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#16

in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $14,733 - $20,881
Original MSRP: $28,200 - $39,990
MPG: 22 City / 31 Hwy
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2011 Volkswagen CC Performance

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

The 2011 VW CC is more of an athletic midsize sedan than a true sport sedan. Test drivers especially like the way the DSG six-speed automatic transmission smoothly shifts through gears. Its base turbo four-cylinder engine receives such high praise that reviewers can’t justify the extra expense to upgrade to the V6 engine.

Overall, they think the CC is ideal for long road trips since it offers a comfortable ride with plenty of control and grip on the pavement.

  • "The steering is accurate, the suspension is tight and controlled, and there is little outside noise that enters the cabin. Base engine provides plenty of punch. Six-cylinder version is overkill." -- Car and Driver

Acceleration and Power

The 2011 Volkswagen CC is available with two engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 with 280 horsepower. Reviewers agree that the turbo four is the best choice because it offers plenty of power and good fuel economy. They say that although the V6 is powerful, it’s too expensive. It’s only available on the top-of-the-line VR6 model, which is more than $10,000 costlier than the base model. The VR6 model also is the only trim with all-wheel drive standard.

A six-speed manual transmission is only available on lower Sport and R-Line trims. Volkswagen offers two different six-speed automatic transmissions for the 2011 CC. The DSG, which is a sportier, more performance-oriented transmission, is optional on both the Sport and R-Line and standard on the Lux. The VR6 gets a six-speed traditional automatic. Both automatic transmissions have a manual mode if you prefer to shift gears yourself.

Volkswagen recommends premium gas for all CC trim levels. The EPA rates the 2011 four-cylinder CC at 22/31 mpg with an automatic transmission and 21/31 with a manual. The V6 model gets 17/25 mpg.

  • "The base 2.0-liter turbo is energetic, and should suffice for most drivers. We're particularly fond of the DSG transmission, as it shifts quickly and smoothly. Those with an appetite for more power will likely be impressed by the 3.6-liter V6, which brings the 2011 CC's acceleration closer to other AWD rivals." -- Edmunds
  • "Following a brief delay, the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder moves with impressive pep from a stop and delivers decent mid-range and highway-passing power. The manual transmission has a crisp, sporty feel. The delay in power delivery is more pronounced with the automated manual. It also lacks smoothness compared with most premium-midsize rivals." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Employing two clutches, one holding gears 1, 3 and 5, the other assigned to 2, 4 and 6, the DSG automatic can make instantaneous gear changes allowing it to outperform even the best manual (and its operator)." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Reviewers who tested the 2011 CC like its precise steering, strong brakes and the way it grips the road. A few dislike the amount of body roll the CC exhibits in turns. Overall though, they agree the CC provides a comfortable ride, especially during long trips. If you want all-wheel drive, you’ll have to choose the top-of-the-line VR6 trim, which is the only trim that has it standard.

  • "CC is very solid and stable at highway speeds. Only sharp pavement imperfections come through as overly harsh." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The 2011 VW CC is a wonderful driver's car. The steering is precise without too much assist, the suspension strikes just the right balance between comfort and performance handling and the interior sound levels at speed are remarkably minimal." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The sport-tuned suspension is on the firm side, but still ably isolates passengers from all but the harshest of road imperfections. Compared to more traditional sport sedans, the CC exhibits more body roll, but handling is admirable nonetheless. The steering is light at parking lot speeds and weights up nicely as speed increases, but it lacks the desired feedback for sporty driving." -- Edmunds

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