Passat owners who are bitter about the new model’s decontenting can take solace in the CC. Based on the previous-generation Passat, the CC continues to offer the sporty dynamics, exceptional interior, and premium feel that were once Volkswagen hallmarks. The base engine is Volkswagen’s excellent turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Its refinement and power make it just as good as the V-6s from many of its competitors, and it has better fuel economy. If you insist on a six-cylinder, however, Volkswagen offers an optional 280-hp VR6 that’s full of personality. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the 2.0T; the optional six-speed automatic is a dual-clutch unit, meaning shifts are quicker and more direct. It’s a great gearbox, particularly in a sporty car, but comfort-minded buyers might be turned off by it. All-wheel drive and a conventional torque-converter automatic are standard with the more powerful six-cylinder. The sloping roofline makes the CC a four-door “coupe” in the vein of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and restricts the rear seats to two passengers. All CCs are equipped with a panoramic sunroof, split-folding rear seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. With the Passat’s recent $7000 price cut, the CC might not appear to be the value that it actually is. We love it for preserving the Volkswagen character that we cherish.
Drive: Front-wheel, 4-wheel
Trim levels: Sport, R Line, Lux, Lux Plus, Lux Limited, Executive
Body style: Sedan, 4-passenger
Engines: 2.0L turbo I-4, 200 hp, 207 lb-ft
3.6L V-6, 280 hp, 265 lb-ft
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 6-speed dual-clutch automatic
Passenger volume: 93.6 cu ft
Cargo volume: 13.2 cu ft
The CC receives modest interior updates for 2012. The walnut wood trim in Lux Plus, Lux Limited, and Executive models has been replaced with a more contemporary dark wood. All CCs receive a new analog clock mounted above the radio on the dashboard. With the exception of two new paint colors, the CC is otherwise unchanged.
ABS; front, side, and side curtain air bags; tire-pressure monitoring; and traction and stability control are standard. Volkswagen’s Intelligent Crash Response System shuts off the fuel pump, unlocks the doors, and switches on the hazard warning lights after a serious accident.
All: 17-21 mpg city/25-31 mpg highway
- Powerful four-cylinder
- Premium interior
- Agile handling
- Less practical than a sedan
- Dual-clutch auto isn’t for
Style of a coupe, practicality of a sedan.
- Acura TSX
- Buick Regal
- Nissan Maxima
- Volvo S60