Volkswagen CC

The 2009 CC is a 4-door, 4-passenger sports sedan, available in 4 trims, ranging from the Sport to the VR6... read more 4Motion.

Upon introduction, the Sport is equipped with a standard 2.0-liter, I4, 200-horsepower, turbo engine that achieves 21-mpg in the city and 31-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed manual transmission with overdrive is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is optional. The VR6 4Motion is equipped with a standard 3.6-liter, V6, 280-horsepower engine that achieves 17-mpg in the city and 25-mpg on the highway. A 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is standard.

The 2009 CC is all-new for 2009.


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Complete specifications
MSRP Price Range: $27,100 - $39,800
Invoice Price Range: $25,252 - $37,277
Price With Options: 4 Trims Available


CC is an acronym for Comfort Coupe. Unfortunately, it doesn't make much sense in this case, since Volkswagen's CC is a stylish 4-door, 4-passenger sedan. But that's possibly the only thing about this car that doesn't make sense. Derived from the already enjoyable 5-passenger Passat, the CC offers rakish chopped-top looks and luxury trim to please buyers ranging from aspiring youth to empty-nesters. Its good looks, pleasing power and quietly assured driving dynamics are accompanied by the greatest luxury — affordable pricing.

Trim Choices
A junior luxury car with sporting intentions, the CC rocks a full house of finery in standard Sport trim. Soft leather greets the hands on the steering wheel and shifter, plus there's enough brightwork and sophistication in the design and materials to set an upscale coffeehouse mood. Meanwhile, the sharply sloping roofline and narrow windows suggest performance is on hand.

The Sport trim includes a 6-disc CD changer, an MP3 jack, three power outlets, plus 12- and 8-way powered and heated driver and passenger seats. It's a trim level that feels better than its equipment list would suggest. Much of this is thanks to VW's sharp design staff, but generous seat travel and a galactically telescoping steering column help say Volkswagen is truly interested in your comfort.

Selecting the Luxury trim improves life by refining the climate control to dual-zone, adding a navigation system, moonroof, rain-sensing wipers and other small touches. It's all good, but finger the abacus first, as the cost-benefit ratio may tilt towards the nicely equipped Sport trim. This is especially true of the moonroof. It tilts but does not slide open, in deference to the sloping roof, nor does its sunshade completely block all light. You could decide the better headroom in the less expensive Sport is more desirable.

Opting for V6 power allows choosing between VR6 Sport and VR6 4Motion trims. The VR6 Sport delivers all of the 4-cylinder Sport and Luxury trim amenities, plus 18-inch wheels, a power rear window sunshade and both high- and low-beam xenon headlamps. The 4Motion uses a different 18-inch wheel and adds the all-wheel-drive hardware.

Under the Hood
With two engines to choose from, CC buyers have a straightforward choice in powertrains. The standard 2.0-liter 4-valve turbocharged 4-cylinder is easily the sportier choice. Its 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque sparkle in the mid and upper ranges while minimizing front-end weight for superior ride and handling. The optional 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque in the 3.6-liter V6 is VW's narrow-angle VR design. More immediate torque right off idle is nearly its sole benefit in the CC.

Both engines may be paired with either 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The automatic offers the usual floor-mounted shifting, a more aggressive sport mode or Tiptronic manual gear selection.

For slippery winter pavement, VW's 4Motion employs full-time four-wheel drive using a viscous fluid coupling. Offered only with the V6 and designed to operate normally in front-wheel drive, 4Motion automatically shuttles power to the rear wheels when the fronts slip. While it's a big help in snow, heavy rain and other low-traction situations, 4Motion is not an aid to dry-pavement handling.

Inner Space
Athletically trimmed luxury describes the CC interior, which is pleasantly airy in front and cozy in back, especially so for tall folks because of the sharply sloping roof. In short, it's just right for a couple, with utility to take a second couple to dinner or the kids a longer distance. Long doors help rear access past the low roof, but hinder car seat operations in tight parking lots. A trunk pass-through, large armrest and nifty drink holder with sliding cover show the designers didn't quit at the front seats.

Everyone will enjoy the upscale materials — even the vinyl is inviting — and no one will fault the design. Fore and aft room is excellent for front seaters; tall people should check the headroom; and elbow room is close, but acceptable. The seats may prove thin in the bottom cushion to the bony; the two-level lumbar support is simultaneously aggressive and passive, but lateral support is great. VW's sensible glove-box-mounted MP3 connection and shelf are present, and the GPS navigation system uses a standard size touch-screen. We'd prefer dedicated audio controls, but admit the center console is nicely uncluttered.

In Sport trim the CC's interior is a strong contender.

On the Road
Impressive aerodynamics squelches wind noise and helps make the car an impressive freeway charger. Both engines provide plenty of thrust, with the V6 posting insignificantly better numbers, but the turbo-four feels sportier and in many cases faster. Interestingly, the 4-cylinder is quieter at idle and rips a sweet tune through the fast-shifting gears. With less front-end weight, the 4-cylinder is a little more precise in the steering, transitions faster on twisty roads, rides better and gets an additional couple of miles out of a gallon of gasoline.

The only mentionable downside to the turbo-four is occasional softness in response, typically the first few feet from a standing start or when asking for lane-change power on the freeway, yet even these are not frustrating.

Open road trips pass enjoyably in the CC, with easy city manners thanks to its size. Rear seaters are welcome, but can't miss that they came in second to the roof's sexy downward sweep, so the rear pew is ultimately best for children or occasional adult guests.

We preferred the 4-cylinder's sportiness and, curiously, its quieter idle. The V6 is smooth and hardly noisy, but simply has more presence at idle. All CCs are smooth, intelligent automatic shifters, quiet and plushly well-connected to the pavement.

Right for You?
Value and luxury are a difficult combination, but Volkswagen's CC manages the trick without straining. Starting at $26,790, the 4-cylinder Sport delivers the CC's rakish looks, if not a huge increase in luxury perks over a standard Passat. It's a good value and offers the maximum zip in the CC line. If rear-seat room isn't a major concern but appearance is, the Sport delivers.

Moving to the Luxury at $31,990 gains a no-excuses near-luxury coupe . . . er, sedan. It's well-equipped and about $2,000 less than the competition, making it a good buy. It's definitely the happy CC combination and the expected volume seller.

If the 6-cylinder is important, the VR6 Sport demands $38,300, a massive price jump for modest gains in smoothness, performance and equipment. Likewise, the VR6 4Motion is large money for winter security at $39,300, but on the other hand is a relatively rare combination of looks, luxury and grip.

Ultimately, the emotionally attractive CC peaks in 4-cylinder Luxury form, but backs up its appeal with the fully capable 4Motion 6-cylinder for those not stopping for winter.-Tom Wilson of MSN Autos

Car and Driver

Are Volkswagen's moves upmarket in complete contradiction to the brand's populist roots? The now-defunct, expensive VW Phaeton sedan is often viewed as a radical move aimed away from the masses. But if the Phaeton had worn a more prestigious brand name, it conceivably could have been deemed a value. In fact, the Phaeton forms the basis for the Bentley Continental lineup, which starts at $180,395, a sum that is rarely questioned. If we regard the Phaeton as a Bentley for the masses, then the car makes sense as a Volkswagen.

Like the Phaeton before it, the CC 3.6 4MOTION drew its share of raised eyebrows when our test car's $42,630 price was revealed. But the CC's superficial similarity to another German car had us wondering if Volkswagen had created a Mercedes-Benz CLS for the people. After all, the CLS550 starts at an eye-watering $72,875.

Volkswagen has followed the CLS's five-step formula to the letter. Step one: Start with a conventional sedan. Just as the E-class begot the CLS, the CC is based on the conservative Passat. Step two: Dress up the exterior and interior. This step requires a low-slung roofline, a slippery body, frameless door glass, a dolled-up interior, and a reduction in the seating capacity from five to four. Step three: Insist that despite its four doors, the creation is somehow a coupe. Repeat as necessary until the public is convinced. Step four: To save money, leave the running gear alone. Step five: Try to keep a straight face while charging considerably more money for your new "coupe."

The formula worked for Mercedes. But we must conclude that despite its similarity to the far pricier CLS, the $42,630 CC is too expensive to be considered a value — even against a Benz.

We can't complain about the 280-hp, direct-injection 3.6-liter VR6 that propels the all-wheel-drive CC to 60 mph in a drama-free 6.2 seconds. A 231-pound-lighter front-drive Passat 3.6 we tested took 5.9 seconds [December 2005]. We also can't take issue with the refined controls, the solid structure, and the firm ride of the CC, which stuck to the skidpad with 0.88 g of grip. Aside from some wind noise around those frameless windows, the CC driving experience is nearly indistinguishable from that of the Passat with the 3.6-liter engine, a configuration that is gone for 2009.

Our big problem with the CC 3.6 4MOTION is the existence of the $27,480 CC 2.0T with a six-speed manual. Despite an 80-hp deficit, the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder version retains the look of the 3.6-liter version and, of course, keeps its inescapable resemblance to the CLS. The four-cylinder model removes the CC from the stratosphere of BMW and Audi, back to the place where the Accord, the Camry, and the Malibu play. Set against a family-sedan backdrop, the CC's beautiful bod makes it a standout in a segment stacked with forgettable styling. And in pricing the four-cylinder CC, VW seems to have ignored the step that requires charging more for style, as the CC 2.0T actually costs $410 less than a comparably equipped Passat. So unless you need that fifth seat, you can now take the Passat off your shopping list. And in regard to the CC 3.6-liter's disturbingly high price, we predict low sales. On the other hand, the CC 2.0T may well strike a chord with buyers as it is the base model that is truly the people's CLS.

Performance Data
Zero to 60 mph: 6.2 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 15.7 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 34.9 sec
Street start, 5-60 mph: 6.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.8 sec @ 97 mph
Top speed (governor limited) 130 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 177 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad* 0.88 g

EPA city/highway driving 17/25 mpg
C/D observed: 18 mpg
*Stability-control-inhibited.-Tony Quiroga

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