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The Volkswagen Passat CC seems like an irrelevance - until you drive it ...

22 May 2009

NECESSITY may be the mother of invention, but nobody needed Volkswagen to develop a sleeker and lower version of its capable but dull mid-sized Passat sedan. Yet here it is anyway, the Passat CC 'Comfort Coupe', with four doors, four seats and one of the most powerful four-cylinder turbo-diesels available in base TDI guise. The thing is, VW has priced its BMW 3 Series competitor compellingly, packing it with features while matching and even exceeding many so-called luxury rivals for comfort and dynamic capability. So the question is: Do prestige sedan or coupe buyers actually need to consider the Passat CC TDI?

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 February 2009 to 1 June 2012

Previous model

Volkswagen B5 Passat W8

Released: May 2003
Ended: July 2004
Family Tree: CC

Volkswagen B5 Passat W8 (May 2003 to July 2004)VW has attempted the luxury Passat thing before, stuffing an oddball “W8” 202kW 4.0-litre DOHC eight-cylinder petrol engine mated to a five-speed sequential-shift automatic gearbox, into its fifth-generation Passat sedan. The 370Nm of torque was sent via Audi’s Torsen differential quattro system to all four wheels, resulting in excellent roadholding. But the net outcome was disappointingly uneventful since the sheer weight of this uber-Passat smothered the performance potential of the W8 powerplant. Few people bought one of these $100,000 Camrys anyway, despite VW throwing every conceivable luxury item available at the time inside, and so the unloved W8 quietly vanished without a trace.

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