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The Volkswagen CC originally entered the market as the Passat CC; but it's for the better that the name was shortened; while VW has gained an even more laser-like focus on the American family-sedan market with its latest Passat, the CC is its "four-door coupe" and has served a completely different role in the lineup. There's way more intrigue, fashion sense, and visual interest in the CC--as well as a few more luxury items and trims--and it locks into the German automaker's lineup a notch above the Passat, while keeping the price (at least for most versions) relatively affordable.
Just last year Volkswagen gave the CC a mid-cycle refresh that kept its distinct profile but redrew some of the details in front and in back (adding LED lamps, among other upscale touches). Other noteworthy changes then included a rejiggered three-person back seat (in earlier model years you'll find a stylish but less practical two-person setup), and upgraded materials for the dash and cabin.
Even with the demise of the bucket-seat setup in back, VW still calls the CC a four-door coupe, and while up close it might look decidedly like a sedan, if you step back and view this model's side profile, it's easy to see why. it has proportions that hint 'rear-wheel-drive sport sedan' to some (and nod to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, among others), even though it's a front-driver.While the CC might look like a serious sport sedan--or one with serious luxury credentials--it doesn't quite deliver to that impression. On the other hand what it does deliver, performance-wise, is better than what you might expect considering the 2013 CC's $31k base price: It essentially drives just much like the Passat in its more luxurious guises, with refinement clearly taking the priority over edginess or all-out performance.
We remain convinced that there's only one way to get the CC: with the 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (2.0T). Models with it feel lighter and more nimble than their top-of-the-line VR6 and 4Motion counterparts. The four churns out plenty of low- and mid-rev torque with only a slight delay if revs are at the low end, while the narrow-angle VR6 is spirited but seems to take a moment more to build steam.
It's not all that surprising that you lose a little practicality in moving from a more upright design like that of the Passat to the CC's swoopier package. Headroom is a bit tight, and you'll either love or hate the somewhat 'scooped up' driving position. The three-passenger back seat is comfortable, but headroom is tight and the curvy roofline makes entry and exit tougher than you might think. But the interior trims look and feel luxury-grade, the ride is absorbent and controlled, and the trunk is huge.
The 2014 Volkswagen CC is now offered in Sport, R-Line, 2.0T Executive, and VR6 Executive models. Now for 2014, the big news is that you no longer have to get the V6 in order to enjoy the top Executive trim--allowing you to pair the more fuel-efficient engine with some of the top features like premium sound, massage seats, and leather upholstery. The VR6 model remains the only one in the lineup to get all-wheel drive. New for 2014, the Executive 2.0T steps up to those features plus navigation with Sirius XM Traffic, an 'Easy Open' motion-activated trunk opener, Keyless Access with push-button start, and a new 18-inch alloy wheel design. Sport models now get LED daytime running lamps, Adaptive Front Lighting, navigation, and a rearview camera.
- Stylish exterior
- Nicely trimmed interior
- Quiet, smooth ride
- Responsive powertrain (2.0T, DSG)
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- Odd seating position in front
- Limited rear headroom
- Top VR6 models come at an Audi price