Volkswagen recently gave their midsize model, the Passat , a bit of a face-lift. The “classic” Passat is a great car and has been a huge success for the German automaker, but the design was becoming dated, and to be honest a bit bland. So the people’s car maker decided to give their four door sedan some more attitude, what they created was the CC . Following in the footsteps of another German car builder, Volkswagen transformed the Passat into a four door comfort coupe. Powered by either a 200 HP turbocharged four cylinder, for as little as $27,000; or a modern version of the company’s VR6 making 280 HP and 4Motion all wheel drive, the CC packs a punch at any price range. Best of all, the vehicle will get as much as 29 MPG on the highway.
The German automotive conglomerate figures that they will sell more front wheel drive turbocharged four cylinder version of the CC, and that the American market would rather spend more on interior upgrades than all out performance. Inside the comfort coupe you will feel pampered due to the combination of leather wrapped surfaces and brushed aluminum trim pieces. From the outside, the CC’s modern sheet metal is a welcome upgrade over the standard version, not to mention the new panoramic sunroof. The design is one that won’t become dated; the CC will still be attractive decades from now.
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When viewed from the exterior, the new four door coupe is easily distinguishable from the “classic” version. The comfort coupe looks like a VW Phaeton that got shrunk in the wash, and then someone from Volkswagen peeled off the body and stretched it over a sharper, more aggressive endoskeleton. Everything from the headlights to the tail lights look like they have been pulled to fit over the new jig. Due to the fact that VW decided to go down the four door coupe route, the CC’s silhouette is strikingly similar to that of the larger Mercedes Benz CLS . The rounded roof line creates an attractive curve that starts at the nose with a sloping hood, continues with the heavily raked front windshield, passes by the blacked out B pillar end and then tapers back down, ending just before the stubby trunk overhang.
Even when viewed from head on, the car’s bubble like exterior is easily recognizable, the wide stance and sharp edges set it apart from more conservatively styled automobiles. One of the more striking features of the new CC is the panoramic sunroof. The oversized pane of tinted glass stretches almost from door to door, and breaks the large Reflex Silver Metallic body.
Our CC rode on a set of aggressive 17 inch ten spoke rims wrapped in low profile 235/45 sized rubber. The wheel and tire combination only added to the CC’s aggressive style. Thanks to the rounded arc of the roof line and flat bottom, the comfort coupe gives the impression of being slammed to the ground, despite having a healthy amount of fender gap and pretty standard ground clearance.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, you get the feeling that you are behind the wheel of a much more expensive machine, like all Volkswagens, the interior is terrific. The sport buckets are heavily bolstered, giving the driver an added sense of support. The gauges are simple and straightforward, consisting of two large dials and a multifunction display in the middle. The entire cluster is framed by a very elegant brushed aluminum panel. The metal theme continues onto the center stack. Starting at the top is a pair of cup holders hidden inside the dash; directly underneath them is a large LCD screen that serves as the vehicle’s multimedia interface. Below the radio and navigation display are controls for the dual-zone CLIMATRONIC air conditioning system, and unlike the vehicle’s four ringed cousins, these controls are simple and straightforward.
Look up and you will see nothing but sky, the oversized panoramic sunroof lets in so much light that it makes the interior feel extremely spacious. However; the rear is a different story. Living space for the passengers traveling in the back seat is a little cramped, headroom is limited due to the slope of the rear glass, and because of the rounded roof line the C pillar passes a little too close for comfort to the rear passenger’s craniums.
The rear bench is exemplary of the CC’s intended attitude (putting form at the top of the list), instead of fitting 3 across, there is a large covered storage compartment in the middle which creates a pair of heavily bolstered seats on either side. They are closer to a pair of individual buckets than the large leather wrapped cushion that it really is.
The CC Luxury loaned to us by Volkswagen is representative of the model that the German automaker intends to sell the most of. It was a 2.0 Liter TFSI powered version cranking out 200 HP and 207 lb-ft of torque sending power to the front wheels. This engine/drive train package is more than enough to make the CC capable around town and on the highway. Volkswagen is speculating that most American new car buyers would rather sacrifice the additional power of a VR6 and instead spend their hard earned dough on creature comforts like plush leather seating and premium audio systems. The interior is comfortable and spacious, the well laid out gauges and instruments mean that the Comfort Coupe lives up to its name.
The Volkswagen engineers intended for the CC to be a performer, and the driver will feel it, the suspension is stiff enough for the vehicle to handle well, and as an added result there is a little more NVH than one would expect from a luxury vehicle. The four door sedan already feels a little heavy when going in to a turn, and although the 4Motion weighs more due to the added drive train, the added grip due to the extra drive wheels should make the addition weight negligable.
Why to buy?
The CC is the perfect vehicle for any car buyer looking to add a little more style to their personal collection, without having to take out another mortgage on their house, or if you are simply a nut for four door coupes, this vehicle is for you. The vehicle’s freshly styled good looks, excellent ergonomics and affordable price make the CC an excellent option that you will never get tired of looking at sitting in your driveway.
Why not to buy?
Although the restyled Volkswagen sedan looks like it, the CC won’t replace that sports car parked in front of your house. If you are the type of person who thinks that only a luxury brand can produce a luxury car, then you will probably never understand the CC. So if you want to pay around $60,000 for an eye-catching, stylish, full sized sedan, then just drive past the VW dealership and ask for the keys to an Audi.
If you are the type of consumer who must have the most expensive of everything, then VW has something you might consider. The CC VR6 4Motion adds all of the features from the lesser priced models but has upgraded 18 inch rims, xenon headlamps and all wheel drive. That model starts at $39,800; so after adding a few more options you shouldn’t be embarrassed to show all your friends at the country club how much you paid for your new ride.
Top Speed Final Verdict:
The Volkswagen CC is an attractive machine that will turn heads and continue to look good for as long as you own it. The CC delivers style and comfort that comes standard on vehicles that cost about twice as much.
We here at Top Speed always want more so if we had our way we would opt for the VR6 4Motion for the extra power and better handling, but those start at around $40,000. So, for the added cost, we are not sure that it’s necessary. Besides, it’s harder to notice all the people that will be stopped dead in their tracks admiring your new car when flying past them at 100 MPH. The CC is a vehicle best enjoyed at a relaxed pace.
The options on our CC were a little expensive. We would have paid almost $2000 for navigation, now that is a little pricey, especially when other automakers are offering similar systems for only half that. The Dynaudio premium sound system was easy on our ears, but at $1000 it’s a little hard on the wallet. Combining those two options with the $750 delivery fee brought the price of our 2009 CC Luxury to just over $36,000; a reasonable price to pay for so much style.