Likes: Lighter-than-aero exterior design
Art gallery-quality interior styling
Recaro sport front seats
Dislikes: Rear seat head room -- not gonna happen
Some dubious interior color combinations
We all tend to get extremely excited when we cruise the auto show floor and see the first examples of a production car. We certainly got goose bumps at our first glimpse of Volkswagen's sporty four-door coupe -- the 2009 Volkswagen CC. The VW CC promised an awful lot and it seemed to us that VW might have bitten off a little more than it could handle -- we still remember the VW Phaeton luxury sedan.
On this first drive of the VW CC, we were certainly not disappointed with the exterior design. The production car retained all of the styling we saw early on. The sleek low-slung stance makes the VW CC one of most striking attractions to race down our streets in a long while.
We have written and read a great many accolades of VW's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This powerplant works exceptionally well when fit to the VW CC. Even though this vehicle seems bulky, the performance exhibited by this powerful little engine is startling. Not forgetting that the VW CC is a luxury automobile as well as a sports sedan, and it is quite thrifty -- a combination of certainly three elements you might not expect from one vehicle. Hats off to VW for making a 6-speed manual transmission available, even though it might reach only 5 percent of overall sales.
Wanting a little more performance along with elegance, we'd choose the 3.6-liter VR6 engine with its 280 horsepower and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. Another important reason to selecting a VW CC with the V-6 is that it's the only way to get VW's 4Motion all-wheel drive system. No manual transmission with the V-6 -- you get the six-speed Tiptronic automatic.
Accelerating from a stop there is no perceived turbo lag. The transition of power is quick and sure as the turbo spools up and there is progressively more force on your body as it is pushed into the seat back.
Part of the credit for the excellent performance goes to the six-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission. The shifting sequence with the shifter placed in D and sport mode is satisfying, proving that computer controls have come a long way and improved immensely. Slide the shifter over to manual mode and the gear selection is left to the driver. This is where we proved the VW CC can be as satisfying on the twisties as it is cruising to the theater. We love the ability to do both having been stuck in Los Angeles traffic for hours.