The Volkswagen CC isn't the first four-door coupe on the market, but it's the first to price the form factor within reach of the general public. Because the four-door coupe has largely been a high-end luxury item, the CC looks more expensive than it is--but in truth, it's essentially just a restyled Passat. MotorAuthority sees through the hype and rates the 2011 Volkswagen CC 6 out of 10.
Style is the primary reason to buy the 2011 CC, both versus the standard Passat sedan and against any alternative in the same basic price range. It's an attractive car, not just on the outside, but inside as well, its interior design going strong several years after its introduction. Details like contrast color upholstery and stitching are not often found in a car that starts well short of $30,000.
Power and performance aren't the CC's strongest suit, but it does well against most of the competition. The top-end model is powered by VW's VR6 3.6-liter, only available with 4Motion all-wheel drive and good for 280 horsepower. It pays for the power with a thirst 17/25 mpg city/highway and 20 mpg combined. The base engine is nothing to sniff at: a 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder generates 200 horsepower, and is available with either the standard six-speed manual or VW's six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox.
Whichever engine or transmission you choose, the CC is a capable, but not especially impressive performer. Steering is the real weak point of the CC's package, with too much power boost and almost zero feedback or feel. The slightly nose-lighter four-cylinder feels more balanced, overall, but the steering woes apply to both the four and the six. The brakes are also a bit touchy and therefore hard to modulate. Despite the touchy behavior, the brakes do stop the CC quickly and capably.
Inside the CC, you'll find not just a handsome interior, but a comfortable space, too. Seats are good up front, but the rears are cramped for adults, thanks mostly to the sloping roof's compromise on headroom. Some will find even the front seating position a bit awkward because they're positioned low relative to the high door line. Raising the seats just compromises headroom.
Despite the issues with the seats front and rear, the interior is packed to the gills with luxury-level materials and features. Even base models come well-fitted with Bluetooth, auxiliary input and iPod connectivity, a single-zone automatic climate control system, heated leatherette power seats, and an eight-speaker audio system with CD changer standard. Opt for a higher trim line--R-Line, Lux, Lux Plus, or Executive--and you'll open the door to dual-zone climate control, brushed aluminum trim, navigation, Vavona wood trim, footwell lighting, a rear-view camera, a panoramic sunroof, and much more.
For a complete, detailed examination of the 2011 Volkswagen Passat CC's pros and cons, check out the full review at TheCarConnection.