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 doesn’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 ‘3.6 V6 FSI’.
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 – a budget Mercedes-Benz CLS, if you will – makes perfect sense. Particularly if you let someone else shoulder the depreciation.
Volkswagen Passat CC 3.6 V6 FSI GT
Price new: £31,050
Yours for: £8,291
Engine: 3.6-litre, V6, petrol
Transmission: 6-speed DSG, four-wheel drive
First registered: 2009
Recorded mileage: 63,000
This was a £31k car when new, which is why they didn’t sell many. And a ripe old 28mpg thirst and £540 annual road tax show the cost of running such a big old engine today. But if you don’t do many miles and do like real rarities, there’s a lot to like here, and a lot of reason to search high and low for one.
There’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 that’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.
It’s not the most feedback-filled car to drive, but the four-wheel drive system gives lots of grip, meaning it’s foolproof in all weathers. Adaptive suspension delivers a smooth ride and the four-door access is not just there for show – being a Volkswagen, this is a sensibly laid-out model that’s perfectly feasible for everyday family transport. It even has a big boot.
What we really like is the fact it’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 £8k for this well-equipped machine secondhand, there’s no doubting the value it offers. If you’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 – it’s your little secret, right up until you come across a chancer at the lights…