The 2009 Volkswagen CC is a stylish alternative to mainstream midsize sedans. Steer clear of the VR6 model, though, as it is pricey and not much quicker than the base CC.
The 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC is not a Passat for the hearing-impaired. Instead, the name stands for Comfort Coupe, but it's not a Passat coupe either -- it has four full doors. No, the CC is a sleeker, restyled version of VW's midsize sedan, intended for folks who want something more stylish and different than the typical family four-door. What's in a name, anyway?
Like the Mercedes CLS, the VW CC was created by taking a rather practical sedan with humdrum styling (E-Class and Passat, respectively) and transforming it into a ravishing looker. In the case of the CC, VW took the basic Passat architecture -- same wheelbase, same powertrain, same basic interior -- and stretched out the overhangs by 0.6 inch and lowered the roof line by 2 inches. The front-end styling was made sleeker, a dramatic side character line was added and the rear end was tapered down from the radically sloped roof line in an almost Porsche-like way. It all combines to create a car that is remarkably better-looking than the car upon which it's based, one that could actually be described as sexy. You can't say that about most midsize sedans.
Inside, the CC mostly carries over the Passat's cabin, complete with high-quality materials and well-designed controls. The CC adds a bit of flair, though, with sharp two-tone seats available on every trim level -- tan seat centers and door trim surrounded by black. The seats have also been upgraded to be more supportive and feature attractive cross-stitched upholstery (in leather or convincing leatherette vinyl). Volkswagen's new touchscreen navigation system is another welcome upgrade.
With this influx of style, though, come a few drawbacks. Most notably, the backseat can only hold two passengers in bucket seats, which are nevertheless extremely comfortable. The reason for the four-person capacity is that sleek, tapered roof line, which chews into rear headroom -- any middle passenger sitting on the bump would've been miserable anyway. As it is, those taller than 6 feet will still need to slouch down a bit in the outboard positions (or lay off the hair gel). The trunk is also shorter and narrower -- golf clubs will need to fit diagonally.
So there are practical drawbacks to the 2009 Volkswagen CC. If a big trunk and five-passenger capacity is important, then a regular Passat or well-equipped versions of top midsize sedans like the Honda Accord, Mazda 6 or Nissan Altima will likely be better choices. However, with its high level of style and premium feel throughout, the CC is a very appealing sedan with the base turbocharged engine, which produces a good mix of fuel economy and power. The luxurious VR6 Sport trim is less impressive, however, given its eye-popping price of $38,000 and the fact that its 280 horsepower provides a negligible acceleration advantage over the turbo-4. For that type of money, you could have an Audi A4, BMW 328i or Mercedes-Benz C300 Sport -- albeit with less equipment.
The VW CC certainly won't appeal to everyone, but it's an attractive alternative for those who don't want a plain old midsize sedan. So while the name doesn't make a whole lot of sense, for a specific type of buyer, the car certainly will.