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2009 Volkswagen CC

Road Trip!

      The peace and serenity of Monday morning was interrupted by Dye making an announcement that we had to drive to Asheville, NC, tonight! An Imola Red BMW M Coupe just hit Ebay and he had to have it. So before all productivity went flying out the window we grabbed the keys to the Volkswagen CC that just arrived and pointed the bow south. We then spent the next 10 hours of drive time thoroughly discussing the merits of adding an M Coupe to the personal fleet.
      When we weren’t completely transfixed on the Imola Red beauty waiting for us we did find some time to review the merits of piloting the CC on an  extended road trip. First off, the engine is none other than our favorite gasoline four cylinder of all time: the 2.0L FSI Turbo. In this particular application the 2.0T cranks out 200hp and 207 lb-ft of torque and came mated to VW’s standard 6-speed automatic transmission. As our CC leaned more to the comfortable luxury side of the equation, this combination proved to be a good fit. Tilt the scale back towards sportiness just a little, however, and we are quickly yearning to row our own gears. The caveat of this particular combination is the economy of its horsepower. The CC handles highway merging and Tennessee hills with authority, and yet after 1,300 miles it returned a solid 32 mpg. Astounding considering this 4-door coupe’s 3,344 lb curb weight.
     The driver’s seat is a thoroughly comfortable and inviting place to perch for an extended drive. The seat is sculpted deep and retained my small frame well. In the back there are two more deep buckets carved out of what looks like an otherwise flat back seat. Upon closer inspection one will notice that this is a true 2+2 seater as the center is reserved for drinks and elbows only. Headroom isn’t awful back there, but if you have tall relatives traveling with you they may get grumpy. Not that the headroom upfront is all that much to talk about. The CC came equipped with a large and rather useless skylight. Anyone over the 6-foot chalk mark will find their hairdos smushed by the headliner.
      To be honest we spent so much time in the car that we didn’t spend much time looking at it. The shape is more graceful and mature than the Passat. The front clip is more aggressive with a wider grille and more shapely upturned headlights. Combined with the 18” double 5-spoke wheels the CC has more of a can do attitude versus the droopy Passat. The profile and greenhouse tries to mimic the Mercedes CLS, though Stuttgart pulls this design concept off much better than Wolfsburg has. The Passat’s clumsy rear quarter treatment is gone, replaced with a back glass that flows down into the short stubby rear decklid. The CC is visually more appealing than the Passat, but let us be clear, there are some sacrifices being made in terms of trunk space, ingress/egress and headroom.
      Per the typical spring evening Mother Nature gave us the shaft and not 10 minutes into our quest came yet another April shower. Though the CC’s composure in the driving rain was commendable, a bit more feedback through the steering gear would be welcome. You can never have too much information when driving in the dark of night in the mountain passes of Tennessee in a rainstorm.
      At the end of the day we had to take a step back and ask ourselves just what was the CC’s ultimate purpose in life. After all, a model equipped such as ours will set you back $34,609. The Mercedes CLS-like profile is appealing, but there is little to be gained from this car over a standard Passat. There are no exclusive powertrain combinations to be had, you get a smaller trunk, and aside from the large sunroof (which does not open) you can equip a Passat with all the same options.
      Thus it really comes down to your desire to be unique. We were quite satisfied with the CC on our road trip. (The M has been safely tucked away in the garage, never to see foul weather again.) So if your need is for something unique that will comfortably seat four and not break the bank to the tune of the Mercedes, than the CC is the choice for you. And maybe, just maybe, the CC’s sole purpose in life is for you and a friend to hit the road together to find whatever it is you seek…

The Good:
Graceful roofline, fabulous 2.0T engine, astounding power and fuel economy.
The Bad:
Lack of headroom, pointless sunroof, no exclusive options.
The Verdict:
Has all the makings for a good road trip vehicle, just don’t plan on bringing tall friends.  


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