Now that the Phaeton is no longer available in the U.S., the VW Passat is once again the biggest ‘dub on the block. New for 2009 and already on sale is a variant of the Passat called the Volkswagen CC. Even though VW paradoxically has decided to call it a “Four Door Coupe,” the CC is perhaps, for the money, the best sedan the people’s car company has ever made.
When a car has both four doors and a trunk, it is a sedan not a coupe. Nevertheless, VW has seamlessly integrated a coupe-like profile into the CC. Unlike the non-sleek Passat in which it shares it’s platform and driveline with, the CC is two inches lower, an inch longer and aggressive to behold. Supposedly the Mercedes-Benz CLS was the inspiration for VW with this vehicle, and while it is no Mercedes, it isn’t a joke either. Unlike the Phaeton which delivered ridiculous power and luxury, but with an insanely expensive sticker, the CC is reasonably priced from $26,790.
Inside, the dashboard, center console, instruments, controls and associated trims are all carried over from the Passat sedan with little or no change. That is a good thing for the CC because the Passat has an upscale feel. The CC suffers slightly in rear seat headroom compared to the Passat due to the lower roofline, but still it is manageable, and certainly more spacious than any two-door coupe. In terms of power, VW is offering two engines for North America. A GTI-derived turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that develops 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Also available is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 280 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque and comes with 4Motion all-wheel drive. Europeans get a slightly more aggressively-tuned version of the same engine that produces an even 300 hp and rockets the CC to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Nicely done for a car that weighs over 3,500 pounds. The U.S. version makes it to 60 mph in 6.6, but some industrious tuner can probably work their magic on the CC to lower that by a second or so. Top speed is likewise slightly lowered from the 155 mph that the European version can achieve, to a reasonable 130 mph for America. Volkswagen is stating an EPA combined fuel-economy figure of 23.3 mpg, which may give people the motivation to look at the turbocharged 4.