Volkswagen CC: A Contradiction in Terms

By Jonathan Spira on 1 October 2009
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Some things are a given.  For example, a coupe has two doors, and a Volkswagen is an inexpensive car.  Today, these presumptions are falling by the wayside.VW Passat CC

The latest four-door coupe, the Volkswagen CC, continues a trend from German manufacturers, namely Mercedes with the CLS and BMW with the X6.

The CC is also a very expensive looking Volkswagen

Volkswagen tried expensive before, with the Phaeton.  Although it was a superbly crafted übersedan, customers in the U.S. simply weren’t prepared to come into a Volkswagen dealership and spend between $60,000 to $100,000.  Volkswagen is hoping that they’ll be more likely to spend half as much on a CC.

Built on the same platform as the VW Passat, it drives like a Passat, from the inside looks just like a Passat, costs more than a Passat, and carries one fewer passenger than a Passat.

One look at the car, however, and you will know it’s no Passat.  CC stands for “Comfort Coupe,“ but it is no Carbon Copy of any other car on the road.  Its radically sloped roof line is more Porsche and it is by far the most striking and unusually styled VW to come out of Wolfsburg.

The CC comes well-equipped and the fit and finish of the dashboard materials, door panels, and upholstery was better than average.  The thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good; the leather sport seats (standard in all but the base configuration) were reasonably comfortable up front but somewhat less so in the rear.  The rear seats only two, and the trunk is a bit on the small side.

The optional Dynaudio Premium Sound System was ok but we’ve heard better.   The optional navigation system, Volkswagen calls it the Media Device Interface (MDI) has its pluses (the use of the instrument cluster onboard computer display to indicate turns and street names; a 32 GB hard drive) and minuses (the touchscreen does not respond consistently to your touch) but it led me to my destinations without much trouble.

A few quirks.  VW does not offer keyless ignition; rather, the driver must insert the keyfob and then push it in further to start the car.  Sometimes this process took two to three attempts.  The front driver would also benefit greatly from a kneepad on the front console. The roofline adversely impacts visibility but the rear camera somewhat makes up for it.

The CC exhibited excellent road manners. The car politely went in the direction I pointed it and provided decent feedback to the driver.  In hard cornering, it stuck to the pavement but did not shake up its passengers, thanks to an ultra-sophisticated suspension.

CC also stands for “come closer” in online chat and the Volkswagen CC is worth a closer look without a doubt.

2009 VW CC VR6 4Motion
Base price/price-as-tested $39,800/42,630
Free scheduled maintenance 3 years or 36,000 miles
Drivetrain Front engine, all-wheel drive
Engine 3.6-liter/280 hp/ V-6
Transmission 6-speed with Tiptronic
Curb weight (lbs) 3374
Wheelbase (inches) 106.7
Length x width x height (inches) 188.9 x 73.0  x 55.8
0-60 mph (seconds) 6.2
EPA city/highway fuel economy (mpg) 17/25

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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