New & Used Volkswagen CC: In Depth
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The Volkswagen CC is nominally a mid-size sedan, but its design is intended to look like a coupe, making it sleeker and more appealing than upright, capacious sedans in the conventional mode. The so-called four-door coupe look got its start with the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, and now also found in the Audi A7. But Volkswagen is one of the few volume makers to offer both a conventional mid-size sedan (the Passat) and a separate four-door coupe (the CC) of roughly the same size. It competes with a variety of sporty and entry luxury cars, from the Audi A4 to the Nissan Altima.
Now approaching its seventh year, the CC shared the underpinnings of the 2009 Passat sedan, which was replaced with a newer and larger model for 2012. VW's four-door coupe, in fact, was initially known as the Passat CC--although the two share no body panels at all. The CC's swept-back front end, sculpted body, and smoothly flowing roofline continues to set it apart from the current, more square-cut Passat. It stands apart as even more distinctive against that car--giving buyers of VW's mid-size sedans two polar opposites from which to choose.
The sleek lines of the CC do come at a price. As you might guess just looking at it, headroom is quite limited in back. But the interior is quite distinct from its last-generation Passat roots, with the appointments and trims of a much more luxurious vehicle and upgraded materials throughout. Taller adults will have trouble in the rear seat, even though the bucket seats back there are great, and the seating position will feel odd to some—with the low position causing visibility issues for some shorter drivers
The Volkswagen CC is powered by a familiar engine used in many Audi and VW vehicles. It's the 200-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder known as the 2.0T. A six-speed manual gearbox (a rarity among mid-size sedans itself) is standard. Through 2009, the option was a six-speed automatic transmission; starting in 2010, that was replaced by VW's excellent Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automated manual.
Also available is a 280-hp VR6, a V-6 engine designed with a very narrow angle between its cylinder banks, for compact size. It comes only with the DSG. In practice, though, the VR6 doesn't feel notably faster or more powerful than the turbo four. If you want VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive, you'll have to opt for the VR6 first--and it'll cost you substantially more.
Overall, the CC is a capable, nice-handling sedan, with great ride quality—firm yet absorbent. To some, the steering a bit too light in feel, but overall, the CC typifies Volkswagen's firm, "German engineered" handling and rides and drives well..
The first significant upgrade after the 2007 launch was in 2010, when the six-speed automatic was replaced across the board DSG automated manual. Bluetooth and an enhanced audio interface were made standard that year as well.
Then in 2013, the Volkswagen CC got a more significant update. It gained a new grille and front air dam, LED running lamps, and standard bi-xenon adaptive headlamps on the outside. Inside, VW refreshed the trim and cabin decor, and replaced the old two-position back seat with a three-position bench containing a fold-down armrest. Prices also rose appreciably. For 2014, Volkswagen is at last allowing buyers to pair the more fuel-efficient engine (2.0T) with the Executive trim, allowing some of the top features like premium sound, massage seats, and leather upholstery. Sirius XM Traffic, an 'Easy Open' motion-activated trunk opener, and Keyless Access with push-button start were added to that, while a rearview camera system was added for most of the model line.
Our favorite VW CC models remain the Sport, Sport Plus, and Lux four-cylinders, although many of the most desirable features, such as leather upholstery and premium audio, remained unavailable with the smaller engine. Of all the different CC variations, we recommend the base CC Sport, which comes well equipped with automatic climate control, heated seats, and an eight-speaker sound system. Though the VR6 and 4Motion models give you luxury levels of features and equipment, you'll face a sticker price of more than $40,000. For that money, you could get the additional dealer service that comes with an Acura, BMW, or even Mercedes-Benz.
Safety ratings for the CC haven't been perfect on all counts, but it has received all "good" scores from the IIHS and comes with stability control, side bags, and all the features good shoppers would look for in this segment. Rear side bags—one feature that's still quite rare—are optional.
A shooting brake version of the VW CC has been rumored, but not at all confirmed.