The 2009 Volkswagen CC marks the People’s Car Company’s second attempt at the luxury sedan market. VW learned plenty of lessons—the hard way—with its stratosphericallypriced Phaeton, which never saw much in the way of sales. This time, the company looks within it own stable for a front-drive sedan upon which to build a sybaritic—and quite stunning—four-door coupe along the lines of Mercedes’ CLS.
The excellent VW/Audi 2.0T four-cylinder engine, making 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, is the base for the 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC. The base Sport comes standard with a six-speed manual; a six-speed automatic transmission is optional. The direct-injected, turbocharged four-cylinder acts like a six, with copious torque and a generally relaxed demeanor, nearly matching the uplevel V-6’s acceleration and ringing in at 31 mpg on the highway. It’s a shame VW chooses not to pair this engine with its excellent DSG twin-clutch automatic, as the traditional automatic transmission suffers from sluggish responses and odd surging. The 3.6-liter variant of VW’s narrow-angle V-6 (VR6) is optional, but we recommend against it due to its somewhat gruff and vocal nature, less accessible torque curve, and higher fuel consumption. As well, it is available only with the fussy six-speed automatic. Outright power (280 hp, 265 lb-ft torque) in the V-6 is impressive, but accessing that thrust—through the uncooperative automatic transmission—requires dedication that few owners will likely possess.