else do you explain the success of the four-door coupe? Germany, in particular, has embraced the concept with gusto. Mercedes-Benz got the ball rolling in 2004 with the CLS, and it's since been joined by the Porsche Panamera, Audi A7 and BMW Gran Coupe.
But while that lot fight it out in the rarefied atmosphere of the $150K+ bracket, Volkswagen has brought the sexed-up sedan to the masses with the Passat CC. Almost 3000 have hit Aussie roads since February '09, but now that it's a success, VW is not so keen for it to be associated with its plain-Jane sedan sibling. Like Sting, Prince and Bono, the artist formerly known as Passat now goes by a single moniker - CC.
The two-tier range starts at $54,990 for the 125TDI front-drive turbodiesel, then jumps $10K to the $64,990 all-wheel drive V6 FSI. This puts the CC smack-bang in the middle of a pricing no-man's land - identifying a direct rival is difficult.
Evolution rather than revolution was obviously the aim of the mid-life facelift. Look are, as ever, an acquired taste, but the front-end from the Phaeton limo works well and the LED taillights that spell out 'CC' (on the left-hand side anyway) are a nice touch. Two styles of 18-inch wheels are standard, with 19s a $1900 option.
The interior now seats five, but the middle rear passenger will be drawing the short straw. In the outer rear seats, legroom is good but headroom is a bit lacking.
The CC is packed with kit, though - climate control, sat-nav, heated seats front and rear (bar the middle pew), eight airbags and a rear-view camera are all standard, while a sunroof, premium audio and ventilated front seats (with massage function) can be had for extra. Also optional is a $3300 Driver Assistance package with safety tech like adaptive cruise, lane assist and blind-spot warnings.
On the road the CC is competent and capable without being particularly exciting. Both models are neutrally balanced with plenty of grip, thanks to 235/40R18 rubber all 'round. Push harder and understeer is the order of the day, with any attempts to move the rear stifled by the non-switchable ESP. You're better off to relax, switch the adaptive dampers from Sport to Normal or Comfort and enjoy the CC's impressive cross-country cruising capabilities.
The 220kW/350Nm V6 sounds meaty and revs hard to its 6500rpm change-up point (the six-speed DSG 'box won't hold gears), but the 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre TDI is $10K cheaper, much more frugal (5.7 versus 9.7L/100km) and feels better matched to the CC's relaxed temperament.
Either way, the CC's blend of comfort, luxury and style - at a price one-third that of the other German quasi-coupes - means it'll feel right at home parked outside the local yacht club.
Volkswagen CC V6 FSI
ENGINE: 3597cc V6, DOHC, 24v
POWER: 220kW @ 6600rpm
TORQUE: 350Nm @ 2400-3500rpm
GEARBOX: 6-speed dual-clutch
0-100km/h: 5.6sec (claimed)
TOP SPEED: 250km/h (limited)
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