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2017 Volkswagen CC REVIEW

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 12/6/2016

Pro: Striking exterior style is unique in its class; comes with many upscale features standard; turbocharged engine is smooth, slick and sounds great.

Con: Rear seat headroom is limited by sloping roofline; trunk is small compared to most competitors'; priced higher than many competitors with comparable features.

Interior: You'd think the CC's low-slung roofline would mean a neck-wrenching lack of headroom, but the low-placed seats help. The interior is well put together and looks nice, although storage space could be better.

The downside to that sharp exterior styling is less trunk space than you might expect from a midsize sedan. The pinched shape could also complicate loading larger, awkward items. The rear seatbacks fold flat, and there's a center pass-through for skis and long items. 

Body: The 2017 Volkswagen CC is available in two trims: Sport and R-Line Executive. The latter is available with an optional carbon-fiber styling package called R-Line Executive With Carbon. The Sport surprises with nice amenities such as power-adjustable, heated front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control, while R-Line Executive upgrades include leather upholstery, a panoramic sunroof and driver safety aids. For the same price, the R-Line Executive With Carbon adds gloss black exterior and carbon-fiber interior trim.

The CC comes standard with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. The engine powers the front wheels through a six-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission (VW calls it DSG).

The Sport comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, foglights, rain-sensing wipers, heated washer nozzles, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry, push-button ignition, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power-adjustable and heated front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks and premium vinyl upholstery. Also standard are dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, VW Car-Net smartphone integration, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a 6.3-inch touchscreen display, navigation, and an eight-speaker audio system with USB/auxiliary/SD card inputs.

The R-Line Executive is upgraded with 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, unique exterior styling and doorsill plates, power-folding and heated side mirrors, driver-seat memory settings, steering-wheel paddle shifters and leather seating. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and VW Car-Net App Connect app services also come standard. 

Driving: The CC's overall performance is acceptable, but several more affordable midsize sedans are quicker and handle the same or better.

We were surprised by the vibrations that crept into the cabin over the pothole section of our drive loop. The suspension absorbs most abnormalities well, but big bumps can be harsh and loud.

The CC R-Line was sloppy, both at our test track and out on the road. The suspension feels under-damped, and there's too much body roll. It doesn't handle nearly as sporty as it looks. 

What’s New: For 2017, the Volkswagen CC adds standard adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning to the R-Line Executive trim. The Sport model gets interior enhancements including ebony trim and chrome accents. The Trend, R-Line and V6 Executive trims are discontinued. The manual transmission is also discontinued. 

The CC's transmission is initially hesitant off the line, but the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder is smooth and revs eagerly. It takes 7.0 seconds to dash from 0 to 60 mph — not bad, but some rivals are quicker.

The transmission is clunky at low speeds, which can be annoying in traffic. Above parking lot speeds, however, it shifts smoothly and quickly. Power from the turbocharged engine is solid at almost all engine speeds. 

Edmunds Say: Stand a few yards away from the 2017 Volkswagen CC, and its appeal is obvious. With sleek coupe styling wrapped around four doors, the CC's exterior design stands out as one of the most interesting among midsize sedans. Inside, the CC cabin impresses with near-luxury features and fit and finish. A 200-horsepower turbocharged engine and six-speed automatic transmission pairing feels quick and refined, and sounds terrific.

But just as the CC ("Comfort Coupe") tempts with shapely lines and smooth power delivery, it does have limited, tight interior space, awkward sight lines and a higher price versus more conventional sedan alternatives. The Volkswagen also doesn't handle curves and corners as sharply as its sporty styling suggests. You'll need to decide if the trade-offs are worth it.

Fortunately you won't need to compromise fuel efficiency. The CC returns an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 hwy). In our testing, we managed 25.1 mpg in overall driving and 26.2 mpg on our mixed highway-mountain driving test loop. Those are decent numbers but others, such as the Honda Accord, achieve better.

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