2009 Volkswagen CC SportPosted on June 29th, 2009
Sport sedan with coupe styling
By Nina Russin
The Volkswagen CC is a car that turns heads: a sedan disguised as a coupe. A sporty interior provides seating for four. A small pass-through between the rear seats makes it possible to load skis, snowboards, or other long cargo inside.
Despite its luxurious appearance, the CC is an ALV best value: the Sport grade tested starts at $27,100. Standard equipment includes steering wheel audio controls, Bluetooth interface, power heated front seats, automatic climate control, and remote keyless entry.
The best part of the CC lies under the hood: a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, rated at 200 horsepower. Direct injection gives the engine exceptional throttle response. Zero-to-sixty acceleration with a six-speed automatic transmission is 7.4 seconds.
Buyers who want more power and four-season capability can upgrade to a 280-horsepower V6 engine with available all-wheel drive.
Thumbs up from the neighbors
I’ve lived in the same house in Phoenix for fifteen years. My neighbors love to see what arrives on car swap day, and they aren’t shy about voicing their opinions. All agreed that the CC Sport was a looker.
My test drive headed east from town towards the Superstition Mountains, and the paved portion of the Apache trail. Slipping behind the wheel, I was impressed with the clean, modern interior.
To start the car, the driver inserts a keyless ignition fob into a slot right of the steering wheel. A mouse device on the right side of the wheel changes the display in a digital information center between the gauges. It includes ambient temperature, audio settings, instant and average fuel economy, trip meter, and distance till empty.
A floor-mounted shift lever includes manual gear selection for the six-speed automatic transmission. Manually-shiftable automatics are a great alternative to manual transmissions for commuters who don’t want to hassle with a clutch. I let the car shift automatically driving along the highway, and shifted manually when I got to the winding mountain roads.
The CC has a high cowl, that can limit forward visibility. I was able to compensate somewhat by raising the seat, but found it difficult to judge where the front end was parallel parking.
Visibility to the sides and rear of the car is quite good. The CC’s large rear glass is a welcome change from the narrow windows and thick rear pillars on many new cars. B pillars are narrow enough to maintain good over-the-shoulder visibility.
The CC’s inline four-cylinder engine offers power and performance comparable to many V6s, but with much better gas mileage. My average fuel economy for the test drive was 30 miles-per-gallon: better than the EPA estimate.
The sedan has no problem accelerating hard into highway traffic. The six-speed automatic transmission includes large overdrive gears to enhance fuel economy; shift logic adapts to driving patterns to produce a buttery smooth ride while cruising.
The electro-mechanical steering system has exceptional on-center response for quick lane changes, or the occasional emergency maneuver. Engineers maximized torsional rigidity throughout the body structure to give the CC that wonderfully athletic German car feel. A fully independent suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars and self-leveling shocks gives passengers a compliant ride, while keeping the chassis flat in the corners.
Seventeen-inch wheels give the car large contact patches with the ground for better response and braking. Self-sealing tires reduce the likelihood of flats: an undersized spare mounted under the cargo floor is extra insurance against getting stranded.
On winding roads, the CC’s real personality comes out. The chassis is very well balanced for a front-wheel drive car, without excessive tendency to understeer.
The turbo adds an extra dose of power at wide open throttle while maintaining good fuel economy and low emissions. Manual gear selection allowed me to keep the car in lower gears through the mountains: close to the engine’s peak torque.
The CC has a relatively short wheelbase: 106.7 inches. That, together with the car’s wide track, give it good steering response on roads with sharp turns.
Four-wheel disc brakes stop the car on a dime if necessary, without being grabby. Standard antilock braking helps the driver to maintain directional control in wet weather.
Rear seat passengers will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of head, hip and legroom available. Since the CC only seats four, designers were able to use the same sport bucket seats in back as in front. Lower lumbar support isn’t exceptional, but I found it adequate for my two-hour test drive.
Climate and audio controls in the center stack are easy to reach from either front seating position. There are map pockets in the front doors. Both rows of passengers have access to cupholders: in the floor console up front, and in a center console with sliding cover in back.
A locking glovebox is big enough to hold a wallet or very small purse. There is a deep center console bin under the front armrest for holding compact discs. Small storage slots around the front and rear cupholders are the right size for portable electronic devices. A standard 12-volt power point recharges cell phones on the go.
Both rows of passengers have access to overhead reading lamps. A small overhead console holds sunglasses.
The CC has a colossal trunk, thanks to its long rear overhang. While sedans aren’t ideal for hauling bicycles, the trunk is easily large enough for multiple golf bags, suitcases, coolers and camping equipment.
All grades come with standard front, side and side curtain airbags, electronic stability and traction control, antilock brakes, active front head restraints and a first aid kit. The Volkswagen warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance for the first three years or 36,000 miles. Scheduled maintenance procedures are free during the three-year, bumper-to-bumper factory warranty.
Volkswagen builds the CC at its assembly plant in Emden, Germany.
Likes: A beautifully-styled sport coupe with sinous performance, and a spacious modern interior. A standard rear pass-through allows passengers to carry skis and other long cargo inside the car.
Dislike: High front cowl limits forward visibility.
Model: CC Sport
Base price: $27,100
As tested: $29,325
Horsepower: 200 Hp @ 5100 rpm
Torque: 207 lbs.-ft. @ 5000 rpm
Zero-to-sixty: 7.4 seconds
Antilock brakes: Standard
Side curtain airbags: Standard
First aid kit: Standard
Bicycle friendly: No
Fuel economy: 19/29 mpg city/highway
Comments: MSRP does not include a $750 delivery charge. The manufacturer recommends the use of premium fuel.
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