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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.

 


2015 Volkswagen CC Sport CC 11


Moving inside, the CC has the air of a luxury vehicle. Soft-touch plastic finished in black and faux aluminum trim give a premium feeling to the vehicle. Controls are within easy reach of the driver and passenger, and have a solid feel to them. The Sport is the base model in the CC lineup, but it doesn’t feel like it with the amount of standard equipment fitted to it. There is leatherette with power adjustments for the front seats, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a five-inch touchscreen with navigation, Bluetooth, HID headlights, and automatic wipers. I do have to call out the five-inch touchscreen. If you have checked out any of my previous Volkswagen reviews, then you know I hate this system as the screen is too small to hit the touch points and the graphics look dated.

 

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.

 


2015 Volkswagen CC Sport CC 8


The CC’s ride was surprising in how it balanced comfort and sport. In day to day driving, the CC did an excellent job of isolating bumps and road imperfections. Out on the freeway, the CC kept road noise mostly at bay. Wind noise is somewhat apparent when cruising at high speed. On the curves, the CC is nicely balanced and likes to be pushed. Steering is on the lighter side, but provides decent feel.

 

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

 

Year: 2015
Make: Volkswagen
Model: CC
Trim: Sport
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)

 

Options:
N/A


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Passat is much more practical, and has much better back seat room.  Still a neat car though....

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The agree that the Passat would be a much more practical car, but for a small family I think the CC is perfect and very usable.

 

Is the CC a re-name of the Bora or Jetta?

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The agree that the Passat would be a much more practical car, but for a small family I think the CC is perfect and very usable.

 

Is the CC a re-name of the Bora or Jetta?

 

No. The CC is its own model. I don't know if Europe still calls it the Passat CC or not.

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The CC is a 4 door coupe in the same vein as the M-B CLS is and the Audi A7, on a smaller package.

The rear space is tight and if you are a tall person, you will have a hard time getting in the back as the roof line slopes real fast to provide that 4 door coupe silhouette. the first and second year of its production, the back seats were bucket style. In 2012 VW started offering bench seats for the back. And by reading the article...I am to understand that VW has deleted the bucket seat arrangement all together.

Mr. William finds the leg room to be sufficient...I on the other hand, when I was looking to buy a VW CC in 2012, I was not satisfied with the leg room. And I am 5'6" tall.

I really really LOVED the CC in 2012, I found it to be very well built, with premium levels of quality. I found the CC to be at a Premium car level. I also found the Buick Regal to be equally the same. All positives and negatives are the same between the Regal and CC.

I bought a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD instead. Primarily because the back space is much much more in line as a family car. I find the CC to be a car for the single executive who does not want a BMW 3 Series coupe....or sedan and does not want to compromise with a 1 Series Bimmer either. The CC is/was a very nice alternative.

In my opinion, the CC is now long in the tooth. I am awaiting for its replacement.

This is what VW proposed not too long ago...and this is the reason why I thing the current CC is long in the tooth

volkswagen-sport-coupe-concept-gte-photo

 

05-vw-sport-coupe-gte-concept-geneva-1.j

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I really liked the CC when it was new. It was a great looking, clean design with just a hit of aggressiveness. The interior was also the best around. Now that it's aged and VW gave it a half-hearted refresh that included making the face completely forgettable, I don't look twice at them. At this point, I think the interior looks older than its age. The rest of the industry advanced too quickly while VW put all its focus into increasing volume of lesser models and let the CC stagnate.

 

This was a much better looking car.

Volkswagen-Passat-CC-2011-1.jpg

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really if you want space, the Passat is the way to go.  The sales numbers reflect how space and price are valued compared to the CC.

 

Not sure why but when i was selling cars, a guy i worked with had sold VW for awhile.  He said the CC's the customers complained about how bad they were in winter. Odd for a front driver.  I am guessing the tires OEM were an issue.  Could be why people never re-leased them for example.  On trades their trade in value did not come close to the residuals that were assigned to them either.  VW had buyout penalties on the leases if you tried to trade them in so you usually were stuck holding on to them til the very end.

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Mr. William finds the leg room to be sufficient...I on the other hand, when I was looking to buy a VW CC in 2012, I was not satisfied with the leg room. And I am 5'6" tall.

I really really LOVED the CC in 2012, I found it to be very well built, with premium levels of quality. I found the CC to be at a Premium car level. I also found the Buick Regal to be equally the same. All positives and negatives are the same between the Regal and CC.

I bought a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD instead. Primarily because the back space is much much more in line as a family car. I find the CC to be a car for the single executive who does not want a BMW 3 Series coupe....or sedan and does not want to compromise with a 1 Series Bimmer either. The CC is/was a very nice alternative.

In my opinion, the CC is now long in the tooth. I am awaiting for its replacement.

This is what VW proposed not too long ago...and this is the reason why I thing the current CC is long in the tooth

volkswagen-sport-coupe-concept-gte-photo

 

05-vw-sport-coupe-gte-concept-geneva-1.j

 

Now that is odd, considering I'm slightly taller than you (5'8")

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^^^

Yup...it is odd...that is why I mentioned my oh sooooo great height that I have...

 

Also...if the salesman did his job properly that day, Id be driving a 2012 VW CC R-Line 2.0T as we speak instead of the Acura TL as I was hooked on the car.  (The 2013s were on their way in...actually, the CC that I test drove was his last 2012...it was a R-Line...and the 2013s were gonna be shipped later that week or so...) Except the idiot was harping on the fact that I have children and kept pushing the Passat on me...and I did not want the Passat...too stale...I WANTED the CC...I LUSTED after the CC...

 

Its hard for a salesman to "close" me as I KNOW what I want and I rarely get influenced by emotions when I buy a car...actually...I have to LUST over a car in order for me to buy it in the first place so that statement I made is not entirely correct...however, on that particular day I was test driving the CC, if he used his special magical salesman powers on me...he would have had a sale that day....for the CC...not the Passat...because like I said...if he took a notice how my emotions were on the CC, he would have seen a very vulnerably fellow...but alas...my better judgement finally won out and I resisted to buy...because he kept on pushing Passat...Anyway...I left for vacation with my family later that month and when we came back shortly thereafter...I test drove the Buick Regal and the Acura TL....the TL SH-AWD won out...

Edited by oldshurst442

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I really liked the CC when it was new. It was a great looking, clean design with just a hit of aggressiveness. The interior was also the best around. Now that it's aged and VW gave it a half-hearted refresh that included making the face completely forgettable, I don't look twice at them. At this point, I think the interior looks older than its age. The rest of the industry advanced too quickly while VW put all its focus into increasing volume of lesser models and let the CC stagnate.

 

This was a much better looking car.

Volkswagen-Passat-CC-2011-1.jpg

I drove a silver first gen DCT. Best sounding turbo four I've ever heard. It was a very nice car. Just couldn't afford vdub maintenance.

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      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The three-row full-size crossover has taken the place of large SUVs as the vehicle of choice for growing families. Crossovers offer the tall ride height and large space, but not at the cost of fuel economy and ride quality. Recently, I spent a week in the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. These two models could not be any different; one is focused on providing driving enjoyment, while the other is concerned about providing enough space for cargo and passengers. Trying to determine which one was the best would prove to be a difficult task.
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      There is no contest between these two when it comes to design as the CX-9 blows the Atlas out of the water. The overall look balances aggressive and elegance traits. For the front, Mazda has angled the clip to give off a sporting profile while a large grille and a set of slim headlights accentuate this. Move around to the side and you’ll notice the CX-9 has quite a long front end and the rear roof pillars are angled slightly forward. These design cues help make the CX-9 look slightly smaller than it actually is.
      Someone once described a Volkswagen vehicle as “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” That’s how I would sum up the Atlas’ design; it is basically a box on wheels. There are some nice touches such as the LED headlights that come standard on all models and chunky fenders. The 18-inch alloy wheels that come with the SE w/Technology look somewhat small on the Atlas, but that is likely due to the large size of the vehicle.
      Interior
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      As a way to differentiate itself from other automakers, Mazda is trying to become more premium. This is clearly evident in the CX-9’s interior. The dash is beautiful with contouring used throughout, and a mixture of brushed aluminum and soft-touch plastics with a grain texture. If I were to cover up the Mazda badge on the steering wheel and ask you to identify the brand, you might think it was from a German automaker. Ergonomics aren’t quite as good as the Atlas as you have to reach for certain controls like those for the climate system.
      The CX-9’s front seats don’t feel quite as spacious when compared to the Atlas with a narrow cockpit and the rakish exterior are to blame. Still, most drivers should be able to find a position that works. The seats themselves have a sporting edge with increased side bolstering and firm cushions. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and didn’t have issues of not having enough support. Moving to the second row, Mazda only offers a bench seat configuration. This is disappointing considering all of the CX-9’s competitors offer captain chairs as an option. There is more than enough legroom for most passengers, but those six-feet and above will find headroom to be a bit tight. Getting into the third-row is slightly tough. Like the Atlas, the CX-9’s second row slides and tilts to allow access. But space is noticeably smaller and does require some gymnastics to pass through. Once seated, I found it to be quite cramped with little head and legroom. This is best reserved for small kids.
      Cargo area is another weak point to the CX-9. With both back seats up, there is only 14.4 cubic feet. This puts it behind most of the competition aside from the GMC Acadia which has 12.8. It doesn’t get any better when the seats are folded. With the third-row down, the CX-9 has 38.2 cubic feet. Fold down the second-row and it expands to 71.2 cubic feet. To use the GMC Acadia again, it offers 41.7 cubic feet when the third-row is folded and rises to 79 with both rows. Keep in mind, the Acadia is about six inches shorter than the CX-9.
      Infotainment
      All CX-9’s come equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The base Sport comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, while the Touring and above use a larger 8-inch screen. A rotary knob and set of redundant buttons on the center console control the system. Using Mazda Connect is a bit of a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look a bit dated with the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Trying to use the touchscreen is an exercise in frustration as it is not easy to tell which parts are touch-enabled and not. On the upside, moving around Mazda Connect is a breeze when using the knob and buttons. Currently, Mazda doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility. Thankfully, this is being remedied with the 2019 model as Touring models and above will come with both.
      For the Atlas, Volkswagen offers three different systems. A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard on the S. Moving up to either the SE, SE w/Technology, or SEL nets you an 8-inch screen. The top line SEL Premium adds navigation to the 8-inch system. All of the systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The current Volkswagen system is one of the easiest to use thanks in part to intuitive menu structure and quick responses. Moving through menus or presets is easy as the system reacts to the swiping gesture like you would do on your smartphone. There are a couple of downsides to the Volkswagen system. One is there is no haptic feedback when pressing the shortcut buttons on either side of the screen. Also, the glass surface becomes littered with fingerprints very quickly. 
      I did have an issue with the system when trying to use Apple CarPlay. At times, applications such as Spotify would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to get the apps unfrozen until I shut the vehicle off. After resetting my iPhone, this problem went away. This leaves me wondering how much of this problem was with my phone and not the infotainment system.
      Powertrain
      Both of these crossovers are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The CX-9 has a 2.5L producing either 227 or 250 (on premium fuel) horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Atlas has a 2.0L producing 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An optional 3.6L V6 with 276 horsepower is available for the Atlas. For the Mazda, power is routed to a six-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The Volkswagen makes do with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive only. If you want AWD, you need the V6.
      Thanks to its higher torque figure, the CX-9 leaves the Atlas in the dust. There is barely any lag coming from the turbo-four. Instead, it delivers a linear throttle response and a steady stream of power.  NVH levels are noticeably quieter than the Atlas’ turbo-four. The six-speed automatic delivers seamless shifts and is quick to downshift when you need extra power such as merging.
      The turbo-four in the Atlas seems slightly overwhelmed at first. When leaving a stop, I found that there was a fair amount of turbo-lag. This is only exacerbated if the stop-start system is turned on. Once the turbo was spooling, the four-cylinder did a surprising job of moving the 4,222 pound Atlas with no issue. Stab the throttle and the engine comes into life, delivering a smooth and constant stream of power. The eight-speed automatic provided quick and smooth shifts, although it was sometimes hesitant to downshift when more power was called for.
      Fuel Economy
      Both of these models are close in fuel economy. EPA says the CX-9 AWD should return 20 City/26 Highway/23 Combined, while the Atlas 2.0T will get 22/26/24. During the week, the CX-9 returned 22.5 mpg in mostly city driving and the Atlas got 27.3 mpg with a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The eight-speed transmission in the Atlas makes a huge difference.
      Ride & Handling
      The CX-9 is clearly the driver’s choice. On a winding road, the crossover feels quite nimble thanks to a well-tuned suspension. There is a slight amount of body roll due to the tall ride height, but nothing that will sway your confidence. Steering has some heft when turning and feels quite responsive. Despite the firm suspension, the CX-9’s ride is supple enough to iron out most bumps. Only large imperfections and bumps would make their way inside. Barely any wind and road noise made it inside the cabin.
      The Atlas isn’t far behind in handling. Volkswagen’s suspension turning helps keep body roll in check and makes the crossover feel smaller than it actually is. The only weak point is the steering which feels somewhat light when turning. Ride quality is slightly better than the CX-9 as Atlas feels like riding on a magic carpet when driving on bumpy roads. Some of this can be attributed to smaller wheels. There is slightly more wind noise coming inside the cabin.
      Value
      It would be unfair to directly compare these two crossovers due to the large gap in price. Instead, I will be comparing them with the other’s similar trim.
      The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas SE with Technology begins at $35,690 for the 2.0T FWD. With destination, my test car came to $36,615, The Technology adds a lot of desirable features such as three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and lane departure alert. The Mazda CX-9 Touring is slightly less expensive at $35,995 with destination and matches the Atlas on standard features, including all of the safety kit. But we’re giving the Atlas the slight edge as you do get more space for not that much more money.
      Over at the CX-9, the Grand Touring AWD begins at $42,270. With a couple of options including the Soul Red paint, the as-tested price came to $43,905. The comparable Atlas V6 SEL with 4Motion is only $30 more expensive when you factor in destination. Both come closely matched in terms of equipment with the only differences being the Grand Touring has navigation, while the SEL comes with a panoramic sunroof. This one is a draw as it will come down whether space or luxury is more important to you.
      Verdict
      Coming in second is the Mazda CX-9. It may have the sharpest exterior in the class, a premium interior that could embarrass some luxury cars, and pleasing driving characteristics. But ultimately, the CX-9 falls down on the key thing buyers want; space. It trails most everyone in passenger and cargo space. That is ultimately the price you pay for all of the positives listed. 
      For a first attempt, Volkswagen knocked it out of the park with the Atlas. It is a bit sluggish when leaving a stop and doesn’t have as luxurious of an interior as the CX-9. But Volkswagen gave the Atlas one of the largest interiors of the class, a chassis that balances a smooth ride with excellent body control, impressive fuel economy, and a price that won’t break the bank.
      Both of these crossovers are impressive and worthy of being at the top of the consideration list. But at the end of the day, the Atlas does the three-row crossover better than the CX-9.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-9
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.5L Skyactiv-G Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 227 @ 5,000 (Regular), 250 @ 5,000 (Premium)
      Torque @ RPM: 310 @ 2,000 rpm
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/26/23
      Curb Weight: 4,361 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $42,470
      As Tested Price: $43,905 (Includes $940.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Soul Red Metallic - $595.00
      Cargo Mat - $100.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Atlas
      Trim: 2.0T SE w/Technology
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/26/24
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Chattanooga, TN
      Base Price: $35,690
      As Tested Price: $36,615 (Includes $925.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      In a month's time, Europe will be switching from much maligned New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP). Automakers are scrambling to get models certified under this new procedure. This presents a big problem for Volkswagen as they don't have enough engineers to make sure their vehicles to meet the new standards.
      According to Reuters, Volkswagen lost a number of engineers that specialized in engine calibration ever since the company revealed they were using illegal software on their diesel vehicles to cheat emission tests.
      “Engine development expertise has been lost,” said Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess.
      It is so bad, that Volkswagen believes it will affect their financial results for the second half of this year as they might not be able to get a number of vehicles out on the road. The company said there would a bottleneck of certain model variants between now and October.
      Volkswagen is working hard to try and overcome this problem. They have plucked BMW engine development expert Markus Duesmann last week to try and get through this mess.
      Source: Reuters

      View full article
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