With its creamy white paint and its black and cream two-tone leather interior, this Passat CC makes a mighty nice facsimile of a luxury sedan. When I first heard that Volkswagen planned a four-door, coupe-style version of its Passat sedan, I thought it was a silly idea. But the new set of duds, both outside and in, really transform the Passat into an elegant piece of work. The ride and handling are crisp, and the six-speed manual adds a nice touch of sportiness and mates well with the turbo four-cylinder. All in all, I remain far more impressed by this car than I ever thought I would be.
One little oddity: the key fob has to be pushed into a hole in the dash to start the car, a slightly cumbersome procedure. You turn off the car by pushing in on the fob and pulling it out. Then all four of the frameless side windows drop slightly in their tracks, so that the doors can be opened. About 20 or 30 seconds later, they rise back into place. It's not a big deal, but the noise made by these procedures is a little loud and jarring.
Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor