- Dramatic styling
- Luxury-level interior trim
- Quiet, smooth ride
- Responsive powertrain (2.0T, DSG)
- Odd seating position in front
- Limited rear headroom
- All-wheel-drive VR6 model is pricey
The 2015 Volkswagen CC sacrifices some usability for style; it's a grown-up's compromise between a true two-door coupe and a stodgier sedan.
The Volkswagen CC originally entered the market wearing the Passat CC badge. Since then, VW has changed the Passat family sedan completely, and the two no longer have enough in common to share a name. The CC is the company's "four-door coupe," the lineup's more style-focused four-door offering. This fashionable sedan also includes a little more luxury content than the workaday Passat, which puts its price tag a little higher than the Passat's as well. You can think of the CC as sitting between the Passat and a true luxury sedan--good looks while staying relatively affordable at most trim levels.
For 2013, 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 three-person back seat to replace the stylish but less practical two-person setup from previous model years, as well as 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 gets the coupe name. 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. As an added touch, the door windows are frameless, like on most true coupes.
While the CC might look like a serious sport sedan--or one with serious luxury credentials--it doesn't quite deliver to that impression. What it does deliver, however, is better performance than what you might expect considering the 2015 CC's $31k base price: It essentially drives much like the Passat in its more luxurious guises, with refinement clearly taking the priority over edginess or all-out performance.
Although two powertrains are offered, 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 4Motion counterpart. The four churns out plenty of low- and mid-range torque with only a slight delay if revs are at the low end, while the narrow-angle six-cylinder 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. Front 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 short on headroom, and the curvy roofline makes entry and exit difficult even for adults of average height. But the interior trims look and feel luxury-grade, the ride is absorbent and controlled, and the trunk is huge.
The 2015 Volkswagen CC is offered in Sport, Executive, and R-Line trims equipped with the 2.0T, as well as in the VR6 Executive 4Motion model. The sole updates for 2015 are related to optional wheel designs: 18-inch St. Louis wheels will be available at the start of production, while 18-inch Shanghai wheels will come online later in the model year.