2009 Volkswagen CC Full Test and Video

2009 Volkswagen CC 2.0 T Luxury Full Test and Video

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (3)
  • Comparison (1)
  • Long-Term

2009 Volkswagen CC Sedan

(2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Manual)

There are plenty of people who would like the 2009 Volkswagen CC a lot better if it were ugly. Isn't a VW supposed to be ugly?

Hardly anyone has firsthand memories of the Volkswagen Bug anymore, and yet the lumpy little People's Car follows VW around like some kind of family curse, reminding everybody of a time when everything about Volkswagen seemed wacky and comically futuristic, like a science fiction movie of the 1950s. The fatal flaw of the 2004 Volkswagen Phaeton might not have really been its $66,700 price point but instead its refusal to embrace the Beetle's stereotype.

Of course, this is the very strength of the 2009 Volkswagen CC. It's really, really stylish and yet it still has the soul of a plain, practical sedan meant for our times of frugality and fuel-efficiency.

Style Statement
Car designers have been slapping tight coupe-style tops on sedan bodies since the 1930s, and now it's very much the fashion of the moment again. Product planners are seeking a way to make the sedan package that everyone needs as sexy as the coupe plaything that everybody wants. Yet rarely has the concept been so well executed as it is with the 2009 Volkswagen CC.

The Passat package is the Camry of Germany, a tidy, affordable effort that gives the Germans something to drive if they don't want a VW Golf. There was a time when the Passat had a lot of appeal to Americans, too, back in 1998-2004 when Consumer Reports endorsed it (seems like a long time ago, doesn't it?).

And yet the CC makes it seem like you're seeing the Passat for the first time. The compressed curve of the CC's roof line arches gracefully over the car, magically integrating the trunk into the rest of the shape and fooling the eye into believing that it's not seeing the conventional three-box silhouette of a sedan. The frameless door glass reinforces the design conventions of a coupe, while the front of the car presents a unique look with a certain elegant efficiency. Altogether the VW CC makes the similarly coupelike Mercedes-Benz CLS look like an over-frosted piece of German chocolate cake, stylistically speaking.

The 2009 Volkswagen CC also has a visual balance that's missing in the Benz, perhaps because it's not too big. It's Camry size without the sedan bloat. And it backs up its luxury-style looks because it comes only in two well-equipped trim levels, Sport and Luxury, which are largely distinguished by a few convenience features. You can also pick the front-wheel-drive Sport model with either the turbocharged 200-horsepower 2.0-liter inline-4 or the 280-hp 3.6-liter VR6 V6, or you can have the front-wheel-drive Luxury model with the 2.0-liter turbo or the all-wheel-drive Luxury model with the 280-hp V6.

The German Car Thing
As you're wafting along the highway at 80 mph in the front-wheel-drive CC Sport with its 2.0-liter turbo, you could only be in a German car. The wheels track straight and true at high speed, and yet the long-legged suspension calmly strokes through its full range of travel as it absorbs the rolling concrete waves. You never want for power, which always arrives with an elastic surge of authority. The cabin feels at once spacious and yet carefully fitted to the driver, so nothing is more than an arm's reach away.

When you add it all up, this is one of the very few front-wheel-drive cars with a four-cylinder engine that feels like a genuine luxury car. The relaxed suspension calibration helps here, and the relatively sizable overhangs of the 188.9-inch bodywork on the 106.7-inch wheelbase further calm the ride motions. Yet it's also fair to say that the four-cylinder engine plays an important role as well.

Recently revised, this 2.0-liter inline-4 never lets you know that it is small and efficient instead of big and thirsty. A cast-iron block and an internal balance shaft help quell vibration, while direct injection and a relatively tall (for a turbocharged engine) 9.6:1 compression ratio deliver crisp throttle response, and finally the combination of variable valve timing (on the intake side only) and turbocharging helps broaden the power band. It adds up to more performance than you expect from 200 hp at 5,100-6,000 rpm and 207 pound-feet of torque at 1,700-5,000 rpm.

The engine also performs well when you have something serious in mind, as this front-wheel-drive CC accelerates to 60 mph from a standstill in 7.3 seconds (7.0 seconds EDM.qLoader.defer(function() { var $E = EDM.Core.EventUtils; PAGESETUP.scope.localETrack = edw_tracking; $E.addQuerySelectorListener('#toggle_year_explain', 'click', function(e) { var ele = document.querySelector('#toggle-icon'); var tdata = {}; if (ele.classList.contains('open')) { tdata.edwtid = 'road_test_header.div.toggle_year_explain-collapse'; ele.classList.remove('open'); document.querySelector('#year_explain_info').style.display = 'none'; } else { tdata.edwtid = 'road_test_header.div.toggle_year_explain-expand'; ele.classList.add('open'); document.querySelector('#year_explain_info').style.display = 'block'; } PAGESETUP.scope.localETrack.retrack(tdata, 'link_click', 'pageload|1;parent|header;link_type|display_toggle;'); }); });

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