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Volkswagen

2009 Volkswagen CC

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The Volkswagen CC is a new entrant to the Volkswagen lineup that seeks to gain traction in the market gap between mid-level sedans and luxury sedans.  The CC, which stands for Comfort Coupe, is a tantalizing mix of the company’s Passat model and the upscale sedans of their sister company, Audi.  Does this combination work?  It looks like it does.

The CC is based off of the Passat, and in some markets will be branded the Passat CC, instead of just the standalone initials.  The Passat has had a very successful life as a quality sedan offering German engineering without the price tag of a BMW or Mercedes-Benz.  The idea of the CC is to shed to image of a bland sedan and offer the sporty allure of a coupe.  The CC does have four doors, so it’s technically not a coupe, but it definitely offers similar style to that found on it’s sportier two-door sisters.

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First up is the roofline, which has been drastically slashed from what one would find on a sedan.  Also, the traditional bench backseat of the Passat has been dropped in favor of two bucket seats.  This does limit passenger room to four, and if you try to put a tall person in the back, they will be short on headroom, but these are small complaints when looking at the CC as a whole.  The beauty of this car is in its ride.  While still built on a Passat frame, the CC manages to feel like a sporty coupe when you take the corners.  Quite a feat considering that the CC is actually a bit longer than the traditional Passat.  Also helping this is the 3.6-liter V6 engine under the hood.  This provides the power you would expect from a German coupe, but it is not pushed to the extreme, as some are.

This mixture of coupe-like exhilaration and a little bit of holding on to its sedan roots, makes the CC a “best of both worlds” kind of car.  Also, its price tag is a lot lower than what you would find on other sporty German vehicles.  A base level CC, equipped with a four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, starts at just $27,000.  The V6 version comes automatically equipped with a lot of luxuries, so if you want the bigger engine, you’re going to pay about $39,000.

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So how will the CC make its mark?  For those who are looking at sedans like the Honda Accord, the CC will cost a bit more, but offer the great driving experience long associated with German vehicles.  For those looking for a nice sedan like the Audi A4, you get a similar driving experience, but a price tag that is a bit lower.  For example, the Audi A4 with a V6 engine and a few extras will run about $47,000, but a CC with the same features would cost about $42,000.  Will it be successful?  Engineering- and drive-quality-wise, the CC is a great vehicle.  It all depends on customers moving either a little bit up or a little bit down from a more established option.  Once you get behind the wheel of a CC, though, driving an Accord will seem too tame and boring, and driving an A4 or an Infiniti G37 will seem like a lot of extra cost for very little extra thrill.

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