Long-term update: 2012 VW CC faster than we expected
We’ve had our V6-powered 2012 Volkswagen Passat CC for more than four months now. But it’s only today that we finally decided to take it out for a 0-100 kph flog. Truth be told, we always thought the CC was quick, but not that quick. But we were totally flabbergasted when the timings came in, so much so that we couldn’t wait to share it.
But first thing’s first. It needs to be said that we’ve had the VW since it was brand new, given to us with less than 500 km on the clock. We’ve taken care of it since then, respecting the break-in period, not driving in high-revving ‘sport’ mode all the time like some nincompoops, and using ‘Super 98’ petrol most of the time, even though the fuel-cap says it can handle ‘Special 95’ juice. We even got to drive it long enough to ‘train’ the computers in our style of driving, so we’ve had none of the weird throttle-delay and weird-shifting issues that hinder us in other European short-term test cars.
That said, our VW CC is not the basic 4-cylinder turbo front-wheel-drive model, but rather, the naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre “FSI” V6 model, complete with direct injection, 6-speed dual-clutch automanual gearbox and one of the best all-wheel-drive systems we’ve ever encountered.
The torquey 300 hp engine is deceptively docile in normal ‘drive’ mode, but springs to life when the transmission is slipped into ‘sport’ mode, holding low gears and revving till redline. The 350 Nm of torque peaks at only 2400 rpm, and stays that much all the way till 5300 rpm. There is never any shortage of juice with the 3.6-litre V6, even on highway overtaking, which is the weak point of the 2.0-litre turbo model. However, the buildup of power is so smooth that we always assumed this car is no faster than a Nissan Maxima, likely unable to break the 7-second barrier on the 0-100 kph run. But boy were we wrong.
The V6 also comes with an awesome proactive all-wheel-drive system, meaning there doesn’t need to be sandy wheelspin or wet weather for it to send power to the back wheels. It just sends power to each wheel based on what gives the best traction, even in dry weather. It is closer to the system on the Nissan GT-R than the crappy wheelspinning setup on the Lexus RX 350.
We finally took it out to a flat piece of tarmac to do a 0-100 kph run. We noted the outside temperature — 32 degrees Celsius, as indicated by the car’s gauges, and turned off the traction control, even though it makes little difference with all-wheel-drive. We slipped the shifter into “sport” mode, although we left the suspension in “comfort”, revved up to only 2000 rpm and let it rip.
We clocked in an astounding 0-100 kph time of 6.1 seconds. According to the manufacturer, it is capable of 5.6 seconds. Still, that’s faster than the Nissan Maxima. Hell, that’s faster than the VW Golf R, the Chrysler 300C, and the Chevrolet Camaro SS. You could still take it on with some other stalwarts, such as the Infiniti G37 or a Volvo S60 T6, but to truly beat it, you’d need a BMW 550i, Ford Mustang GT or a Porsche 911 GTS. And the best part is we could do it all day, and hardly lose anything in the rain as well.
Interestingly, the VW’s handling matches up to its sporting acceleration too, with insane grip levels and sharp suspension, let down somewhat only by its disconnected feedback from the steering and the brake pedal. But that’s forgivable, considering how exceedingly comfortable it is, more so than cars like the Infiniti M56 S.
As we said before, this is quite possibly the best midsize sedan we’ve ever driven at its price. If we weren’t shopping for a 4×4, we’d have bought this car off Volkswagen Middle East in a heartbeat.
Original Mileage When Borrowed: 435 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 11,420 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 10.6 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0