Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Coupe with Comfort

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Coupe with Comfort

Article excerpt

Byline: ENDA MULLEN

WHEN Mercedes launched its CLS saloon-cum-coupe a few years back, some so-called experts scoffed at a car they thought was somewhat strange looking.

The conclusion, in some quarters at least, was that it would never catch on.

Such a wayward prediction might not quite have been on a par with the A&R man at Decca who said guitar groups were on the way out when given the chance to sign The Beatle, but those who slated the CLS were forced to eat their words as this four-door saloon masquerading as a coupe became a hit.

When people look back years from now I suspect the CLS might even be seen as the Mercedes that defined the entire brand in the early part of the 21st century. So much so that manufacturers are now queuing up to come up with their own take on a four or fivedoor saloon/hatch that looks a little more sleek and out of the ordinary.

Volkswagen was the first on the case and made no secret of the fact with the launch of the Passat CC. This extensively restyled and reshaped Passat does indeed bear more than a passing resemblance to a CLC. It would be unfair to call it a poor man''s CLC, yet at the same time such a description does not do it a disservice.

Volkswagen certainly pulled it off when it comes to creating something eye-catching and desirable, though arguably it makes the standard Passat look rather dull in comparison.

Underneath its stylish exterior, the CC is virtually the same as the standard Passat, though the inside does have a different and bespoke kind of feel.

Interestingly until recently it only came as a fourseater, though you can now choose between four and five-seat versions.

Quite how three adult passengers might cope in the rear given the lowered roofline and more curvaceous roof design is anyone''s guess, but it certainly makes the CC more tempting as a practical family motor. …

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