I really admire the Volkswagen CC's premium interior, practical-yet-engaging powertrain, and reasonable price. Well equipped in its base trim and starting at $28,560, I think of the CC as an Audi A4 with a $5000 discount. The slick-shifting six-speed manual and willing-to-rev 200-hp four-cylinder are a joy to work quickly. There are some interior bits here shared with $18,000 Golfs, but they still meet the class standard in a $30,000 sedan; this is how VW earned that reputation for fabulous interiors, by creating shared parts that are at-home in the most expensive vehicle they're used in.
Here's what I didn't love: This CC exhibited strange cabin noise/pressure changes that drove me mad. The phenomenon was similar to rolling down a single rear window and 80 mph, creating the drumming wub-wub-wub of pressure fluctuation. While this wasn't as dramatic as having a window rolled down, the noise was irritating and noticeable at speeds from 35 mph to 80 mph. If I owned a CC, I'd be sorely disappointed that I might have to live with this annoyance. However, I didn't experiencing this in the last CC I drove, so it could just be an issue with one of the seals around the frameless glass.
Eric Tingwall, Associate Editor