Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Volkswagen CC brings sexy back

The Volkswagen CC is a sleek our-door Eurocoupe at an affordable price.  Courtesy photo

From page B3 | January 25, 2013 |

Leave it up to Volkswagen to bring the four-door coupe to the masses. Four-door sedans have been around for a long time, but when Mercedes Benz came up with the idea of a four-door coupe, its CLS proved to be a very sexy car. Later, Volkswagen came up with its own version, and they call it the CC.

The CC is just as sexy as the CLS, but with a base price that is down to earth. We got to test a CC Sport with Lighting package, which is the entry level model. The first thing that you notice when you approach the CC is the styling. This is a beautiful car that looks like a million bucks standing still. The dramatically lowered rear swept roofline and frameless doors really make this car a head turner.

The lines are sleek and really make this car look like it is going fast even standing still. Inside, the style continues with a well designed two tone interior that is gorgeous. The four ergonomically formed sport seats are positioned to sit lower and offer improved lateral support to enhance the feeling of connectivity between driver, passengers and machine without sacrificing comfort. The driver gets a fat leather wrapped steering wheel that feels great in your hands and the control layout is clear and clean.

There are some good cubby holes and coin pockets in the dash that are great for small items. In the back you have two buckets shaped seats that are very comfortable. The previous CC was a four seater but the 2013 version has room for five although the center rear passenger would not be happy on a long trip.

To add to the versatility and flexibility of the CC, the rear seatback is split 60/40 and folds forward to connect the trunk to the cabin to increase load space. There’s also a pass-through behind the armrest to accommodate longer items, like skis. Another new interior feature is remote latching for the rear seatback. Levers mounted under the rear shelf on the right and left sides of the trunk make it easy to unlatch both sections of the split seatback. Typical of VW sedans, the CC’s trunk is simply huge with 13.2 cubic feet of cargo room.

The CC is offered with a choice of two engines in the U.S. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder while a 3.6-liter V6 is an option. Usually you get what you pay for but in this case the four cylinder is definitely the better choice. The 2.0 engine features direct injection and a turbocharger and intercooler to boost power to an even 200 hp. The V6 ups the power to 280 hp but costs significantly more.

The beauty of the 2.0 engine is that with its cast iron block, with the help of the aftermarket, can easily make another 100hp. While the V6 can only be had with an automatic transmission, the 2.0 comes standard with a six-speed manual. Our car had the manual transmission and we loved it. It is a rare treat to have a manual transmission in a family sedan these days so it is very refreshing to have such a choice.

With the 2.0 engine and manual transmission, the CC can hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and will top out at a restricted 130 mph. The engine is always eager to go and never feels overburdened. While the 2.0 engine is not the smoothest engine in the world, most people would never notice it. It really only becomes an issue when you are approaching the 6,000 rpm redline. You can have all of this in a car that is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the freeway.

You can tell that the CC is well engineered because everything is silky smooth. The car rides well and is quiet at speed. The car actually is a little too smooth. The shifter and the clutch require very little effort and the clutch has no feel. Cars are becoming so smooth and well-designed that they are losing their character and personality.

The best part of the CC is that you can have a very stylish European car for economy car prices. The base CC starts out at $30,965. Our car had zero options and was a bargain for that price. Choose the V6 and 4Motion all-wheel drive and suddenly you have to write a check for almost $42,000. Stay with the turbo four cylinder and front wheel drive and for about the same money that you would spend on boring family sedan, you can have an actual German sports sedan that is fun to drive, comfortable and stylish.

That’s a tough-to-beat package.


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