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#15

in 2009 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $10,999 - $15,245
Original MSRP: $27,100 - $39,800
MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy
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2009 Volkswagen CC Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 VW CC takes all of its powertrain from the Volkswagen Passat - one of the better handlers in the midsize segment. That means, however that it's more of an athletic midsize sedan than a true sport sedan, so some reviewers seem to feel let down by the promise of "German engineering."

  • "The one thing that does not quite come across in pictures is the CC's size. It looks massive in person, and drives accordingly. The VR6 provides strong acceleration and its handling is well balanced, but the car never lets you forget how big it is. This won't bother buyers coming from SUVs or other large sedans, but those accustomed to VW's engaging smaller products will be disappointed." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Despite its slick styling, the 2009 Volkswagen CC is not quite a slick-handling sport sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "It's quick -- 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds, with the V6 and all-wheel-drive. It stays well-planted in corners, tacks eagerly and puts on the coal when you ask it to." -- Los Angeles Times
  • With the available all-wheel-drive, "Strap on some dedicated winter tires and you'd have a sedan that, ground clearance aside, could draw snow angels around many S.U.V.'s" -- New York Times

Acceleration and Power

Two engines are available for the 2009 CC.  A turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder wins almost nothing but praise. It combines brisk acceleration with the fuel economy expected of a four-cylinder engine. A larger, 3.6-liter V6 is a more complicated proposition. Most reviewers agree it is stronger, giving the car acceleration on par with more expensive upscale sedans. Its price, however, is so much higher than the four-cylinder edition that many say the added performance is still not worth the added expense. A six-speed manual transmission is available with the turbocharged four-cylinder. All other models carry a six-speed automatic that can be manually shifted with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The EPA rates the most efficient configuration at 21/31 mpg, the least at 17/25.

  • "I'd be enticed by the 2.0-liter turbo version of the CC not only because of its much lower price, but also because I prefer the 2.0T to the 3.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 anyway. If you've got the money, though, the all-wheel-drive, six-speed-automatic, VR6 model is a fine car." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "We can't complain about the 280-hp, direct-injection 3.6-liter VR6 that propels the all-wheel-drive CC to 60 mph in a drama-free 6.2 seconds. A 231-pound-lighter front-drive Passat 3.6 we tested took 5.9 seconds." -- Car and Driver
  • "The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder moves with impressive pep from a stop and delivers decent mid-range and highway-passing power. The automatic transmission lacks smoothness compared to most premium-midsize rivals." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Acceleration performance is within a tenth of a second of the Audi's to 60 mph and through the quarter mile. The 6-speed automatic includes steering-wheel shift paddles which add a certain sporting flair, but the automatic's "S" mode was not terribly astute in holding lower gears when lifting for a corner or automatically giving matched-rev downshifts to prepare for a corner exit." -- Motor Trend
  • "On the road, the 3.6-liter engine showed off its ample power, with crisp low- and mid-range acceleration courtesy of its 265 pound-feet of torque. At a hefty 3,854 pounds, the all-wheel-drive CC weighs 120 pounds more than the Audi A4 3.2, yet it is faster, with 15 additional horsepower and 22 more pound-feet of torque. The 6-speed transmission changes gears smartly, whether in automatic mode or shifted manually." -- New York Times

Handling and Braking

Auto writers can't seem to agree on the agility of the 2009 Volkswagen CC. Some find it balanced and grippy, with sharp reflexes. Others say the speed-sensitive electronic steering is twitchy, creating poor road feel. This is one you'll probably have to test drive to know whether the car's handling works for you.  Available all-wheel drive seems to impress every reviewer that tries it. Several reviewers comment on unusually strong brakes. They stop the car easily, but the pedal requires a light touch.

  • "The steering feels a bit light and frequently requires adjustments at higher speeds. Otherwise, CC feels generally well composed, with good grip and minimal body lean in turns." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The electromechanical power steering is welcome in parking lots and weights up in a linear fashion as speeds rise, but there's not enough feel and communication sent back to the driver's hands for the CC to be considered on par with true German sport sedans or even the Mazda 6 and Nissan Altima." -- Edmunds
  • "Surprisingly, the handling numbers are as good as or better than the Audi [A4], with identical braking (123 feet), higher grip (0.87 to 0.83g), and a quicker figure-eight lap (27.1 seconds at 0.64g average, versus 27.6 at 0.62)." -- Motor Trend
  • "The CC's charms continued with delightfully sharp handling and finely weighted steering." -- New York Times
  • "The brakes felt quite touchy, though, and took more getting used to than those of most new cars." -- Automobile Magazine

Next Steps: 2009 Volkswagen CC

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