2011 Volkswagen CC Review

Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
February 11, 2011

The 2011 Volkswagen CC has performance that doesn't altogether match its sexy shape, and seating space is disappointing, but otherwise there's a lot to like.

While basically a restyled version of Volkswagen's conservative Passat sedan (no longer offered for 2011 while an all-new version waits in the wings), the CC hits an entirely different aesthetic realm—and to many, looks like a more expensive car than it is.

If you feel that the 2011 Volkswagen CC feels a little bit like an auto-show concept, or a much more expensive vehicle, you're not alone. The CC takes after the Mercedes-Benz CLS with its stunning, coupe-like silhouette, frameless windows, and long, flowing design—including nice rear styling that tucks neatly down. The Volkswagen CC's interior still stands out several years after introduction; it includes details like contrast stitching, contrast color themes for the upholstery, and pleasing, upscale trims that aren't typical in a car that starts well under the $30k mark.

While the strong, sleek appearance of the 2011 Volkswagen CC might suggest sport sedan, it's not quite that. All of the CC models are quick on the straight line, though they don't handle with the verve of a sport sedan, clearly trading off some crispness for comfort. The engine that powers most of the CC line is the excellent 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder, making 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, and we much prefer it to the 3.6-liter VR6 engine that's available (only in 4Motion all-wheel-drive guise). VW's excellent DSG automatic is now offered in the CC, and we like it or the standard manual. The VR6, which has to be revved a bit, simply doesn't move the CC that much quicker to justify its fuel economy figures, of just 17 mpg city.

Review continues below

The VW CC handles well, but that's not its forte. Most of the lineup—especially the four-cylinder models—ride quite well, and lavish interior trims feel luxury-car caliber; the interior is tight and serene, too.

But take even a brief look at the rather odd seating arrangement and slightly cramped backseat, and it's abundantly clear that the Volkswagen CC is a vehicle that was designed for form over function. Backseat space isn't passable for adults, for head room reasons, while the front-seat position is, for lack of terse terms, a bit odd.

Volkswagen hasn't skimped on features in the CC sedans; all of them, even the base Sport, come very well-equipped. The CC is available in Sport, Lux, and Executive models, with Sport and Lux models getting the four-cylinder engine and the Executive upgrading to the VR6 and 4Motionn all-wheel drive.

Bluetooth connectivity is now standard on all models, along with a new sound system that includes an auxiliary input and iPod connectivity. The navigation system in the CC is an all-new unit this year, while the top Dynaudio sound system is now only offered on the top Executive VR6.

9

2011 Volkswagen CC

Styling

The Volkswagen CC still looks different than any other sedan in this class; if the curvy exterior isn't enough to pull you in, the elegant, inspiring interior just might.

If you feel that the 2011 Volkswagen CC feels a little bit like an auto-show concept, or a much more expensive vehicle, you're not alone. The CC takes after the Mercedes-Benz CLS with its stunning, coupe-like silhouette, frameless windows, and long, flowing design—including nice rear styling that tucks neatly down. Whether or not you take offense to anything with four doors calling itself a coupe, VW has successfully produced a very elegant overall design, with the exception of rather long overhangs (especially in the front).

The Volkswagen CC's interior still stands out several years after introduction; it includes details like contrast stitching, contrast color themes for the upholstery, and pleasing, upscale trims that aren't typical in a car that starts well under the $30k mark.

8

2011 Volkswagen CC

Performance

Those who expect a sport sedan are going to be disappointed with the CC's handling, but base four-cylinder models are quite perky.

While the strong, sleek appearance of the 2011 Volkswagen CC might suggest sport sedan, it's not quite that. All of the CC models are quick on the straight line, though they don't handle with the verve of a sport sedan, clearly trading off some crispness for comfort.

The engine that powers most of the CC line is the excellent 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder, making 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Base Sport models comes standard with a six-speed manual, while Volkswagen's nice, quick-shifting six-speed DSG automatic is now optional on four-cylinder models. Both offer sprightly performance; the manual transmission is nice in the CC, with a nice clutch takeup, though its linkage is a bit notchy.

Volkswagen's narrow-angle V-6 (called the VR6) is optional, here in 3.6-liter guise and making 280 horsepower. It has a different character entirely—rather gruff and vocal, and needing to be revved to extract its torque. The engine functions pretty well with its six-speed automatic, but upshifts can be lumpy and downshifts hesitant. Overall, because the four makes its torque down low and the six needs to be revved, the four is actually the more drivable of the two—and the VR6 in its mandatory 4Motion guise doesn't seem any perkier (while using a lot more fuel, at just 17 mpg city).

The VW CC handles well, but overall it's unremarkable due to overboosted, feather-light steering that lacks any sense of road feel; we also feel that the four-cylinder model handles a bit better, though. Brakes are also a disappointment—they're too touchy and tough to modulate, though they are strong and capable.

7

2011 Volkswagen CC

Comfort & Quality

Seating is a bit odd, but in most respects the CC offers a luxury-car experience.

Take even a brief look at the rather odd seating arrangement and slightly cramped backseat, and it's abundantly clear that the Volkswagen CC is a vehicle that was designed for form over function.

Front seats in the CC are in themselves very comfortable, but there's an odd low position to them; you might raise the seat height, but when you do, there's not a lot of headroom to work with. There's only space for two in back, with the middle rear seat eschewed for a comfy armrest and built-in cup holders. Headroom in back is tight for taller occupants. On the other hand, the trunk is huge, and the split-folding back seat folds forward flat, and easily.

Seating misgivings aside, the CC feels far more lavish and expensive than the base versions' price of well under $30,000 would indicate. Materials and trims feel luxury-car-caliber, there's evidence of a lot of thought put into cubbies and bins, and the interior is serene. The leather upholstery of upper trims is nice, but we also like the somewhat grippy cloth of the base models. The ride in the Passat CC is generally smooth, but it's better on the lower trims; the upgraded wheels and tires tax the chassis and result in road noise and sharp kicks transmitted to the cabin on less than ideal roads.

8

2011 Volkswagen CC

Safety

Outward visibility can be an issue with the curvy body and thick pillars of the CC, but strong safety equipment and good test scores paint a secure impression.

Although the safety profile isn't complete for the 2011 Volkswagen CC, it offers some very positive indicators for the safety-conscious, including all the safety features that are expected in this class—plus a few more.

Side and side-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes are all standard in the CC, and rear side bags, a feature not always offered in this class, are optional.

On the down side, visibility in the CC is downright poor—nearly as much as in some low-slung sports cars—and the steeply raked windshield and backlight provide a rather narrow slit through which to view the world. Front and rear parking aids are optional.

Altogether, the crash-test information that's out there is good. While the CC hasn't been tested in the federal government's revised NCAP system that's being introduced for 2011, under the old tests it rated four of five stars in the frontal driver, frontal passenger, and side rear passenger categories, while it manages five stars for its side driver crash protection. More importantly, the IIHS gives the current 2011 CC top 'good' ratings in frontal, side, and rear impact areas.

8

2011 Volkswagen CC

Features

The base 2011 Volkswagen CC Sport is a strong value, but VW wraps some popular options into models/packages costing thousands more.

Volkswagen hasn't skimped on features in the CC sedans; all of them, even the base Sport, come very well-equipped. A single-zone automatic climate control system, heated leatherette power seats, and an eight-speaker premium sound system with CD changer are all on the standard-equipment list, while top Executive VR6 4Motion models, priced about $12,000 higher, get dual-zone climate control, the Panorama sunroof, a rear sunshade, bi-xenon headlamps, a parking aid, heated mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers, along with the upgraded wheels.

The CC is available in Sport, Lux, and Executive models, with Sport and Lux models getting the four-cylinder engine and the Executive upgrading to the VR6 and 4Motionn all-wheel drive.

In between, options have been consolidated down to just a few packaged. There's the R-Line Package just above the Sport, adding fog lamps, silver-painted alloys, special valences, and tinted taillamps. Also, Lux and Lux Plus models add Executive-level features to the four-cylinder platform. Dual-zone climate control, brushed aluminum trim, and a navigation system are included in the Lux, and the Lux Plus adds a rearview camera, footwell lighting, and Vavona wood trim, plus a panoramic sunroof. At the top, the Lux Limited package adds bi-xenon headlamps and alloy wheels.

Bluetooth connectivity is now standard on all models, along with a new sound system that includes an auxiliary input and iPod connectivity. The navigation system in the CC is an all-new unit this year, while the top Dynaudio sound system is now only offered on the top Executive VR6.

6

2011 Volkswagen CC

Fuel Economy

For such a large sedan, the Volkswagen CC is a reasonably green choice—provided you get it in four-cylinder form.

At an EPA-rated 22 mpg city, 32 highway with the automatic transmission and four-cylinder, the 2011 Volkswagen CC has some pretty impressive fuel economy numbers for such a large car. However as soon as you step up to the V-6 engine (which includes 4Motion all-wheel drive), the CC gets a lackluster 17/25.

The CC four-cylinder isn't class-leading, but it's mileage is about the same as four-cylinder models of other engaging sedans such as the Mazda6 and Nissan Altima.

Next year Volkswagen will introduce a new Passat, which will be considerably greener, as most of the lineup will be powered by a TDI diesel four-cylinder allowing a highway rating of more than 40 mpg.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
USED PRICE RANGE
$5,977 - $13,988
Browse Used Listings
in your area
8.0
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 9.0
Performance 8.0
Comfort & Quality 7.0
Safety 8.0
Features 8.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
Compare the 2011 Volkswagen CC against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Volkswagen CC?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used