A coupe with no complexes
Nashville, Tennessee - The 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC has all the ingredients of a coupe: the aerodynamic styling, the swooping roofline and the aggressive character. Yet, it features not two but four doors. This nifty trick (like the one Mercedes-Benz pulled off with their CLS) is a reminder that this sedan is actually a sporty coupe.
Whatever it is, and whatever definition purists might come up with, I was delighted to find myself on the road with this semi-premium German hero. It's safe to assume that it will make big waves in a market segment currently dominated by the Honda Accord Coupe and Nissan Altima Coupe. The little CC (which stands for "Comfort Coupe") had plenty to showcase during my brief road test around Nashville.
Stylish and classy
In terms of design, Volkswagen may not have reinvented anything, but it sure improved the recipe. The Passat CC displays a striking silhouette, although I must admit that it looks much smaller than the concepts of a year ago.
Officially described as a small midsize car, the CC sports the familiar Volkswagen front grille, not to mention air-slicing, downward-sloping hood lines. Meanwhile, the softly arched roofline further enhances the aerodynamic looks.
It all culminates with a highly modern rear end featuring blood-injected, eye-shaped taillights which follow the character lines on each side of the car. To be quite honest, I must say that the Volkswagen Passat CC is one of the most stunning new models I had the opportunity to try out this year. It definitely has the makings of a small Audi coupe, no matter what company executives might tell you.
VW designers also surpassed themselves inside. The Passat CC offers a vast interior, nicely supportive seats and a refined-looking dashboard with extensive use of brushed aluminum.
My generously-equipped tester contained a large, user-friendly touch screen for the optional navigation system and multimedia interface. That said, even the base model boasts a comprehensive dashboard and significant design improvements.
Surprisingly, the rear seats are very accommodating and offer ample room for passengers. I even asked a tall reporter from Edmonton, who stands 6'2'', to sit in the back and give me a confirmation. With all that shoulder room and headroom at his disposal, he said he found the trip quite comfortable.
Overall, the interior is pleasantly laid out and material selection is commendable, helping position the Passat CC as an upscale, if not premium, automobile -- exactly what the company wants.
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