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.
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