This CC is an extremely distinctive car for $28,000, without being too flashy or impractical. This much cachet is very hard to find at this price point.
The basic specification of this test vehicle - an energetic, 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, smooth six-speed manual, no nav--is definitely the way to go, much more tenable than spending $40K for essentially the same car with a less fun V-6, an automatic transmission, and heavy all-wheel drive. If I were shopping for a CC (which I might be if not for the fact that there's no middle rear seating position for the baby), I'd keep it simple like this car and add only Sirius satellite radio and possibly Bluetooth (absent on this vehicle). Unfortunately, a sunroof isn't available on the CC's base model, but this beautiful two-tone tan interior (which earns lots of admiration from passengers) helps prevent any feeling of claustrophobia that might otherwise stem from the CC's sexy but swoopy roofline. I agree with Jeff: I think the Passat looks a bit dumpy, but the CC's relatively minor alterations improve greatly on its sibling's looks. It's almost like the Passat went on one of my wife's favorite TV shows, What Not to Wear.
Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor