Car: VW Passat CC GT 3.6
Owned since: October 2016
Previously owned: Too many to list - an Audi TT preceded the CC
"It was time for a new family car, the list for which looked to be made up of dozens of SUVs that did nothing for me. My partner and I couldn't agree so I suggested that, rather than change her car, I bought something that fitted the kids in AND that I would enjoy driving, allowing her to keep her trusty Picasso. So it was agreed that my much loved Audi TT would go and the search for a BMW 335i commenced. Somehow I ended up with the CC... I'd always considered the Passat CC a handsome beast. However, not being aware of the R36-powered 3.6 model's existence, I was taken by surprise when I spotted this model at a local dealer. After a quick drive it was a done deal. Coupe looks, space for four and some serious performance to boot. The engine is terrific and it was comprehensively quicker than my outgoing TT."
What I wish I'd known:
"Despite being a range-topping model there were a few items missing from the spec sheet that I just presumed would be there, parking sensors being the main culprit. This thing takes some parking and it really could do with them; I can only believe whoever ordered it new assumed the same as me. It's longer than a standard Passat and with much reduced coupe visibility. I haven't pranged it yet - but my wife has steadfastly refused to drive it because of this. Which has defeated the object of buying it somewhat!"
"That engine! Until you have driven one you would not believe how relentlessly rapid this thing is. It's very smooth and urgent and the VR6 unit makes a proper spine tingling noise when you kick it down. This car completely catches everyone unawares and is a proper Q car. Nearly 300hp and 60 in 5.5 seconds means it can take on far more exotic machinery. All in serene comfort. The switchable suspension and 4WD make good partners; with sport mode engaged and the DSG also locked into sport make this surprisingly fast cross country. Also on a long run - and I kid you not - the large engine combined with the DSG means range is good and I have seen low 30s mpg. I can live with that."
Things I hate:
"Not too much really. It is by far the largest car I have owned, being a long-time fan of small coupes and two-seaters. So the size does grate sometimes. But it's that size that makes is such a hit with the family. The kids love it and there is plenty of space. The rear seats are both individual bucket type items. My daughter often claims she likes being seen in it stepping out of it and it's the only car the two kids have asked to go out 'for a drive' in."
"In the six months I have owned it's had one service £135 at a local VW specialist and a new set of front pads and discs at £280. Tyres will be next on the list."
Where I've been:
"Just finished a family holiday in France where it swept us along for over 1,000 miles in comfort. Back in February there was an impromptu drive to North Wales after a chum bought himself a 997 and a drive around the evo Triangle was in order as I had never done it. The Passat CC looked a bit incongruous next to the 911, an Aston Martin V8 Vantage and a V8 M3 but, due to the crap weather, it did not let itself down - I won't be trying to keep up with them in the summer months though! It surprised me with its ability to hang on in there with the group and lead the way in the pitch black as we headed down to Hereford, its 4WD system offering security that the powerful rear-drive cars couldn't."
"I think it's going to be a 987 Boxster S which will eventually replace it, but that will only come once I have given in and bought my wife the SUV - I'm in no hurry! This car in this specification is very rare and I get a kick out of it every time I squeeze the right hand pedal. With 'HowManyLeft' currently showing only 10 registered 3.6 models on UK roads, it's about as exclusive as I am going to get for the £9K I paid."