The term black sheep is used to describe someone that is either odd or despicable, especially in terms of a family. Take into consideration Volkswagen. The past 15 years or so have seen a number of black sheep in their lineup. The best example is the Phaeton. Introduced in 2004 as competitor to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and its ilk, the Phaeton was over-engineered and came with impressive luxury features. The problem was convincing people that it was ok to spend $80,000+ on a Volkswagen and was pulled out a few years after its introduction. Then there is the CC. Arriving to the lineup in 2008, the CC was one of the first vehicles to capitalize on the four-door coupe trend. But the past few years have seen the CC fade into the Volkswagen lineup, with the likes of the Jetta and Golf in the spotlight. So why has the CC almost gone into obscurity? I spent a week in the 2015 CC Sport 2.0T to find out.
Walking around the CC, you can’t help but think this is possibly the best looking Volkswagen in quite a while. The basic shape hasn’t changed much since it first introduced. A low-slung front end flows into a side profile with a high beltline and sloping roofline. The back has a short deck and a clean looking trunklid with a large VW emblem which conceals the backup camera - the emblem opens up at an angle to reveal the camera. The only real items of change are up front where Volkswagen swapped the grille, air intake, and headlights to bring it more in line with the current lineup.
In the back, you’ll find a bench seat and not the two seat layout that the original CC came with. This was to make the CC somewhat more practical. Sitting in the back, I found legroom to be generous, while headroom was very much at a premium due to the sloping roofline. Also the high beltline does increase the feeling of being cramped.
See Page 2 for Powertrain and Handling Thoughts
Most CCs come equipped with Volkswagen’s venerable turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder with 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting a bit more power will want to check out the top-of-the-line CC with the 3.6L VR6 producing 280 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque. The 2.0T comes with a choice of either a six-speed manual or DSG, while the VR6 gets a six-speed automatic only. In my case, I had the 2.0T paired with a six-speed manual, and was delighted by this combination. Despite the low power numbers, the 2.0T feels much more powerful. Power is instantaneous and never seem to fall off a cliff. Even in situations where I needed to make a pass, the 2.0T was there with the power needed to get me moving. The six-speed manual was smooth and provided positive shift action as I went through the gears. As for fuel economy, the CC 2.0T with the manual is rated at 22 City/31 Highway/25 Combined. I got an average of 27.2 MPG for the week.
The Volkswagen CC is still a credible vehicle in the Volkswagen lineup. With sharp looks, an impressive feature list, and a balanced diet of sport and comfort, the CC deserves more recognition. But why has the CC faded into the unknown? It comes down to CC being one of the oldest models in the lineup. It doesn’t help newer models such as the Golf are overshadowing it. But if you’re looking for something a bit different in the midsize/entry-level luxury sedan class, be sure to give the CC a close look.
Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the CC, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Engine: 2.0L TSI Turbocharged 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Front-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 200 @ 5100
Torque @ RPM: 207 @ 1700
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/32/25
Curb Weight: 3,358 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Emden, Germany
Base Price: $32,685
As Tested Price: $33,550 (Includes $865.00 Destination Charge)