It's a toss-up whether the 138bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel or the 158bhp 1.8 turbocharged petrol is the best engine. Both provide smooth, strong punch over a broad rev range starting below 2000rpm. Least favourite is the 3.6 V6 four-wheel-drive 4Motion model, which doesn't live up to the promise of its 295bhp. There's also a 197bhp 2.0 petrol and a 168bhp 2.0 diesel.
Volkswagen Passat CC Saloon ride & handling
The basis for the CC is the lowered and stiffened suspension from the Passat Sport saloon, but there's also the option of electronic control for each shock absorber, with a choice of three firmness settings. In its sportiest mode, this also firms up the steering, although feedback is never great. The ride can be jiggly on poor surfaces, but in most circumstances, the CC is smooth and fluid to drive.
Volkswagen Passat CC Saloon refinement
For a car with frameless side windows, the CC curbs wind noise admirably. The 2.0-litre diesels are smooth and quiet, the 1.8 petrol turbo is refined, but road noise is a bit too apparent on poor surfaces. The weakest link is the V6 with its semi-automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. It's neither as smooth nor as sweet-sounding as you have a right to expect, and the gearchanges with the 'box in fully automatic mode are slightly jerky.