The Volkswagen CC is a sedan for midsize car shoppers who want something with a bit more style and flair than your average rolling appliance. Following Mercedes' lead with its E-Class-based CLS "four-door coupe," VW took the Passat sedan and, with a nip here and a tuck there, transformed it into a sleeker and more eye-catching 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 up for sharper handling and the base engine is a torque-rich, fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder. The CC boasts high-quality furnishings and, during 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 that's available in four trim levels: Sport, R-Line, Executive and VR6 4Motion Executive.
Standard power for all CCs except the highest trim level comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Sport and R-Line trims. A six-speed automated manual known as DSG takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission, and is optional on those trims and standard on the Executive trim. Front-wheel drive is standard on all four-cylinder models. A 3.6-liter V6 with 280 hp and 265 lb-ft is standard on the VR6 4Motion Executive. A conventional six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are also standard.
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, VW's Car-Net telematics system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a navigation system and a touchscreen-operated stereo with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. If that's not enough, additional features and options -- depending on trim level -- include leather upholstery, a sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, front and rear parking sensors, a superb premium sound system and an upgraded navigation system with a bigger display screen and a rearview 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 ? it's 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 quite a bit compared to the much larger current 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. The V6 came standard with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive being optional. That changed for 2011, when all-wheel drive became standard for the V6.
Perhaps the most notable change occurred for 2013, when the CC swapped out its former, sculpted two-person rear seat for a more conventional and practical three-person setup. That year also brought a slight exterior styling refresh that included slimmed-down head- and taillights. Other than a minor shuffling of features and lacking the current lineup's Executive trim level and telematics system, these latter CC models are similar to today's offerings.