Volkswagen's latest iteration of the Passat looks remarkably different from its forebear, and brings in a host of electronics usually reserved for expensive luxury cars. But we are most excited about the all-new navigation and entertainment system, which looks to be a big improvement on Volkswagen's current offering. The car will be imported to the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2008.
For Europe, the Passat CC will be offered with diesel and gasoline engines, but only two of the gasoline engines will be offered in the U.S. The Passat CC comes to the U.S. with either a 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder putting out 197 horsepower or a 3.6-liter V-6 making 276 horsepower. Interestingly, a 158 horsepower 1.8-liter engine for the European model can be paired with a seven speed version of Volkswagen's DSG.
Volkswagen considers the Passat CC a four door coupe, following the lead of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-class. Although we might disagree with that designation, there is no denying that the Passat CC is a good-looking car.
The Passat CC uses the most aggressive lane departure prevention we have ever seen. If you start to drift into another lane, it will steer back into its own lane. Of course, the turn signal turns this function off, and the driver can easily overcome the car's corrections. Along with that, the car also features adaptive cruise control and self-parking.
We have been very disappointed with Volkswagen's current navigation, so it was nice to see this new system. We just hope it has a fast enough processor to keep up with the car's actual position. From our brief time with it on the show floor, it seemed to respond quickly.
A tab at the bottom of the screen brings up four different map options, including 2D and 3D views. There is a topographic option, which didn't seem to work in this demo model, but we were really interested to see a traffic option.
A push of the Media button brought up this screen, which shows that the Passat CC has an in-dash hard drive, which most likely holds the navigation maps and works as a music server. It also has an SD card slot at the front of the unit and a CD/DVD drive.