Volkswagen CC Review: Lovely Bones in a Luxurious, Sporty Sedan

Volkswagen Cc—Is Audi Q7'S Twin
The Volkswagen CC, the Audi Q7's Twin, offers a luxury experience and a sporty drive but at a VW price

Pretty To Look At and Fun To Drive

Sometimes, all you really want is a beautiful car. Modern and functional on the inside and a shape and color that makes you smile. That’s the Volkswagen CC.

It’s what you dream about, right? You park your SUV next to the garage and there it stays until you need it. When it snows. When you need to pick up a piece of furniture. When your oldest gets her learners permit. Until then, you don’t want to be a turtle carrying her living room around on her back. You want the freedom of a sporty, beautiful sedan. Close your eyes and picture yourself in the CC.

Volkswagen CC: Its Good Looks Come From Its Luxury Cousin?

Volkswagen Cc—Is Audi Q7'S Twin

This might be the better view of the VW CC, which shares its bone structure with the Audi Q7

If you see the Audi A7 sedan drive by and think, “wait, that looks just like the CC,” you’re not seeing double. They are practically twins. Both are designed and built in Germany, and though the Audi has a different interior and a different engine, the CC might be the prettier twin: $20,000 prettier (as in, $20K less).

But the CC holds its own when it comes to luxury and performance. The Executive Edition that we test drove was outfitted with most of the things you want or need in a new car: Bluetooth connected phone, navigation, satellite radio, blind spot detectors, a rear view camera, heated seats, park assist, traction control, and a touch screen and knobs that are intuitively placed where you’d expect them.

Some Smart Extras, Too

And, it comes with some smart things you might not have thought of: heated windshield washer nozzles (no need to pollute the world with toxic antifreeze washer fluid), side mirrors that angle down when the car is in reverse, hands-free-foot-swipe-trunk-opener, power rear window sun shade, anti-theft system with immobilizer, panoramic sun roof , Tiptronic paddle shifters and 4Motion all wheel drive, which means you don’t need an SUV when the roads are snowy or icy; the CC will get you through it just fine (it snowed the week we test drove the car and with 4Motion the road never felt slippery or hard to navigate).

Volkswagen Cc—Is Audi Q7'S Twin

The CC’s center cluster and steering wheel cluster makes information easy to find and phone pairing a snap

Phone Pairing and Bluetooth Made Easy

Most of the driver information is focused on the center cluster, right in the driver’s field of vision, and there are toggles on the steering wheel that allow you to click through information and settings. Among the settings on the center cluster is the Bluetooth phone pairing. Once I discovered it wasn’t on the touch screen, my phone was very easy to pair, and when I got into the car with the Bluetooth activated on my phone, the car easily found it. This was one of the easier systems to pair and use.

The week we spent in the CC we mostly ferried back and forth to school. Back seat passengers were plenty happy; the CC’s leather bucket seats keep passengers firmly planted in their seats when the driver decides to hit the gas, you know, merging onto the highway. And you want to find plenty of on ramps in this car; the CC has the soul and spirit of a sports car. When you hit the gas, it goes, without hesitation and with plenty of power.

A Clever Battery Placement

Volkswagen Cc—Is Audi Q7'S Twin?

To open the trunk just push in the VW logo (or swipe your foot under the rear bumper)

During the week we test drove the CC, my husband discovered that someone had left the dome light on in his car all night and the battery had died. So we decided to let the CC help out. We positioned it next to our Toyota, popped open the hood and looked for the battery terminals to clip the jumper cables on to. Only there weren’t any. It turns out the battery, in some models, is in the trunk. So I turned the car around, popped the trunk (by pushing in the chrome VW logo!), removed the battery cover from the trunk’s side wall (just next to the left tail light), and easily attached the jumper cables. And voila, in a matter of seconds, his car was running again.

Volkswagen Cc—Audi Q7'S Twin?

The battery’s location in the trunk can be either convenient or cumbersome

The battery location in the trunk is a mixed bag. If someone leaves a dome light on when the trunk is full—and we’ve done this!—you may have to empty part of it to access the battery (and of course, your  trunk should not be full of junk, but instead, well prepared for an emergency). But if it’s the CC that has the dead battery and you’re in a parking lot, another driver can easily pull up to your trunk and provide a jump; no need for extra long jumper cables. That is a nice feature.

True to VW’s German roots, the CC is beautiful, elegant and well thought out; it has all the function and luxurious features you would expect in a new car, some surprise features and a very attractive $40,000 price tag.

Volkswagen Cc: Audi Q7'S Twin?

The VW CC’s 4Motion AWD took the snowy driveway with ease—note the slippage tracks left by our BMW’s failed attempt

What We Loved

Beautiful, elegant shape

Hands free Bluetooth—easy to connect and use

Heated leather seats

Four bucket-like seats

Ample trunk space

Dynaudio sound system

V6 engine was powerful and really fun to drive

2 year/24,000 mile maintenance included

24 hour roadside assistance for 3 years/36,000 miles

3 year/36,000 mile warranty

5 year/50,000 mile powertrain warranty


What You Need to Know

Premium fuel recommended

Panoramic sun roof is large but doesn’t cover the whole roof

Touch screen radio is a bit clunky; it takes more than a split second to tune into a new channel

Only three power ports: front console, center console and in the trunk

17MPG city/25MPG highway (we averaged 19 MPG)

Seating for five, but more comfortable for four

No easy handbag spot; I put mine on the rear floor or seat

Base model price: $37,395 price of the model we tested: $43,310


Disclosure: Volkswagen provided the CC for our test drive; opinions expressed here are all our own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss