Used 2015 Volkswagen CC Review
Attractive and well equipped, the 2015 Volkswagen CC presents an appealing middle ground between workaday family sedans and entry-level luxury sedans.
Flying under the radar could be the motto of the 2015 Volkswagen CC, a rakishly styled near-luxury sedan without the luxury-car badge. For some, that's a draw, and so is the CC's relatively moderate pricing. With the CC, you get a richly equipped midsize sedan for the same price as less well-outfitted "name brand" models that are a size smaller. If you don't mind the big VW badge on the nose, the CC could be a compelling package.
The CC's main draw is its upscale and well-stocked interior. It's sharp-looking, particularly when you get a two-tone color scheme, and with standard equipment such as navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control and power front seats with adjustable lumbar on both sides, the CC can hold its own among entry-level luxury sedans. Having said that, the CC's getting on in years, and it lacks some of today's commonly optional technology features. Examples include blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Also, the CC's infotainment setup is pretty basic and lacks the big screens and expansive customization features found on other systems.
The 2015 Volkswagen CC's base price, as noted, is comparatively modest, and that means its competitors don't necessarily come only from the luxury sphere. You could very well look at loaded-up versions of the 2015 Ford Fusion or 2015 Mazda 6, which are also stylish, upscale and fun to drive. The new 2015 Acura TLX is also a close match, mirroring the CC's choices of four- or six-cylinder power with standard all-wheel drive for the latter. On the luxury end, the CC can be seen as a humbler, more attainable substitute for the 2015 Audi A4 or 2015 BMW 320i. Overall, the Edmunds.com "B" rated CC doesn't really wow us like it used to, but if you dig its style and don't care about the badge, it's a fine alternative to these established players.
trim levels & features
The 2015 Volkswagen CC is a midsize sedan that seats five people. There are four trim levels: Sport, R-Line, Executive and 4Motion Executive.
The base Sport comes standard with the four-cylinder engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic wipers, automatic adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, heated eight-way power front seats (with four-way lumbar), leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Volkswagen's Car-Net telematics, a navigation system and an eight-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, a CD player, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod adapter cable.
The R-Line trim adds 18-inch wheels, special exterior styling and unique door-sill plates, along with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters when the automatic transmission is specified.
The Executive starts with the Sport's equipment and adds 18-inch wheels of its own, a sunroof, power-folding heated side mirrors, a hands-free trunk lid with a foot sensor, keyless entry and ignition, driver memory settings, leather upholstery and an upgraded 6.5-inch touchscreen interface with voice controls.
The 4Motion Executive adds the V6 engine, yet another 18-inch wheel design, standard all-wheel drive, front and rear parking sensors, heated front washer nozzles, an upgraded trip computer screen, ventilated front seats with driver massage and a 10-speaker Dynaudio sound system.
performance & mpg
All 2015 Volkswagen CC trims except the 4Motion Executive come with front-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for the Sport and R-Line. Optional on those trims and standard on the Executive is a six-speed automated manual transmission (Volkswagen calls it "DSG" for direct shift gearbox) that takes the place of a conventional automatic.
The 4Motion Executive steps up to all-wheel drive and a 3.6-liter V6 good for 280 hp and 265 lb-ft. A conventional six-speed automatic transmission (not the DSG) is the only transmission offered.
In Edmunds testing, a CC with the four-cylinder engine and DSG accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.0 seconds. This is merely adequate for an entry-level luxury sedan, but considerably quicker than most four-cylinder midsize family sedans. The heavier 4Motion Executive was barely better at 6.8 seconds, a disappointing performance given its elevated price point.
EPA estimated fuel economy with the DSG is 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway); the manual is also rated at 25 mpg combined (21 city/32 highway). The 4Motion Executive brings up the rear at a mediocre 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway).
Every 2015 Volkswagen CC comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The 4Motion Executive also has front and rear parking sensors that are unavailable on lower trims, which is particularly unfortunate given the CC's subpar outward visibility.
Also standard is VW's Car-Net telematics system. It includes automatic crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access, stolen vehicle location and geo-fencing (which allows parents to set electronic boundaries for teenage drivers). A Car-Net smartphone app lets owners control many of these functions on the go.
In Edmunds brake testing, a CC R-Line came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet, which is a good performance compared to similar sedans with all-season tires. The 4Motion Executive required an unimpressive 127 feet.
In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CC earned the highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, the CC was rated "Marginal" (second-lowest). The CC's seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
The 2015 Volkswagen CC's four-cylinder engine provides respectable acceleration and fuel economy. The V6 is stronger, but the step up in cost doesn't seem worth it to us given the minimal improvement in acceleration. Unfortunately, if you want all-wheel drive, springing for the V6 is the only way to get it.
Most drivers will find that the CC strikes an agreeable balance between engaging handling and a comfortable ride. In typical Germanic fashion, the ride is on the firm side, but the suspension still takes the edge off of most road imperfections. When cornering at reasonable speeds, the Volkswagen CC doesn't feel as sharp and controlled as a pure-bred sport sedan, but it's more than respectable as family sedans go. If you prefer additional athleticism in spirited driving, something like the aforementioned 320i should hit the spot.
The 2015 Volkswagen CC comes in a few different trim levels, but even the base Sport treats you to rich interior materials and impressive build quality, easily meeting luxury-brand standards. As with many European models, there's no shame in the CC's standard leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery – it exceeds some genuine leathers in both texture and appearance. The firm and supportive standard front seats provide the same power adjustments on both sides, a refreshing departure from the common practice of giving the passenger fewer toys. In the back, headroom is limited due to the CC's sleek roof line, but legroom is surprisingly ample.
The CC starts to show its age in the behind-the-times size and capability of its touchscreen displays, especially the base 5-inch unit. Also, while the primary controls and gauges are perfectly functional on their own merits, they might seem a little too minimalist if you compare the CC to newer models fitted with the latest hardware.
The CC's trunk measures a rather modest 13.2 cubic feet, and its pinched shape may complicate the loading of larger items. On the bright side, the rear seatbacks fold flat to increase cargo capacity, and there's also a pass-through for skis and such behind the rear center armrest.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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.