Edric has had it with pointless “niche” models.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Edric has had it with pointless “niche” models.

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IMAGINE you were tasked educate a newly landed alien (by this I mean a creature from a different planet, not a suitcasecarrying immigrant) about the ways of the automotive world. You would have a hard time explaining the existence of certain models currently on sale.

The Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake (above), for instance. In fact, the CLS saloon itself would take some explaining. “

Well, it’s essentially an E-Class saloon underneath, but completely redesigned for those who want more style, and don’t mind giving up decent headroom and rear legroom for it.”

And the CLS Shooting Brake? “It’s for someone who likes the CLS, but who wants more boot space to accommodate all the sports gear from his incredibly outdoorsy lifestyle. Or who at least wants people to think that he has one.”

“So,” the green spaceman would say, looking at you with his goggly, unblinking eyes, “the CLS Shooting Brake is a more practical version of a less practical spin-off of the E-Class?”

“Uh, yes, something like that.” And the alien would return to his planet and report to his leader that no, he has still not found intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

What other cars make no sense? Crossover coupes, for a start. To me, a coupe is a low-slung, purposeful device which, by dint of being lighter, wider and sitting lower than its saloon equivalent, is quicker and handles better. And is better looking, of course.

So why on earth would I want a coupe with a foot of ground clearance and a heavy, complex all-wheel-drive setup giving me off-road capabilities that I am never going to use?

Yet, there are tons of such buyers apparently, as shown by the popularity of BMW’s X6. And it’s popular enough to spawn copycat cars such as BMW’s own X4 and Mercedes’ GLE Coupe.

Which is why I like VW’s model range very much, Dieselgate notwithstanding. Every VW model serves a clearly defined, easily understood purpose.

Need a small MPV for your young brood? That’ll be the Touran for you. Need a bigger MPV because your oncecute munchkins are now lanky, broody teenagers? The Sharan it is. Midsize family hatch? Golf. Mid-size family saloon? Jetta. Fullsize saloon? Passat. Fancy a stylish coupe? Scirocco.

So no strange, niche-filling oddities in the VW range. Save for one jarring anomaly – the CC. It’s a relic from the late 2000s, when Volkswagen saw all the money Mercedes was making with its CLS “four-door coupe”, and decided to jump on the bandwagon.

And the CC was not alone either; BMW (with its 6 Series Gran Coupe) and Audi (with its A7) having done likewise. Still doesn’t make it right, though.

But it could have been worse. They could have come up with a VW CC Variant.

The only pointless oddity in the VW lineup is the CC “comfort coupe”.
The only pointless oddity in the VW lineup is the CC “comfort coupe”.
More: saloon coupe