Volkswagen CC

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Volkswagen CC TDI 140 Blue Motion Tech

Price: £25,345 (CC prices from £24,205)

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, turbocharged

Transmission: six-speed manual (also available with six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox)

Power: 140 PS at 4,200 rpm

Torque: 320 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm

Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 60.1 mpg

CO2 emissions: 125 g/km

Top speed: 133 mph

Acceleration (0-62 mph): 9.8 seconds

Mercedes pulled off quite a coup when it reclothed the sensible E-Class and invented – some say reinvented - the four-door coupé in the form of the CLS. In fact it was such a good idea, Volkswagen decided to do something similar with the Passat, and the result was the Passat CC, a car that gave buyers that wonderful CLS look for about half the price.

That first Mercedes CLS has now been replaced by an all-new model and the time has also come for the Passat CC to get a bit of a mid-life update. The biggest change of all is probably the name. The updated car still shares a great deal with the Passat under the skin but is now simply badged CC – that’s part of a deliberate attempt to distance it from the main Passat range so that it can occupy a position between those cars and the larger, more luxurious Phaeton. But if the name is now shorter, the equipment list has got a lot longer. Among the new technical features that are available are climate comfort windows, which help reduce heat build-up, and assistance systems such as fatigue detection, Side Assist Plus and Lane Assist, which help keep the CC on the straight and narrow, and traffic sign detection, which reads and alerts the driver to, speed limits and no-overtaking signs. There’s also a new system called Dynamic Light Assist, an automatic headlight dipping system that intelligently shapes the beam to maximise lighting effect while reducing glare to other road users. A slightly gimmicky option is Easy Open, which allows you to open the boot-lid by waving your foot beneath the rear bumper, which should be a boon if you have both hands full but seems to be difficult to activate reliably in practice.

There have been some external modifications as well, and, given that the Passat CC’s looks were one of its strong points, the alterations are mercifully small, being restricted mainly to a tweaking of the head and tail-lamps, changes that bring the CC a bit more into line with the latest sharp-edged Volkswagen look. In my book, that’s a slightly mixed blessing as they also make the CC a little less distinctive, but the important thing is that this car’s the attractive silhouette has broadly been maintained.

When it comes to mechanical changes, the (generally good) news is that there aren’t really any. The CC offers the same range of smooth and efficient four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines as before, which do such a good job that very few prospective buyers will mourn the loss of the previous 3.6-litre V6 option from the UK line-up. And that all means that out on the road, the CC doesn’t really feel very different to the Passat CC – it has the same performance, the same refined character, the same marvellous levels of noise suppression. They haven’t changed it very much, and that, for the most part, is a very good thing.

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