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Stylish Volkswagen CC gives up practicality to turn heads

Consumer Reports News: September 17, 2012 10:08 AM

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2013-Volkswagen-CC-r-ATD-studio.jpgThe Volkswagen CC is like buying designer clothes at ready-to-wear prices. It looks really good, and you look good in it. But don't expect it to score aces for practicality.

The CC is a "four-door coupe," another way of saying a sedan with a high beltline, low roofline, and tiny windows. To reduce potential showroom confusion, "Passat" has been removed from model name. The CC certainly looks sleek. Fashionable brown paint and two-tone seats add to our tester's aesthetics.

But you pay a price for all this elegance. Driver visibility, for example, is reduced as a result of the styling. Plus, rear-seat and trunk room are small for a family sedan. This package comes at a hefty sticker price. We paid $32,800 for our test car--which is a good chunk of money for a sedan with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, fake leather seats, and no sunroof. And we even bought the cellar-dweller Sport model; the price just goes up from there.

On the other hand, the CC retains some intangibles that remind us of when Volkswagens were bargain European sports sedans, rather than just roomy cars with a German name and attractively low starting prices. (Read: redesigned Jetta and Passat.) The steering remains sharp, ride compliance and control is sophisticated, and the cabin is very nicely furnished with quality materials everywhere. (Even those fake leather seats.)

We enjoyed driving our CC, but think of it as a less-expensive replacement for a smaller upscale-brand sedan like a Volvo S60 rather than a rival for the typical Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. For more insight, watch our video below and read our comprehensive road test.

Tom Mutchler

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