VW’s sleek four-door has high style

08/22/2014 7:00 PM

08/23/2014 12:00 AM

The CC, with a coupelike roofline and shapely sheetmetal, is one of the most handsome cars in the Volkswagen line. It made its debut in 2008 at the North American International Auto Show and was one of the first sedans to embrace the “four-door coupe” look that has since become so popular. According to Volkswagen, CC stands for Comfort Coupe.

The CC is available in Sport, R-Line and Executive models, with prices ranging from $31,795 to $42,895 for the VR6 Executive with all-wheel drive. I drove an R-Line with the six-speed manual transmission from VW’s press fleet.

The turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine delivers 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Direct fuel injection, dual overhead cams and variable valve timing improve efficiency. The turbo's boost comes on at low rpm so the CC steps away from a stop with considerable vigor. The manual transmission was my least favorite feature. The throttle seemed to lack response to small movements and the clutch didn’t engage until it was almost completely out. Combined with widely spaced gears, the R-Line seemed sluggish unless I was pretty aggressive with the throttle. Volkswagen’s terrific DSG dual-clutch automatic is such a delightful transmission that I would choose it over the manual.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the fuel economy at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway.

VW's excellent 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available only on the top model along with the 3.6-liter narrow-angle VR6 that delivers 280 horsepower. That model would be comparable in power and equipment to some of the more expensive Audi sedans at considerably less cost.

The CC's interior continues the coupe theme. The ergonomically formed sport seats sit low and offer added lateral support for vigorous driving and enhance the feeling of being connected to the vehicle. The two-tone, pleated seats recall sports cars of the past while looking modern and up-to-date. The fit and finish is excellent, and the choice of materials used throughout the cabin creates a look that is more like an entry-level luxury car.

Rear-seat headroom is hindered by the sloping roof that gives the car such an attractive stance.

The instrument panel has a multi-level design that has a dark eyebrow running across the top with a light-colored lower section that makes the cabin feel spacious.

The CC is available with VW’s Car-Net connectivity system that offers convenience features such as crash notification, stolen vehicle location assistance, roadside assistance, speed alerts and remote vehicle access. VW says many of the features can be controlled through a smartphone app.

All CC models are equipped with a relatively firm suspension and electromechanical power steering. The front suspension has McPherson struts, coil springs and self-leveling shock absorbers. The rear suspension is a fully independent, four-link design.

Price

The base price of the test car was $33,025. It had no options. The sticker price was $33,890.

Warranty

Three years or 36,000 miles with a five-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Tom Strongman’s e-mail is tstrongman@gmail.com

2014Volkswagen CC R-Line

Engine: 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive

Wheelbase: 106.7 inches

Curb weight: 3,374 lbs.

Base price: $33,025

As driven: $33,890

MPG: 21 in the city, 33 on the highway

At A Glance

Point: The coupe profile and sporty personality mean the CC is both sporty and practical. The cabin is modern and the seats are comfortable. The four-cylinder engine delivers nice acceleration while being efficient.

Counterpoint: The CC’s manual transmission is not as pleasant as the dual-clutch automatic, and the sloping roofline interferes with entry into the back seat.

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