2009 Volkswagen CC
Signifying a more refined step for the brand, Volkswagen is venturing into entry-level luxury vehicle territory with the new 2009 CC. Because it shares most of its underpinnings with the Passat
, it’s sometimes also referred to as the Passat CC. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find much Passat DNA in the curvy four-door coupe’s design. Ignore your mom’s advice and judge this book by its cover; the crisp-looking and technology-filled interior is equally as intriguing as the gorgeous exterior. There are also two engines from which to choose: a turbocharged four-cylinder and a stoutly-powered V-6. The 2.0T engine wins the value-for-money contest, with the trim coming in at almost $12,000 less than the V-6. However, the larger engine can be coupled with all-wheel drive to help you climb any mountain (and perhaps ford every stream), if that’s your type of travel. Options are kept to a minimum but are well worth the money, like the navigation system and out-of-this-world audio system. Considering the CC is new to hit our shores, we’re incredibly impressed with its debut.
What's to Like
Oh, those body lines. They look real good. Styling mimics the Mercedes-Benz CLS-class
side paneling, but the front and rear are all VW. Free scheduled maintenance for all 2009 models wraps your CC in a protective cocoon for three years or 36,000 miles.
What's Not to Like
The CC doesn't dig into the road as well as we hoped, feeling floaty at times. With any four-door coupe, rear headroom is at a loss. There doesn't seem to be much spare legroom either. Road noise from 50 mph on will force you to crank up the stereo.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
With two different engine choices, the CC captures a drive suitable for everyone. The base model can hardly be described as “base” with that 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Its 200 horsepower leaves little to be desired from the car – acceleration is more than enough for passing situations and the lighter of the models manages high speeds with panache. Hitting curves produces slight understeer, but only if you’re driving like a crazed journalist. The V-6 has significantly more power, but it doesn’t feel like an enormous jump up over the base model. Though acceleration is still incredibly smooth and the cabin feels so comfy that 90 mph feels more like 70. That’s called fodder for the police right there. Suspension and dampers on all drivetrain options soften bumps brilliantly and let you hug the corners well enough. The overall driving experience is up to Autobahn standards too and high speeds feel fully in your control. Road noise is one large issue – window seams may be incorrect verbiage to describe the connection between the doorframes and glass in this car. Window gaps may be more appropriate.
Engine and Drivetrain
A powerful base model is fitted with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine fed by a turbocharger. It pumps out a satisfying 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque and can be driven with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic with tiptronic shifting. In V-6 trim, the wheels are powered by either front-wheel or 4-Motion all-wheel drive. Available with only a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, the 3.6-liter engine produces 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
This isn’t an entry-level luxury car for nothing. Standard features include heated front seats, power everything, ABS and ESP safety systems and a premium eight-speaker, MP3 compatible audio system. Rain sensing windshield wipers, while perhaps a little overzealous, made driving through a freak rainstorm much more manageable. And for claustrophobics, an extra-wide moonroof gives the coupe-like roofline an open feel.
Key Technology Evaluation
The $2,640 technology package, available in the luxury trim and V-6 models, is worth its weight in gold. The included navigation system features touch screen controls for the audio as well as houses the rear backup camera display. The iPod interface is the only cog in the machine that doesn’t match up: it isn’t controllable via the touch screen like all other audio functions.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
As a proponent of clean diesel and other eco-friendly technologies, it is no wonder the ULEV-II emissions rated CC is one of the top fuel savers in its class. The 2.0T gets 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway in the manual and 19, 29 with the auto. You’ll receive 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway in the larger V-6. Savings at the pump might be more miniscule than expected because of the Premium fuel it guzzles.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
Sometimes the high-end quality of German cars can smack of iciness, but this can't be said about the CC. Fit and finish is perfection, and the cabin feels accessible with intuitive controls and good-looking gauges. The CC's design team relied heavily on brushed metals and soft plastics, but a highlight is the two-toned leather interior available on the car.
It's easy to see that the CC is starkly different from the Rabbits
on the road. They have, however, kept the overall VW aesthetic alive in this new sedan. The grown-up body has sweeping lines, thanks to a raked windshield and frameless rear windows, and a low profile. Depending on the model, the CC rides on 17- or 18-inch wheels.
Market Segment and Pricing
Hoping to snag buyers from the $28,960 Acura TSX
, $28,900 Audi A4
, $28,835 Saab 9-3
and $28,550 Volvo S40
, the CC is priced very competitively at $26,790 for the base model with a manual transmission. The automatic is slightly higher at $27,890 and the luxury trim will set you at $31,990. From there, the V-6 jumps the price up to $38,300, with 4-Motion AWD topping the trims at $39,300.
What We Think
The turbocharged base engine is the real deal for those looking for a slick ride with minimal overhead, interior comfort and plenty of standard features. Tech in this car is intuitive – something that vehicles in this class have issues with – and problems like wind noise aren’t such a big deal when you settle into this beautiful car. We really believe VW has a solid performer on their hands. And if you’re wondering what CC stands for, you can probably guess: Comfort Coupe. It says it all.