New Car Review

2016 Volkswagen CC: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader May 2016

The 2016 Volkswagen CC is a sedan with a difference. Its sharp styling will catch everyone's eye, but there's also plenty of substance. Among the attractive standard features are xenon headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear accommodation for three and even the entry-level Trend model has a navigation system.

The Volkswagen has styling on its side, but the base price is now well over $30,000. That's a lot for what is essentially a re-skinned previous-generation Passat. It also opens up a wide array of alternatives, such as the Acura TLX and BMW 3 Series. However, the CC is refined and well-equipped. And if it was any more premium, VW would have to stick an Audi badge on it. Those who appreciate the finer things probably won't blink at paying a little extra for an undeniably high-grade product.

What's New for 2016?

The top trim receives some advanced safety features as standard, a new (less expensive) base-level trim enters the range and every model has an upgraded infotainment system.

What We Like

Head-turning style; refined dynamics; excellent engines; upscale interior; optional all-wheel drive

What We Don't

Limited rear headroom; small trunk

How Much?

$32,435-$45,220

Fuel Economy

In CC 2.0T models, a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder generates 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque. This goes to the front wheels through a standard-issue 6-speed manual transmission in the Trend, Sport and R-Line. A 6-speed, dual-clutch automated manual (it behaves like an automatic) is optional in these versions, but standard in the 2.0T R-Line Executive.

When using the manual transmission, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel consumption as 21 miles per gallon in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined. With the auto option, we're looking at 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.

The 4Motion Executive comes with a 3.6-liter V6 making 280 hp and 265 lb-ft. A 6-speed conventional automatic is the only transmission and all-wheel drive is standard. Fuel consumption is 17 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/20 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Volkswagen CC is offered in Trend, Sport, R-Line, 2.0T R-Line Executive and 4Motion Executive trim levels.

Standard equipment in the basic Trend ($32,435) includes 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED tail lights, a trip computer, a dash-mounted analog clock, heated 12-way power front seats, leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/gearshift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, navigation, a 6.3-in touchscreen and an 8-speaker audio system with iPod/Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, auxiliary input, SD card reader and 6-CD changer. The infotainment system can now accommodate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Sport ($35,340) brings a different design of 17-in alloy wheels, adaptive headlights with LED running lights, fog lights with cornering function, keyless entry/ignition, navigation and the automated manual transmission.

The R-Line ($36,620) is essentially a sportier Sport, adding 18-in alloys, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters (for the automatic transmission), a subtle body kit, tinted taillights and various sporty interior accents.

The R-Line Executive ($38,685) comes with different 18-in alloys, a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting and leather seating surfaces.

The range-topping 4Motion Executive ($45,220) is when the V6 engine and all-wheel drive kick in. Along with dedicated 18-in alloys, front and rear parking sensors, heated headlight washer nozzles, ventilated front seats with driver's-side massage function, a premium color trip computer, a power rear sunshade, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, collision mitigation and a 10-speaker/600-watt Dynaudio sound system.

Trunk capacity is 13.2 cu ft., which is below average for a midsize sedan. However, the rear seats can split and fold, and there's a pass-through hatch behind the rear central armrest.

Safety

The CC comes with standard stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain). VW's Car-Net telematics -- which includes security and connectivity features such as crash notification, roadside assistance, remote vehicle access and an enhanced points of interest service -- is also standard.

The government has not crash-tested the CC, but the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the car its highest rating of Good in every category except the small-overlap frontal test, where it received the second-worst rating of Marginal.

Behind the Wheel

Healthy mid-range torque from the CC's 2.0T makes this engine a pleasure to use. The availability of VW's excellent dual-clutch automatic is another positive attribute. Ultimately, though, this model's 200 hp isn't memorable. So if the steep price isn't an issue, the V6 engine and all-wheel drive system turns the CC into a seriously swift and grippy car, one that compares well with entry-level luxury models such as the Audi A4.

The CC traces its roots to a previous-generation Passat, but it still has the power to entertain. The sporty, low-set seating position imparts a greater sense of control, and the CC is unflappable at speed. The sport-tuned suspension allows some body roll, but that's partly why the CC can negotiate rough pavement with supple composure.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Acura TLX -- The TLX's engine choices are slightly more powerful than the CC's. Styling-wise, the TLX veers toward the forgettable, but there's no disputing the excellent build quality.

2016 Nissan Maxima -- The Maxima is a sporty, large sedan with plenty of power and visual flair.

2016 Kia Optima SXL -- The Optima is all-new for 2016. The well-appointed SXL version's turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder outguns the CC's 2.0T with 245 hp.

2016 Mazda Mazda6 -- The Mazda6 has lower power levels. But it's less expensive to buy and run, and arguably more athletic.

Used BMW 3 Series -- The current BMW 3 Series offers a range of sophisticated engines and more luxury than the VW. A certified pre-owned model can be acquired for the price of a new CC.

Autotrader's Advice

Despite its performance, the V6 is hardly a good deal at more than $45,000. Then again, a 2.0T won't enjoy great resale values with a manual transmission. What it all boils down to is that the decision to buy a sleek-looking CC is more emotional than rational. So get the best version you can afford and enjoy.

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Used 2016 Volkswagen CC
Used 2016 Volkswagen CC
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Volkswagen CC: New Car Review - Autotrader