2009 Volkswagen Passat CC
2009 Volkswagen Passat CC. Click image to enlarge

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First Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC

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Review and photos by Jil McIntosh

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2009 Volkswagen Passat CC

Oshawa, Ontario – It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and how true that is. But I would seriously question any eye that doesn’t see beauty in Volkswagen’s Passat CC, a stunning, swoopy design that must go down as one of the loveliest vehicles made in the last couple of decades.

Its “four-door coupe” styling isn’t new; we’ve seen it in the equally gorgeous Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. But while that model will start you off at $93,500, the Passat CC first clicks the cash register at $31,975. That gets you the base Sportline trim, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, producing 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, with six-speed manual transmission. An extra $1,400 buys a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic manual shift mode. My tester was the upper-trim Highline, which starts at $37,975; mine was equipped with the automatic, for a total of $39,375.

The four-cylinder comes strictly in front-wheel drive. If you want to take it a step further, you can opt for a naturally aspirated, 3.6-litre V6 producing 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The six-cylinder comes only with the six-speed automatic, solely in Highline trim, and exclusively with 4Motion all-wheel drive.

2009 Volkswagen Passat CC
2009 Volkswagen Passat CC. Click image to enlarge

You might have heard of Buffalo wings, a very popular chicken dish, and if you live in Southern Ontario, as I do, you’ve probably headed over the border to Buffalo, New York to get the real thing. That’s what my neighbour suggested we do, and so we loaded up the Passat CC (which stands for “comfort coupe,” Volkswagen says), and three of us went on an overnight trip to do some shopping and finish up with a dinner of spicy chicken wings at the Anchor Bar Restaurant, which claims to have invented the recipe.

It’s about 185 km one-way, and we left home and made our way down to the highway. At first, the CC’s ride seems a bit off base: given the car’s appearance, you’re expecting a very soft and luxurious ride, not the firmer Passat suspension. But that’s strictly about perception, and once I settled into the car – which was made a bit firmer by the winter tires it still wore – I appreciated its composure and well-planted feel on the highway. Buffalo is justifiably famous for its pavement in some of the older neighbourhoods – in some areas the asphalt looks like the craters of the moon – and this is where the CC’s suspension really shone, taking up the bumps without crashing or banging over them. Steering inputs are answered quickly and accurately, and there’s a nice balance to the wheel: heavy enough that you know you’re in control, but light enough that it isn’t tiring when driving for long periods of time.

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