Volkswagen CC Review

2013 Volkswagen CC R-Line Sedan Exterior

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The Volkswagen CC is a sedan for shoppers who want something with a bit more style and flair than your average rolling midsize appliance. Following Mercedes' lead with its E-Class-based CLS "four-door coupe," VW has taken its mainstream Passat sedan and, with a nip here and a tuck there, transformed its architecture into a sleeker and more sensual offering.

The current Volkswagen CC (the CC moniker stands for "Comfort Coupe") is based on the previous-generation Passat. It owes its striking stance to dramatically redesigned sheet metal and a lower, sloped roof line. The suspension has also been tightened for sharper handling and the base engine is a torque-rich, fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder instead of the Passat's unrefined iron-block five-cylinder. The CC boasts high-quality furnishings and, for its first four years, featured a more sculpted two-person backseat instead of the typical three-passenger arrangement. The result is a suave and sporty European sedan that our editors have deemed an excellent antidote to mainstream mediocrity.

Current Volkswagen CC
The Volkswagen CC is a five-seat midsize sedan available with a choice of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine or a 3.6-liter narrow-angle V6 ("VR6" in VW-speak). The four generates an adequate 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, and is connected to the front wheels through either a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission known as DSG. The V6 sends 280 hp and 265 lb-ft through a standard, conventional six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available with this engine.

Even the base CC is nicely equipped, boasting such niceties as alloy wheels, foglights, automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, convincing leatherette vinyl upholstery, power heated front seats, Bluetooth and a touchscreen-operated stereo with six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack. If that's not enough, additional features and options -- depending on trim level -- include leather upholstery, a sunroof, satellite radio, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, a superb premium sound system and a hard-drive-based navigation system with digital music storage, iPod integration and a back-up camera.

In reviews, our editors have taken a strong liking to the Volkswagen CC. Its combination of good looks, strong performance and upscale cabin with high-quality materials is tough to beat. The value leader is clearly the turbocharged four-cylinder model, which offers peppy pickup and plenty of standard luxuries for about the same price as V6-powered mainstream family sedans.

However, there's also an argument to be made for stepping up to the VR6 models -- they're considerably more expensive, but the six-cylinder delivers authoritative acceleration at all speeds, and the CC's finely wrought interior helps to support the VR6's elevated price point. Either way, the Volkswagen CC's sport-tuned suspension offers an excellent ride/handling balance, soaking up bumps in typically firm Germanic fashion and tackling tight corners with surprising verve. Just know that the CC's styling requires some compromises: Rear headroom is tight for taller passengers, and trunk space is down slightly compared to the Passat.

Used Volkswagen CC Models
The Volkswagen CC was first introduced for the 2009 model year. A used CC is pretty similar to a new one, though there have been a few changes over the years. In that first year, a conventional six-speed automatic was optional on the 2.0T model rather than the current car's DSG transmission. Bluetooth was an option and the standard stereo did not feature the touchscreen interface. For 2009-'10 CCs, the V6 came standard with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive being optional. That changed for 2011 and '12, when all-wheel drive was standard for the V6. Most notably, all 2009-'12 CCs came with rear seating for two people instead of the three-person seat that debuted for 2013. Exterior styling was also slightly different.

Read the most recent 2014 Volkswagen CC review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Volkswagen CC page.

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