The beauty is that almost nobody will know how special it is
Look at this Volkswagen Passat CC. It looks nice enough, in a pretty colour, but it doesnâ€™t seem any different to the multitude of other diesel-engined models out there for sensible money, does it? Well, not at first glance. But look again at the tech specs. Yes, that does say â€˜3.6 V6 FSIâ€™.
Which means, yes, it does have a big old lump of a V6 engine under the bonnet, one that produces a healthy 300bhp. Which suddenly means its classy four-door coupe body shape â€“ a budget Mercedes-Benz CLS, if you will â€“ makes perfect sense. Particularly if you let someone else shoulder the depreciation.
Volkswagen Passat CC 3.6 V6 FSI GT
Price new:Â Â£31,050
Yours for:Â Â£8,291
Engine:Â 3.6-litre, V6, petrol
Transmission:Â 6-speed DSG, four-wheel drive
First registered:Â 2009
Recorded mileage:Â 63,000
This was a Â£31k car when new, which is why they didnâ€™t sell many. And a ripe old 28mpg thirst and Â£540 annual road tax show the cost of running such a big old engine today. But if you donâ€™t do many miles and do like real rarities, thereâ€™s a lot to like here, and a lot of reason to search high and low for one.
Thereâ€™s even more kudos than you might first think as well. The engine is actually shared with the Passat R36 saloon, a four-door saloon big brother to the much-loved Golf R32. People have forgotten the Passat too, but thatâ€™s a pity as it had plenty going for it.
As the Passat CC inherits its four-wheel drive system and DSG gearbox, it means 0-62mph takes just 5.6 seconds. It will have the measure of pretty much every hot hatch on the road, which will certainly cause a surprise at the traffic lights. As will the creamy engine note that emanates from it while doing so.
Itâ€™s not the most feedback-filled car to drive, but the four-wheel drive system gives lots of grip, meaning itâ€™s foolproof in all weathers. Adaptive suspension delivers a smooth ride and the four-door access is not just there for show â€“ being a Volkswagen, this is a sensibly laid-out model thatâ€™s perfectly feasible for everyday family transport. It even has a big boot.
What we really like is the fact itâ€™s a genuine old-school GT in terms of character. It looks sleek yet understated, has no OTT badges, wings or spoilers to give away the engine beneath, and will both surprise many a performance car while devouring high miles and long distances in absolute comfort and refinement.
It might take a bit of man maths to contend with the running costs, but at just over Â£8k for this well-equipped machine secondhand, thereâ€™s no doubting the value it offers. If youâ€™re in the market for a big-engined BMW or Mercedes-Benz, consider broadening your search just a little. Surprises such as this will deliver daily pleasure for less than the price of a mid-range city car.
And the fact it looks just like a fuel-efficient diesel means nobody need ever know â€“ itâ€™s your little secret, right up until you come across a chancer at the lightsâ€¦