Think of the 2014 Volkswagen CC as the Passat's more glamorous sibling. Though nearly the same dimensions as VW's midsize sedan, the stylish CC – which calls itself a "4-door coupe" – boasts a sleeker design and an aggressive stance. The CC also comes better equipped than the Passat, and that shows in its price. Starting at over $32,000, the CC is nearly $11,000 more than a base Passat. Along with its upgraded style and amenities, that extra money buys a standard turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that helps this VW scoot through traffic. Buyers willing to spend the most can nab a V6-powered CC with all-wheel drive (AWD), a combination not currently offered in the Passat. At over $43,000, that top-end model reaches luxury levels similar to its Audi cousins.
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If you're looking for an upscale midsize sedan hidden in a svelte, coupe-like body, the CC makes a stylish accessory. Moreover, the 2014 VW CC has premium features and luxury styling at a price below entry-level luxury cars like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
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In addition to a lower price, the more pragmatic Passat has a roomier rear seat and better outward visibility. And though the coupe-shaped CC still boasts about its high-style/moderate-price equation, the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has just arrived doing the same while wearing a more prestigious badge.
Navigation is now standard on all trims of the 2014 CC, and Volkswagen has joined the growing list of automakers offering a trunk that opens by motioning your foot. Also new is VW's Car-Net connectivity service that syncs with smartphones.
Driving the CC
Befitting its svelte looks, the 2014 Volkswagen CC has equally sharp driving manners. Its taut suspension, well-crafted body and lighter weight make for an engaging driving experience, something that has...
... long set Volkswagen's cars apart from others. Despite the CC's rigid construction, its suspension does a good job soaking up road imperfections. Steering feel is commendable for both low-speed situations such as maneuvering in parking lots as well as higher-speed freeway cruising. The standard, 200-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in front-wheel-drive (FWD) models has abundant torque for quick off-the-line acceleration, and performance can be heightened when selecting sport mode on models equipped with VW's 6-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission with manual control. Top-end models with the 280-horsepower V6 have an abundance of power and benefit from standard 4Motion all-wheel drive – an asset if you regularly drive in inclement weather.
HANDS-FREE TRUNK OPENING This convenient feature allows you to open the trunk by motioning with your foot as long as you have the car keys in your proximity. It's perfect for when you're carrying groceries, and the bonus is you get to say: "Look Ma, no hands."
ADDED REAR-SEAT PRACTICALITY For years the Volkswagen CC was a 4-passenger vehicle, which limited its people-carrying practicality. The latest CC has standard seating for five, helpful for those situations when you need to seat an extra person in back.
2014 Volkswagen CC Details
The 2014 Volkswagen CC's cabin is inviting, at least up front. High-quality materials appear throughout, highlighted by metal trim accents, faux or real leather depending on trim, and sleek, Euro-chic lines. We're especially fond of interiors outfitted with the 2-tone color scheme. The front seats are comfortable, and with 12-way power adjustment it's easy for the driver and passenger to find a fit. The rear seats, however, are rather cramped. The trade-off for the CC's stylish, swoopy roofline is diminished rear-seat headroom and compromised outward visibility. The CC also loses some trunk space compared with the Passat, but its rear seats do fold to expand cargo area.
The CC's calling card is its exterior design, and this VW continues to impress with its elegant shape. Although now in its fifth model year, the CC is still striking with its flowing roof, nubbed tail and upward-creasing beltline that runs through the doors. It all conveys a car that's moving even when it's not. The 2014 Volkswagen CC further stands out with bi-xenon headlights and LED taillights and LED daytime running lights. R-Line models offer a sportier take with a body kit, side skirts, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and unique front fascia with large, circular fog-light housings.
Spend the least on a new VW CC, and you'll still get a well-equipped car. Among the standard highlights are dual-zone automatic climate control, the Car-Net smartphone-enabled car-communication system, heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Navigation is now standard, but the caveat is that the base unit's screen is hardly larger than that of a smartphone and not all that intuitive. Standard audio is taken care of by an 8-speaker AM/FM/CD system with aux/iPod inputs and Bluetooth streaming. New 2014 VW CC models also include complimentary maintenance for two years/24,000 miles.
As with other VW models, optional equipment for the CC is had by moving up trim levels. Climbing from the base Sport to R-Line brings larger wheels and performance-biased aesthetics, while the new Executive trim offers power sunroof, the hands-free trunk-opening system, rearview camera, leather upholstery and a larger touch-screen control system. The top-line VR6 4Motion includes a V6 engine, all-wheel drive, premium Dynaudio sound system, parking sensors, power-operated rear sunshade and ventilated front seats.
Under the Hood
Two engines are offered in the 2014 Volkswagen CC. Most models use a turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 200 horsepower and returns up to 32 mpg with a manual transmission or 31 with the more popular automatic. Used exclusively on the top-end model is a 280-horsepower V6 with all-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. If you're looking for a high-mileage diesel option like that offered in the Passat, you won't find it here. And speaking of fuel, premium gasoline is recommended for both of the CC's engines.
With new standard features such as navigation and the Car-Net service, the 2014 Volkswagen CC's starting price has increased nearly $1,300 over last year's model, to a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $32,660. Opting for an automatic transmission lifts that base price to $33,760. Go full-boat on a 2014 Volkswagen CC VR6 Executive model, and the price tag reaches past $43,000. The 2014 CC is at the high end of mainstream sedans such as the Honda Accord and into the territory of entry-level luxury cars such as the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, though those cars' prices zoom skyward with options. More competitively priced rivals are the Acura TSX and Volvo S60. The new Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class has a lower starting price than the CC but can leap thousands higher with options. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying. The Volkswagen CC's resale value is on the low end.
Pros: "Good looking, great handling, fun to drive."
Cons: "The timing chain tensioner has a design flaw."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought a 2009 Volkswagen CC Sport with the 2.0 Liter TDI engine brand new. I really liked the looks, the finish, and the driving performance of the car. However, the engine timing chain tensioner has a design flaw that will cause it to collapse (read fail). When the timing chain tensioner fails, it results in catastrophic damage to the engine often requiring the replacement of the entire engine at a cost of many thousands of dollars. These failures have occurred at a wide range of total mileage but, according to my research, most often occur above 60,000 miles. Coincidentally, 60,000 miles is when the warranty expires. I became aware of this basic design flaw in the engine because this failure just happened to me. I am now faced with towing the car to the junk yard because the engine replacement actually costs more than the car is worth ($7,460). Because of this engine design flaw, I recommend that no one purchase the Volkswagen CC (or any other Volkswagen model) with the 2.0 Liter TDI engine."
"I looked at this car for a long time before I bought it. I chose this year because of the changes to the tail lights. Everywhere I go people stop to look and point. This is not a common car seen on the road. The speed and agility is amazing. When the turbo kicks in the car really takes off. It is German engineering at it's best."
Cons: "4 seater, blind spots because of sloping roofline"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"CC is essentially a fancier version of Passat. It looks gorgeous and especially the pillar-less doors look awesome! It has really nice quality interiors, decent stock music system and overall is a nice place to be in. It also has good driving dynamics and is enjoyable on twisty roads! Overall very happy with this car."