Too expensive, only four seats, lifeless steering, little advantage over less expensive 2.0T model.
This wasn't the 2009 Volkswagen CC we wanted. This fully stocked edition with the VR6 engine, 4Motion all-wheel drive and all the bells and whistles costs a whopping $42,630. For the same amount of dough you can pick up a similarly equipped BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. We like the CC, but not that much.
Instead, we wanted a VW CC with the turbocharged four-cylinder that returns 29 mpg on the highway, while only being marginally slower than the big V6. Together with a more modest, yet still impressive features list, that version of this sleek Volkswagen sedan makes a lot more sense as an alternative to family sedans like the Honda Accord.
Alas, VW couldn't furnish us with the more sensible, cheaper model, but the basics are the same. The CC was created by taking a Passat — same wheelbase, same powertrain, same basic interior — and lowering its roof line by 2 inches while radically changing the styling. With apologies to the Karmann Ghia Owners Club of America, the result is the finest-looking automobile Volkswagen has ever created. It is sleek and elegant and, like the Mercedes CLS it's often confused for, was designed to be a sedan with a coupelike roof line (hence the name CC, for "Comfort Coupe"). As expected, this design element does impinge upon rear-seat headroom, but it's not as bad as you'd think — the lack of a middle seat is the bigger problem.
While the 2009 VW CC is a lovely car, our initial impressions were confirmed — a Volkswagen, no matter how beautiful and competent, is just not as appealing as a similarly equipped and priced Audi, BMW or Mercedes. However, with $10,000 off the sticker and a more efficient engine, the CC 2.0T is a different story.
The 2009 VW CC VR6 4Motion is powered by a narrow-angle 3.6-liter V6, which produces 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. A wonderfully smooth six-speed automatic is the lone transmission choice and includes a Sport mode and paddle shifters for manual gearchanges that are accomplished with reasonable quickness. The 4Motion bit refers to the CC's optional all-wheel-drive system that's only available with the VR6 engine. Even with the heavy 4Motion components, our CC test car went from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds during performance testing — about the same as a BMW 328i. No surprise that it feels plenty strong around town and on the highway.
Unfortunately, that VR6's added oomph and 4Motion's added weight result in so-so fuel economy. EPA estimates are 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined. Under our lead-footed care, the CC managed only 18 mpg. Both the 2.0T and VR6 cars with front-wheel drive are more frugal.
The 2009 Volkswagen CC is hardly what we'd describe as a sport sedan. Although its chassis felt capable enough when pushed on our favorite mountain roads, with minimal body roll and a surprisingly tossable feel, the electric power steering is devoid of feel and doesn't lend a lot of confidence. It weights up OK in such high-speed driving situations, but is generally on the too-loose side and noticeably numb on-center, particularly on the highway. Parking is at least easy on your arms.
In typical German fashion, the VW CC offers a solid ride that swallows up bumps with well-damped confidence. However, those seeking a cushy luxury cruiser will probably find it too firm. Wind noise and road noise are kept nicely in check — even at 80-plus mph. In fact, such speeds are this car's forte, which is no surprise given its Autobahn-tuned roots.
The CC's beautifully sculpted bucket seats are some of the finest in this price range, nicely enveloping their occupants without getting pinchy. Adjustments for the driver seat and tilt-telescoping steering wheel are generous, clearly designed with a tall person in mind (although shorter drivers were just as comfortable).
The two rear bucket seats are nearly as well-sculpted and comfortable. Legroom is also excellent, with our tallest editor capable of sitting behind his own fully pushed-back front seat. Because of the sloped roof line, headroom is a different matter. That same tall editor had to slouch down a bit in order for his head not to touch the headliner, but it's actually not much worse than many competitor midsize sedans.
The bigger concern is the lack of a center position in the backseat — a bin and cupholder take its place.
The 2009 Volkswagen CC features a well-laid-out, uncluttered control design. Climate controls are easy to figure out, with a single button or knob controlling a single function. Our fully loaded CC VR6 test car came with the Technology package, which adds a navigation system, digital music storage and a back-up camera. Both the nav and audio systems are controlled by VW's new touchscreen interface, which is easy enough to figure out thanks to logical menus and helpful physical buttons that run alongside the screen. Particularly welcome are the four banks of preset buttons (24 in total) that you can mix and match among AM, FM and satellite radio stations.
Included on the VR6 (but optional on the 2.0T Luxury) is the superb Dynaudio sound system that pumps out 600 watts of raw musical power through 10 speakers. Even an iPod played through the typically mediocre-sounding aux jack produces a crisp, strong sound. When listening to a CD, you're likely to hear things you've never heard before in your favorite songs.
Interior storage is about on par for a midsize luxury sedan, with a fair-size center console compartment, smallish door pockets, a center cupholder-bin area and two slide-out shelves located under the air vents. The CC's trunk is quite large, although most of its size comes from its depth. A set of golf clubs will not fit widthwise, meaning you have to either angle them or place them through the center pass-through. When we tried the latter, there was tons of space left over for a large suitcase and a baby stroller.
A front-facing child seat fits easily in the backseat's buckets. You obviously can't mount a rear-facing seat in the nonexistent center position, which could be a safety concern for some parents and makes mounting it a problem, since you have to scoot up the front passenger seat.
Design/Fit and Finish
Other than its slinky exterior styling, the VW CC's cabin is arguably its most appealing attribute. Materials quality is beyond reproach and certainly befitting a car wearing this price tag. Our test car's snazzy two-tone leather interior drew raves from everyone who sat in it, although after only 1,200 miles, the soft leather was starting to show signs of staining. We'd therefore stick with the black leather option, or the high-quality leatherette upholstery standard on the 2.0T that's less likely to stain, easier to clean and still available in two-tone.
Who should consider this vehicle
Someone who wants a stylish luxury sedan without the stigma of a luxury badge. Lower trim levels (like the significantly cheaper 2.0T) should appeal to those who want to own something sleeker and more upscale than the usual family sedan.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2009 Volkswagen CC Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2009 Volkswagen CC and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2009 CC featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2009 Volkswagen CC and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2009 CC 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2009 CC.
Vehicle Sport 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
Review Bought the car because I fell in love with it since I test drove it. Fantastic interior, excellent performance and suspension overall. Have owned this car for 4yrs now. Bought it with 20,000 miles. First year car ran like a champ no issues what so ever. Then came second year of ownership and everything went down hill after the warranty expired three months before. Water pump failure, $1,500 fix. Six months later water pump failed again. I though the mechanics were idiots and did not know what they were doing until it failed again a year later. Anyhow, I've had four water pumps replaced in three years. Intake manifold failed twice, PCV valve failure and of course fuel pump failure which are all "common" problems due to poor engineering according to dealer. Constant oil leak until I had to have valve cover gasket redone. Oh yes, rear main seal failed at 40,000. The car has 50,675 miles at the time of this review. Great car when it runs but I have spent more money on repairs for this car than the maintenance work done on my two previous vehicles combined.
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Available Volkswagen CC 2009 Submodel Types: Sedan
Available Trims: Sport PZEV, Sport, 2.0T Sport PZEV, R-Line PZEV, Sport Plus PZEV, Luxury, Lux PZEV, Luxury PZEV, Lux, 2.0T Trend PZEV, Executive PZEV, VR6 Lux, 2.0T R-Line PZEV, 2.0T Sport, Lux Plus PZEV, R-Line, VR6 4Motion Executive, Sport Plus, VR6 4Motion, 2.0T R-Line Executive PZEV, 2.0T R-Line Executive w/Carbon PZEV, Lux Limited, 2.0T R-Line, 3.6L V6 4Motion Executive, Lux Plus, VR6 Sport
Exterior Colors: Deep Black Metallic, Reflex Silver Metallic, Candy White, Island Gray Metallic, Pure White, Black Oak Brown Metallic, Night Blue Metallic, Deep Black, Deep Black Pearl, Shadow Blue Metallic, Iron Gray Metallic, White Gold Metallic, Urano Gray Metallic, Fortana Red, Indium Gray, Light Brown Metallic, Harbor Blue Metallic, Mocha Anthracite Metallic