2016 VOLKSWAGEN CC

IMG_1534STYLISH, BUT PRICEY

Although the CC sedan may be the most stylish car in the Volkswagen lineup, it has not sold very well, just 6,300 copies last year. One of the reasons for this is that it’s pricey. It’s the most expensive car that VW sells in the U.S., and that’s a problem. So to enhance its appeal, Volkswagen is offering a lower-priced entry model this year called the CC Trend.

The CC, which stands for Comfort Coupe, is a sleek midsize four-door based on the European VW Passat. It features a steeply raked windshield, narrow side glass and the signature three-bar Volkswagen grille. Like the more expensive Audi A7 and the Mercedes CLS, the CC offers sedan-like accommodations in a coupe-like profile. However, it’s been around for seven years now, so it doesn’t turn as many heads as it use to.

Like its siblings in the VW lineup, the CC’s interior is well crafted. It features a two-tier dash divided by a slender band of trim, which was made of carbon-fiber in my test car. The center control panel hosts a six-inch display screen with easy to operate buttons for audio, telephone and navigation. Volkswagen has upgraded the infotainment system this year for faster response, and better smartphone integration.

IMG_1540The CC’s cabin seats four adults—five in a pinch. Passengers up front sit in well-contoured seats, finished in high quality leatherette (most models) with tuck-and-roll type styling. Those in the rear enjoy ample legroom, but head space is tight, due to a sloping roofline. The trunk, at 13.2 cu-ft, will swallow two regular-size suitcases, but not much more.

The CC comes in six trim levels, Trend, Sport, R-Line (three versions) and 4Motion Executive. The new Trend model is reasonably well equipped, and not bare-bones. It comes with heated front seats with 12-way power adjusters, VW Car-Net smartphone integration, surround-sound audio and more. The Sport and R-Line models get upgrades like navigation, a panoramic sunroof and styling tweaks.

However, if you want all the bells and whistles choose the 4-Motion Executive. Standard equipment includes a V-6 engine, all-wheel drive and electronic safety features, such as lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and front collision mitigation. Unfortunately, these safety devices are not available on other models in the lineup.

Under the hood, Volkswagen installs its tried-and-true turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine on all models, except the 4-Motion Executive. The four-banger generates 200 horsepower, and is teamed with a six-speed manual, or a six-speed automated manual transmission. This latter gearbox, which VW calls a DSG, operates like an automatic. The V-6 motor is 3.6-liters in size, and pumps out 280 horsepower. It’s mated to a conventional 6-speed automatic.

IMG_1541My R-Line test car had the turbo two-liter and DSG. I noticed a slight hesitation when starting off, but then the CC accelerated rapidly, and the DSG delivered quick shifts. Furthermore, my car came with paddle shifters, which provided additional engine control on hills and twisty roads.

The CC is not exactly a sport sedan, but it exhibits good balance, and feels very competent negotiating tight corners. The ride is European firm, transmitting road irregularities to your backside, but it isn’t harsh. You may notice some wind noise at freeway speeds, but it’s not obtrusive.

The CC is priced like an entry-level luxury sedan, and that’s the rub. There’s a lot of competition from brands with more prestige, like Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Although the Trend model starts at a reasonable $32,435, the top-of-the-line 4-Motion Executive goes for over $45,000. My mid-range R-Line test car had a suggested price of $38,685.

 

SNAPSHOT REVIEW

Sleek Styling

Well-Finished Cabin

Limited Safety Features

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