When Mercedes-Benz introduced the concept of a modern four-door coupe with the CLS, we knew it was the start of a fashionable fad. Sure enough, now Volkswagen has readied their take on sedan meets sports coupe with the new CC. But since the CC is based on the excellent Passat, we expect the CC to deliver more than just looks.

Volkswagen says the 2009 CC, which stands for “comfort coupe,” has been engineered to “blend sports car dynamics and dimensions with sedan comfort.” No easy feat, for any car design.  So, the new CC is hardly your standard family sedan. The striking coupe-like styling is a bold step away from VW’s typically orthodox 4-door designs.

The sweeping roof-line is 2-inches lower than that of the Passat, giving the CC a serious ground-hugging look.  A bold, sharp-edged shoulder line, sweeps from stem to stern, rising to a high deck lid with an integrated spoiler. Book-ending the 106.7-inch wheelbase of our top-line 3.6L 4Motion test car are 18-inch alloy wheels, which further add to the low slung look. The base 2.0L model wears 16-inch wheels.

The CC may look low and lean, but its 2-passenger rear cabin provides easier entry and exit, as well as more head and leg room, than the larger Mercedes CLS. Still, if you’re over 5’ 10”, it is tight.

The dual sport seat design splits and folds to expand an already spacious 13.0 cubic-foot trunk. The high level luxury front cabin is also easier to enter then it looks. The almost retro two-tone, pleated leather sports seats feature standard 12-way power adjustments, and heat.

Interior trim is a classy combination of leather and brightwork. Features include a standard Dynaudio 600-watt digital sound system with satellite radio.  An optional navigation system with voice command and an available rear view camera.

Power for the CC sedan is all Passat. Standard is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 200-horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Optional is VW’s latest narrow-angle VR6. At 3.6-liters, with variable-valve-timing, output is 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque.

Transmissions are a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic for the 2.0-liter turbo; with a 6-speed Tiptronic manual mode automatic for the VR6. The 4-cylinder CC is front-wheel-drive, while the VR6 model is available in front-drive, or with Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive. Our car’s VR6 4Motion drivetrain has Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 17 city/25 highway on premium gas. Our mixed test loop delivered a fine 24 miles-per-gallon.

At the test track, the CC was as swift as it looks - 60 in 6.1 seconds, and a quarter-mile run of 14.6 seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.  The VR6 delivers a smooth launch, followed by a healthy wack in the mid-range. Revs rise quickly, with little vibration, but the 6-speed Tiptronic shifts were a little soft.

The CC suspension uses a MacPherson strut front and 4-link rear design. The electromechanical steering is tight, but numb, delivering quick turn-ins.  The competent chassis allows little body roll, very much like the Passat. There is a typical amount of all-wheel drive induced front push. But, the solid grip, ample power, and standard traction and stability control, easily pull you through.

Braking is by ABS equipped discs all around that haul the CC down from 60 in a short average of 123 feet. As with handling, performance is solid. Real world driving shows the CC to be a fine Teutonic cruiser, the ride is firm but never harsh, with excellent noise and vibration control. The CC’s character is much like that of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

But the price is about four grand less than the Benz. The front-drive turbo-4 CC starts at $27,480. But move up to the VR6, and it jumps to $38,990. Add in 4Motion, and the $39,990 price is close to 4-grand more than an all-wheel-drive C-CLASS.

So, we think the front drive turbo-4 CC is the bargain. But, regardless of model, it is one sporty, capable, and very fashionable 4-door. The CC is easily one of the sharpest looking cars, coupe or sedan, to ever wear a Volkswagen badge. In short, it’s a real beauty!



  • Engine: 3.6l 4motion
  • Horsepower: 280
  • Torque: 265 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 6.1 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.6 Seconds @ 98 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 123 Feet
  • EPA: 17 MPG City/ 25 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 24 MPG