Full 2010 Volkswagen CC Review
What's New for 2010
After debuting last year, the Volkswagen CC sees a handful of changes for 2010. Among them are the 2.0T's adoption of VW's six-speed automated-clutch DSG transmission (it replaces last year's conventional six-speed automatic), newly standard Bluetooth, a new touchscreen-operated audio system, new wood accents for the VR6 and new rear badging that shows "CC" and indicates the trim level.
As car models go, the 2010 Volkswagen CC is one of the more confusing. Though it is based on the Passat, it looks nothing like one. The name "CC" might throw you off, too -- Volkswagen says it stands for "Comfort Coupe," but this VW is no more a coupe than the similarly conceived Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. Sorry, guys -- if a car has four full doors and a trunk, then it's a sedan, no matter how sexy the roof line is.
So let's cut through the confusion. The CC is a four-door sedan that shares its wheelbase, turbocharged four-cylinder powertrain and some interior components with the Passat, but adds a brawny optional six-cylinder engine (available with all-wheel drive) and covers it with a sleek body that's a little longer and a few inches lower. The arcing greenhouse, curving body-side character line and tapered tail make the CC look quite like that Benz CLS. And that's certainly not a bad thing, considering this Volkswagen's upscale intentions. Inside the CC, you'll find top-grade materials, well-thought-out controls and available two-tone upholstery. Volkswagen has also upgraded the seats over the Passat's, with more bolstering and fancy cross-stitching.
However, this focus on style requires compromises in passenger and cargo capacity compared to similarly sized cars. The backseat accommodates only two, and while these bucket-style seats are extraordinarily comfortable and supportive, the CC's sloping roof line means taller rear occupants will need to slouch down a bit (or lay off the hair gel). The trunk is also a bit small and narrow for a car with this big of a footprint -- golf clubs will need to be stowed diagonally. As such, if you need five-passenger capacity and a large trunk, you should consider a Passat or perhaps the fancier versions of the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Mazda 6 or Nissan Altima. Nissan's Maxima would be another car worth looking at, as it similarly trades off some practicality in exchange for style and sport.
Price could also be a concern if you're looking at the six-cylinder VR6 model, which starts at nearly $40,000. It's more than a second quicker to 60 mph than the four-cylinder 2.0T and is the only CC to offer all-wheel drive, but the extra cost may be hard to justify. On the other hand, just like the four-cylinder CC, the VR6 stacks up well against the competition at its price point, particularly when equipped with all-wheel drive. Confusion aside, the 2010 Volkswagen CC is one of the most compelling midsize sedans on the market.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Volkswagen CC is a four-door sedan available in Sport, Luxury, VR6 Sport and VR6 4Motion trim levels. The Sport comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power front seats, heated front seats, leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, split-folding rear seats, automatic climate control, a trip computer, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Luxury version adds front and rear park assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, driver memory settings, a large tilt-only sunroof and upgraded alloy trim.
The VR6 Sport trim level includes all the Luxury trim equipment plus a six-cylinder engine, 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a power rear sunshade, steering-wheel paddles and a 10-speaker premium sound system. The top-of-the-line VR6 4Motion adds all-wheel drive.
The Technology package (available on all but the Sport) adds a hard-drive navigation system, digital music storage capability, iPod integration and a back-up camera. The iPod integration is also available as a separate option for all trims, satellite radio is optional on the Sport, and the VR6 Sport's premium audio system is optional on the Luxury.
Powertrains and Performance
The front-wheel-drive VW CC Sport and Luxury trims come standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. On the Sport, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (DSG) is optional. DSG is standard on the Luxury trim. Volkswagen estimates a 0-60 time of 7.4 seconds with this engine. Fuel economy estimates stand at 22 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined with either transmission.
The CC VR6 is equipped with a 3.6-liter narrow-angle V6 that produces 280 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed conventional automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is the only available transmission. Fuel economy is estimated to be 18 city/27 highway and 21 combined. The estimates for the CC VR6 4Motion drop to 17/25/20. At our test track, a CC VR6 with all-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in a quick 6.3 seconds.
All Volkswagen CCs come standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional on all trim levels.
In government testing, the 2010 Volkswagen CC scored four out of a possible five stars in frontal crash protection. It received five stars for front-passenger side crash protection and four stars for rear-passenger side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the CC earned the top rating of "Good" in that agency's frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
Even in its most basic form, the 2010 VW CC's cabin is well-equipped and beautifully finished. In particular, the standard cross-stitched leatherette vinyl upholstery looks and feels better than the genuine cow-sourced stuff in many cars, while other materials throughout the cabin are of similarly outstanding quality. It all adds up to an upscale ambience that warrants the CC's price premium over other midsize sedans.
The supportive driver seat provides a wide range of adjustment. Because of the car's tapered roof line, though, headroom is tight in the back, and 6-footers may need to slouch a bit. The CC comes with only two rear bucket seats; in place of a center position, a covered bin and cupholders reside with a flip-down armrest. But those rear buckets are unusually comfortable and supportive, and legroom is ample all around. At 13 cubic feet, the trunk is on the small side for a midsize sedan.
The 2010 Volkswagen CC may be slickly styled, but it doesn't quite have the handling to match. The electric power steering's light effort in parking lots is welcome, and it weights up in a linear fashion as speeds rise, but there's not enough feel and communication sent back to the driver's hands. The CC also exhibits more body roll in hard cornering than true sport sedans, though the VR6 4Motion's tenacious all-wheel-drive traction notably improves matters. But most drivers will find that the CC strikes a nice balance between ride comfort and sportiness. Although certainly on the firm side, the CC's sport-tuned suspension isolates passengers from harsh impacts and imparts a feeling of solid construction, soaking up bumps with a typical Germanic thump.
Under the hood, the CC 2.0T's turbo-4 is smooth and vigorous, carving out an appealing performance niche between mainstream four-cylinder and V6-powered family sedans. Additionally, its optional DSG transmission delivers quick, seamless shifts. As for the VR6 model, it may carry a hefty price premium relative to the 2.0T, but its six-cylinder engine delivers impressive power, making the CC VR6 4Motion quicker than all-wheel-drive rivals like the Acura TL SH-AWD, Audi A4 2.0T Quattro and BMW 328i xDrive.