£25,220 - £33,515 Price range
36 - 62 MPG
The Volkswagen CC is a four-door coupe that is closely related to the Passat, but has better looks and is nicer to drive. It directly challenges more upmarket rivals such as the Audi A5 Sportback, Jaguar XE and Volvo S60.
Prices start from £25,220 and if you buy your new CC using carwow you can save £7,370 on average.
The CC’s interior is more business than leisure and that is evident by the neatly placed controls and tidy dashboard that is easy to navigate and use. An inevitable result of the sloping roofline is the diminished head room in the back as well as a smaller boot than the Passat.
Out on the road the CC is safe and capable and if you go for the optional adaptive dampers, surprisingly agile. However, the true calling of the car is devouring mile after mile in comfort and silence. The CC is a great motorway cruiser.
The engines on offer for the CC are hand-picked from the large Passat line-up and are arguably the best engines VW currently offers. Pick the petrol for silent and refined operation or the diesels for low running costs and more pulling power.
Sitting at the top of the Passat model range, the CC gets good standard equipment with every model getting sports suspension, touch-screen infotainment with sat-nav and Bluetooth phone connection as well as climate control.
It’s worth noting that Volkswagen added two CC Black editions to the range in 2016 which come with some extra kit for not a lot more money than your regular CC GT or R-Line.
Cheapest to buy: 1.4-litre CC petrol
Cheapest to run: 2.0-litre Bluemotion CC diesel
Fastest model: 2.0-litre 190hp CC R-Line DSG diesel
Most popular: 2.0-litre Bluemotion GT DSG diesel
Inside, it’s very similar to the Passat and you get the same easy to learn layout and an analogue clock taken from the luxury Phaeton. With the more expensive GT trim level the CC gets various leather finishers that give the cabin a premium feel. In all fairness, even after you tick every option, the CC still feels a bit dull and ordinary when compared to a Jaguar XE, for example.
Volkswagen has increased the soundproofing on the CC’s interior, meaning it’s now quieter than ever to travel in. What differentiates the CC from the Passat is that the CC has worse all-round visibility and is more difficult to get in and out of due to the lower roofline. Keep in mind it’s compared to one of the easiest cars to live with, so despite these differences, the CC is great place to spend many motorway miles in.
VW CC passenger space
Huge range of adjustments to both seat and steering wheel means anyone can find a perfect driving position quite quickly and can easily settle down for a five hour plus drive without fear of discomfort. Comfort and space, then, are good, even if the sloping roofline does compromise headroom for the tallest of rear passengers. Legroom is fine though, but the middle rear seats is hardly usable – it’s very narrow.
VW CC boot space
It’s worth noting that there’s only 532 litres of boot space in the CC, so you’re better served by the Passat if you need luggage-carrying capacity – it can pack 586 litres. The CC’s main rival, the A5 Sportback is more practical thanks to it’s hatchback and can fit up to 980 litres of luggage with the seats folded down. However, with the seats up it has a smaller boot than the CC at 480 litres. Standard split folding rear seats and an optional electric tailgate increase practicality.
The CC treads a bit of a compromise between the comfortable but dull Passat with which it shares a platform, and the more sporty vehicles in the class from the likes of BMW or Mercedes-Benz. As such, it’s more entertaining than the former, with a tauter setup and a slightly sportier feel, but lacking the balance and adjustability – and fun – of cars like the Jaguar XE.
On the plus side, it’s a very comfortable car to drive, feels stable on the motorway, and critics say it’s one of the most refined cars in its class. It also gets sports suspension as standard which improves the body control and the optional adaptive dampers come with three driving modes – Normal, Sport and Comfort. Critics say there is a discernible difference between each mode with Comfort providing the lightest steering and best ride quality, while in Sport mode the CC is quite enjoyable to flick trough corners, but testers complain the steering is not up to the standard of the suspension.
The CC’s engine choice is quite simple. You can opt for a 1.4-litre TSI petrol offering 158hp or if you want a diesel, there are two 2.0-litre TDI Bluemotion engines: a 138hp unit or a more powerful 175hp version. According to virtually all reviews the engines are refined and powerful (and the diesels particularly economical), though the lack of a more characterful V6 option is bemoaned by one reviewer.
VW CC petrol engines
No matter which petrol you go for there isn’t a wrong choice. The 1.4-litre is tried and tested in many other VW models and in the CC it’s a decent performer. 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds and a fuel consumption of around 44mpg with a manual gearbox is not class leading but should be good enough for most buyers. Road tax is £145 a year. With the DSG gearbox you gain one more mpg but road tax stays the same.
VW CC Diesel engines
On paper the diesels look slow, the lower powered Bluemotion one taking over nine seconds to 62mph, but in the real world they feel faster because they have more torque. The 138hp diesel is also the most fuel efficient in the line-up – 61mpg and £30 road tax.
The more powerful version comes with 175hp, but more importantly it has an XDS front differential. This means it has huge grip coming out of a corner, whereas cars without the XDS system just spin the inner wheel. This coupled with the increase in pulling power make this the best all-round engine choice. It’s frugal too at around 50mpg and will cost £110 to tax.
All models have a dual-clutch gearbox available, which affects petrol economy less than it does diesel, but delivers similar performance and a more relaxing drive.
The cheapest way behind the wheel of the CC is with the 1.8-litre, turbocharged TFSI engine. It’s not too bad a unit either. Testers say that it’s got plenty of torque, and that the engine is happy to spin to higher revs. All that new soundproofing means that it’s not the most vocal of units, but at the same time that should ensure quiet motorway progress.
It’s also a refined engine, but its biggest effect on the car is that of reduced weight in the nose. As a lighter engine than the diesels it enables the CC to feel a bit more nimble and fun to drive.
It’s not as economical as the diesels, though a shade under 40 mpg isn’t bad at all. Road tax sits at £165 a year, and there’s near-140 mph performance on offer. If you aren’t planning to do huge mileages, it’s definitely worth a look.
The CC’s 140-horsepower diesel option will no doubt be its most popular engine, owing to that uniquely diesel mix of strong torque, good performance and high economy. Looking at the numbers that’s certainly the case - BlueMotion Tech models get as much as 60.1 miles from every gallon of diesel, so long as you specify a manual gearbox. Resulting low CO2 emissions mean a road tax bill of only £95 a year, and company car tax rates are favourable too.
To top it all, it’s a perfectly good engine. It’ll do 60mph in under 10 seconds, over 130mph, and critics say it’s smooth and refined. They also say it feels punchy, enough that you’d probably not see much benefit from the more powerful diesel.
Equipped with VW’s popular DSG dual-clutch gearbox option, you’ll benefit from smooth and fast gearchanges, though while performance remains the same, economy does suffer a bit.
Based on the less powerful 140bhp TDI, the 170 model has one other main advantage up its sleeve. As well as the extra power and torque, it has an electronically-controlled differential to help it put that power down to the road, improving the driving experience. Whether that’ll make much difference to most people is a different matter.
Even if it doesn’t, the 170 still has all the benefits that VW’s 2.0 TDI has always had - it’s happy to rev, albeit to a lower number than petrol engines do, and it’s quiet, refined and smooth when it does so. There’s also plenty of punch available from low revs, making it a deceptively quick car.
With BlueMotion tech, it’s also incredibly economical - over 57mpg. If you can afford the extra over the less powerful TDI, it’s sure to prove a very good executive express.
There’s only one review of the 2.0 TSI CC at the moment, but like every other review of the CC it’s very positive. The only real complaint the tester has of the engine is that it’s not as interesting as the old range-topping V6 model, dropped at the same time as the Passat badging.
There’s certainly enough performance on offer, and refinement levels are good too. You’ll find this engine in all sorts of other Volkswagens, Audis, SEATs and Skodas and it’s always commended. It might not make as much sense in the larger CC body as it does in a Golf GTI, but if you can accept the fuel economy penalty compared to the diesel versions it’s still a worthy choice.
The CC is based on Volkswagen Passat, and since the latter has a full five-star rating by Euro NCAP, the expectations for the CC are quite high too. Unfortunately, Euro NCAP hasn’t tested the CC yet, but on the bright side, the vehicle comes decently equipped with safety equipment.
There are six airbags in total, Isofix mounts for child seats, and automatic headlamps. There are plenty of driver aids too: stability control and ABS come as standard; options include a lane-departure system, fatigue detection system, and an traffic-sign recognition aid.
To top it all, the optional city braking function can apply the brakes if the vehicle in front stops – keeping you from embarrassing rear-end shunts.
As far as equipment levels go, you get a lot for your money – even base models have sat-nav, 17-inch alloys and bi-xenon headlights as standard among many other less interesting things. In all fairness the base model comes with just about everything you’d need in a upmarket four-door coupe.
VW CC GT
The CC GT gets Nappa leather upholstery, cruise control, electronically adjustable suspension, bigger alloy wheels, heated front seats, brushed aluminium details inside and parking sensors.
VW CC R-Line
R-Line models are what M Sport is to BMW and what AMG line is to Mercedes – they offer a bit of character and come loaded with kit: an R-Line more aggressive body kit, upgraded bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension and all-round parking sensors summarize the outside changes, while inside you get heated front seats.
As hinted above, the VW CC is as popular as it ever was with the press. It’s a smart-looking car, comfortable, refined, and quick enough with most engine options. It’s not a common sight on the road, but probably one of the best cars Volkswagen makes
In terms of competition, there are cars like the the A5 Sportback, the smaller Mercedes CLA, and the more expensive 4-series Gran Coupe. While the CC isn’t as dynamically sound as the competition, it’s much more exciting than the Passat, and deserves a second look!