As a wife/husband automotive writing team and people who enjoy a good car and a good value, we have regular ?what would we buy if we had to buy a car today? discussions.? These are usually held in our regular conference room ? the front seat of whatever car we happen to be driving that week.
This is a practical exercise and not one of those ?if money were no object fantasies.? For the last couple of years, the Volkswagen CC has consistently ranked at or near the top of the prestigious list.? The CC performs beautifully, looks good, is economical, fun to drive, practical, affordable, comfortable, etc.
The Volkswagen CC roots go back to the 2004 Mercedes-Benz CLS Class, which was the first car to feature the sexy sweptback coupe like roofline on a four door.? It became the ?four-door coupe? and since that time has been replicated by such beauties as the Porsche Panamera, Jaguar XK and XF, Audi A7 and Fisker Karma.
About four years ago, Volkswagen slipped into the four-door coupe segment with a very nice looking car called the CC.? The second generation of the CC debuted early in 2012.
Volkswagen designers didn?t mess with the flowing coupe-like roofline, but they did make some changes to the front and rear, that make it look even better.? The new look is more horizontal with more emphasis on the bumper and the grille, rather than having the grille dip in a ?U? shape to the bottom of the fascia.? This combined with a new slimmer bi-Xenon headlight pod make the car look wider and lower.? They also added a line of LED daytime running lights that run from the upper outside corners under the headlight.? We like it.
????? In the rear, the bumper is larger and the taillights are slimmer and more horizontal contributing to the wider, lower look. The new taillights have efficient LED elements that are arranged to emphasize the wide look.? The clean functional interior gets only minor changes, one being the availability of three-passenger seating in the rear instead of the two seats with a bin between them.? Rear seat access is still a little cramped, but that?s a tradeoff to get the sexy roofline.
The engines are unchanged with just two options, a 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected TSI? four-cylinder engine that generates 200 horsepower and the 3.6-liter narrow-angle VR6 engine that produces 280 horsepower.? The four-cylinder gets an EPA rating of 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, and the VR6 is rated at 17/25 mpg.? The turbo four-cylinder always feels more powerful than the horsepower would indicate.? Our first choice, however, would be the Volkswagen TDI diesel engine, which gets more than 40 mpg in the VW Passat, which is about the same size.? Unfortunately, a diesel engine is only offered in Europe, at least for now.
??????????? The Volkswagen CC is offered in five models, 2.0T Sport, 2.0T Sport Plus, 2.0T R-Line, 2.0T Lux, VR6 Lux and VR6 4Motion Executive. ??The 2.0T models are all front-wheel drive and have a standard six-speed manual transmission or the optional six-speed DSG? dual-clutch automatic transmission.? The DSG electronically shifts faster and smoother than anyone can shift a manual transmission.? It shifts automatically, or can be shifted manually, and it produces better fuel economy than the manual transmission.
The VR6 models have a regular six-speed automatic transmission.? The Lux is front-wheel drive, but the Executive uses VW?s 4Motion all-wheel drive.
The two VW engines produce a much different feel on the road.? The 2.0T feels light and agile, while the VR6 feels more heavy and solid because of the additional weight of the engine and 4Motion (for the Executive).?? The 2.0-liter turbo is one of our favorite engines because it?s so efficient and has such good performance.? It accelerates from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds, but feels faster.? The VR6 is quicker at 6.3 seconds.
Pricing starts at $31,110 for the 2.0T Sport with manual transmission and goes up to $42,240 for the VR6 4Motion Executive.? Even the base model is well equipped with features like 17-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with adaptive lighting (they turn with the steering wheel), automatic climate control, power seats, HD radio, and Bluetooth?.? All the models, except the Sport have a navigation system.
The top of the line Executive has all the goodies:? all-wheel drive, leather seating, upgraded navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated and vented front seats, Park Distance Control, Dynaudio sound system, sunroof and power rear sunshade.? It?s a true luxury car and the only options are cosmetic accessories.
We recently spent a week at home using the 2.0T CC Sport Plus as our mobile conference room.? It ranked high on our quick checklist.? It looks great.? It was economical, we averaged 29.1 mpg during the week.? It?s definitely fun to drive.? It accelerates quickly with virtually no turbo lag, and the suspension is a very good compromise between good handling and good ride.? It?s also reasonably priced.
Here?s our wish list for things we?d change.? The trunk is roomy at 13.2 cubic feet, and the rear seat has a 40/60 split for expanded cargo capacity, however, we still prefer a hatchback configuration with more cargo room and flexibility.? We wish it had a blind spot warning system and the 2.0T engine was available with 4Motion all-wheel drive.? ?Other than that, the CC remains at, or near the top of our ?what if? list.