Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Volkswagen CC Sport
Other than this switch glitch, the CC is a very good deal at $31,430. At that price, you’ll get the 4 cylinder version, with direct injection and turbocharging good for 200hp and 207 lb.-ft. of torque. If you desire more oomph, a 280hp V6 is available, but not strictly necessary in terms of performance. Certainly, the turbo 4 is strong enough to light the front tires when you pop the clutch on the 6-speed manual gearbox.
The manual transmission, which is unavailable on the V6, turns the CC into something of a sports sedan, with closely spaced ratios and short throws resulting in lots of driving pleasure. Unfortunately, the clutch on our 7,000 mile test vehicle had apparently seen enough abuse in its past to cause its engagement point to vary widely, from just off the floorboard to the top of pedal travel. This in turn lead to uncertainty when making hill starts and stoplight getaways. Even with this drawback, the 6-speed CC was infinitely more entertaining to drive than that rather staid paddle shift automatic V6 in Boston.
The Lighting Package includes an “Adaptive Front Lighting System” which is perfect for improving night vision on twisting roads as the headlight beams swivel from side to side in tune with the movements of the steering wheel. From an ergonomic standpoint, the interior of the CC is close to perfect. The handsomely tailored front seats cradle you like a hammock. The equally comfortable rear seats allow passengers to slouch instead of sitting bolt upright. In addition, the rears split at 60/40 and fold flat, enabling transport of bulky items. The fit and finish of the CC, which is built in Emden, Germany, is second to none. The dash, door panels and center stack are pleasantly understated in matte aluminum trim. Stitching is precise, joints meet with Euclidian perfection, and the CC generally looks like it costs twice as much as it does.
Although the moniker “SPORT” is part of this CC’s name, you’d want to do some suspension and tire work before tackling any really demanding backroads. The CC is very softly sprung, and tends to heel dramatically in corners when pressed hard. The shock absorbers are valved to favor ride comfort over jounce control, and the all-season Continental ContiProContact tires (235/45R17) are high on wear but low on grip. Though the CC may look the part of a sizzling sports sedan, the underpinnings need some work if you want to keep those BMWs in sight.