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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
No surprise that it feels plenty strong around town and on the highway
Hats off to VW for making a 6-speed manual transmission available
The electro-mechanical steering felt a little numb
Road and Track
The graceful, athletic exterior of the new 2009 Volkswagen CC appears to promise sports-car-like performance, but editors at TheCarConnection.com are disappointed with some of the Volkswagen CC's driving characteristics. Other automotive experts point out some flaws with the 2009 Volkswagen CC's handling and steering, but the base models win points for their comfortable ride.
The 2009 Volkswagen CC comes with two available engine options, both of which turn out to be strong and willing performers. On the base Volkswagen 2009 CC models, Road and Track reports that drivers will be working with "VW's impressive 200-bhp, 16-valve 2.0-liter turbo-4" churning out 207 pound-feet of wheel-spinning torque. Autoblog reviewers are impressed with the base engine, finding that it accelerates "with only slight hesitation and almost no hint of turbo lag." The downside to the lack of turbo lag is that there is no explosive burst of speed at higher RPMs, but many drivers will consider it an acceptable trade-off. Moving up to the V-6 trims of the 2009 Volkswagen CC, Edmunds says a "narrow-angle 3.6-liter V6" that "produces 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque" sits under the hood. This engine is decidedly more powerful, as evidenced by Edmunds performance testing, in which a 2009 Volkswagen CC VR6 4Motion runs "from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds," or approximately "the same as a BMW 328i."
Power-hungry buyers might be tempted to spring for the Volkswagen CC's available V-6 engine, but ConsumerGuide remarks that the base turbo-4 "moves with impressive pep from a stop and delivers decent mid-range and highway-passing power," so don't write off the four-banger simply because it's lacking a pair of cylinders.
Unlike many midsize luxury coupes, the 2009 Volkswagen CC offers a true manual-transmission option. However, Motor Trend cautions that the manual is "available with the 2.0-liter turbo only," while the V-6-powered models get "a six-speed automatic with Tiptronic." Driving enthusiasts will definitely want to look into the manual option, although they might have to look rather hard since MyRide.com predicts "it might reach only 5 percent of overall sales." Still, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com indicate it's a much more compliant transmission, as ConsumerGuide notes the "automatic transmission lacks smoothness compared to most premium-midsize rivals." TheCarConnection.com's editors agree the automatic transmission is a disappointment, but according to Edmunds, the automatic is the only choice for those interested in the "optional all-wheel-drive system that's only available with the VR6 engine."
Highway fuel economy for the 2009 Volkswagen CC is very respectable, but the city numbers leave a bit to be desired. According to the official EPA estimates, a four-cylinder Volkswagen 2009 CC with the manual transmission should return 21 mpg city, 31 highway, while the four-cylinder paired with the automatic gets 19/29 mpg. The 4Motion V-6 variant of the Volkswagen CC gets the lowest fuel economy, at 17/25 mpg.
Despite the sporty appearance that dominates the exterior design language of the 2009 Volkswagen CC, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com don't indicate a high fun-to-drive factor for VW's new coupe. Edmunds admits that the Volkswagen CC "is hardly what we'd describe as a sports sedan," thanks to the fact that "the electric power steering is devoid of feel and doesn't lend a lot of confidence." This complaint is echoed by Road and Track reviewers, who claim that "the electro-mechanical steering felt a little numb." Autoblog adds one more voice to the criticism, noting that the steering "seemed heavy at slow speeds, and light but numb at highway speeds." On the positive side, ConsumerGuide reports that the 2009 Volkswagen CC exhibits "good grip and minimal body lean in turns." Other performance highlights for the Volkswagen 2009 CC include a comfortable overall ride, with Jalopnik declaring that the CC "manages near total isolation without compromising handling ability."
While the numb steering feel discourages spirited driving in the 2009 Volkswagen CC, it offers satisfying overall performance.