By Tom SeymourVolkswagen has dropped the Passat name from its next generation CC to move the model further away from the standard corporate saloon segment and drum up more exclusivity for customers.Designers have given the CC an ever stronger coupé profile than the previous model and the front and rear bumpers have been re-profiled.It's difficult to shift ties with the Passat completely though, as the design evolution is still clearly influenced by the standard saloon and it's still a practical four-door vehicle. The interior is classic VW with high build quality, leather and well thought out dash controls.Standard specification is high with RNS 315 touchscreen satellite navigation system, DAB digital radio, iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, two-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights and battery regeneration (plus stop-start and multifunction computer with gear change recommendation for optimum fuel consumption on BlueMotion Technology diesel models). The top trim GT tested here adds further high quality items like heated front seats, full Nappa leather upholstery, three-mode adaptive chassis control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and heat insulating tinted glass from the B-pillar back. Being inside the GT's cabin is a luxurious experi-ence befitting of the price which almost hits £30,000 when loaded with options. Extras on this model include keyless entry including start/stop button on centre console, hands-free boot opening (£525) and metallic paint at £495.It's still much cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz CLS at £46,860 for the entry level model, which admittedly is a different market. Customers won't get the Mercedes badge prestige, but the quality on the GT trim is very high.There's still the same great choice of engines available in the CC and the lower powered 140bhp diesel will be a popular option, offering a refined drive with ample acceleration. It's not a sporty engine and the CC doesn't like being thrown about on twisty roads, but progress on commutes is swift enough and excellent noise suppression make it quite a relaxing experience behind the wheel.VW's Bluemotion technology ensures drivers can return close to 50mpg and the six-speed DSG is still a benchmark for how automatic transmissions should be.SpecificationPrice £28,565Engine 2.0-litre diesel 140bhpPerformance 0-62mph 9.8 sec; top speed 132mphTransmission 6-sp DSG autoEfficiency 53.3mpg; 139g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 44.5%Rivals Mercedes-Benz CLSNew car marketNewsCV ShownewsUsed car analysisNews RecruitmentdigestDealer profileShowroomDriven Volkswagen CC GT BlueMotion - on sale nowDrumming up exclusivity
XC60 is set to woo buyersDriven Volvo XC60 D3 Drive SE - on sale nowBy Jeremy BennettIt's too early to say what the long-term impact of the Range Rover Evoque's headline grabbing, award-winning romp into the market is on the Volvo XC60. While the jury is out, Volvo is well prepared to mount a plucky defence. In the showroom, customers will be wooed away from German and homegrown
competition with selling points focusing on the sporty, 'crossover' characteristics of a coupé mixed with high ground clearance, the widest boot opening in the segment, a world-first 'city safety' feature designed to help avoid frontal collisions at low speeds slowing the car
automatically (the dashboard-mounted red warning light will scare the bejesus out of you the first time it goes off), and integrated child's booster cushions.So far, the confidence is paying off.
Registrations are up 7.9% to 1,301 to the end of March, with the D5 AWD SE Lux the most popular model accounting for 11% of the sales. Our car was the lower spec, manual, as opposed to the Geartronic automatic models. The SE spec - falling between ES and SE Lux - gains rain sensors, rear park assist, power operated tailgate and electric folding door mirrors with ground lights, enhanced upholstery, Bluetooth hands-free kit, auto dimming rear view mirror and audio system with USB socket and eight speakers.With Geartronic you pay for the technology with sacrifices to economy and performance. Maximum speed and acceleration is reduced to 118mph and 10.9 seconds respectively and if you're a company car driver you will note the increase in CO2 emissions to 179g/km. So the percentage of P11D price goes up from 19 to 25.There are opportunities for dealers to upsell R-design to R-Design Lux. The R-Design Lux features include autofolding power door mirrors with ground lights, autodimming rear view mirror, a better sound audio system with
Bluetooth, grocery bag holder, power folding rear headrests and a power adjustable driver's seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors. Exterior details include a rain sensor, rear park assist, active bending headlights and headlight cleaning system.Additional packs available include the new 'inscription' (for SE Lux models), which adds soft leather upholstery, driver and passenger electric lumbar support, front centre armrest in leather and contrasting stitching, unique door panels, inscription logo treadplates and 20" Avior alloy wheels. SpecificationPrice £29,750Engine 2.4-litre dieselPerformance 0-62mph 10.4 secs; top speed 121mphTransmission 6-sp manualEfficiency 49.6mpg, 149g/km CO2RV (3yr/30k) 45%Rivals Audi Q5, Range Rover XC60, Evoque, BMW X3, Land Rover