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2015 Volkswagen CC 2.0T R LineThe Volkswagen CC is the carmaker's top-of-the-line model, but why are there so few on the road?
The Volkswagen CC. Almost inarguably the best looking thing they make. So why don't you see any of them on the road? Let's drive this 2015 CC with the R line trim and a third pedal and check this out. Here's the problem with the CC. It's a member of the Volkswagen product line that is very heavy on four door cars in a U.S. market that is very heavy on crossover. Now, the CC of course, comes at you as a premium vehicle. It's up against Acura TLX and Infiniti G37, now the Q60. But those two outsell this guy by anywhere from three to seven times. So you're not likely to pull up next to another one of these at a stoplight. It's great for you as the buyer Not so good for Volkswagen as the seller. The other problem is, of course, if you want the basic function of this vehicle and can live without the swoopy looks, you're gonna look at a Passat for $6000 or $7000 less. Now, RCC is one up from the bottom. It's called an R-line. It's got a more aggressive chin, a special set of 18-inch wheels And a very mild but distinctive body seal kit. Now inside our CC, things are a little disturbingly common with the Passat and the Jetta. There's certain benefits to having a common look and feel to your cars until they make this high trim one feel too much Like the low trim one. Hear that? That's hard cheap plastic abounding in too many parts. But they have laid it out very nicely. Every single gauge, dial, knob and read out in this cabin is visible behind the wheel. This is going to be the first car this year I've reviewed that I can say that about. So, that's good. What's not so good is of course the VW head unit. This is standard with navigation and backup camera, but blessedly, there's not much of it. The tech that's missing from this car is like a History Channel piece from the year 2005. It has no entertainment app support like Pandora or Aha. No driver assist tech like blind spot, adaptive cruise, or lane capeing, and even the nav on this r-line model doesn't have traffic. If you get the higher trimming executive level of this car, you get a bigger, not necessarily better head unit. You also get 10 speaker, [UNKNOWN] audio sound. That's the international symbol for power on, power off, right? Why don't I turn the volume a little bit. What's that symbol now? Is that Pac-Man sticking his tongue out? They obviously have a vendor that can make controls that have an outside turning ring with an inside push button that doesn't rotate. Why not use it there? It's the small things. Makes me insane. Now we have the unusual six-speed manual. Unusual because finding it in a high-trim car like this is rare as hen's teeth. You've got no other sort of drive controls here. No drive mode, no paddles obviously. It's very straightforward. Now RCC has the little motor. The two liter turbo four sitting side-saddle. Driving front wheels only. All the two liter fours are front wheel drive. You can also get a narrow angle V6, which they call a VR6 and those are all all-wheel drive. The resulting 200 horse power and 207 pound feet of torque are not headline grabbing for a car that weighs nearly 3400 pounds. 0 to 60 comes up in 6.5 seconds. Again nothing Stunning by today's standards, but respectable. 21/32 MPG is also quite good, but again, small displacement helps us get there. Okay, first thing I got in the CC and turned the key I thought okay, this is gonna be a mess. Big-ish compact car with a two liter turbo four that doesn't have stunning numbers to it, and I was surprised. This is a great engine combination because largely, we've got a manual gear box. You can really get the most out of the engine, and it's got a good power and torque curve to go with it, not too peaky. The suspension, similar. [UNKNOWN] to the engine is not overly aggressive. Great comfort on the ride quality and enough firmness to have the car feel fit, if not athletic. It's easy to get comfortable. We don't have a sunroof by the way, which is a different story, so I've got a little extra head room here. But at my height, I was still able to put someone six foot behind me, and they were quite Comfortable, so they've laid out the cab and space well. It's a joy to drive, to be honest, but it's not gonna be your sharpest tool on a twisty canyon road. Okay. Our CC R line trim is 35.1 delivered. The only option of any significance is to get the dual-clutch automated gear box, the DSG, for 1100 more. I'm actually going to skip it even though it's the more tech forward choice because I like how the manual transmission brings out the best of this two liter turbo motor. It's a nice combination. You buy a CC because you really love Volkswagen and you want something different that doesn't look like every other car on the road not because you want the latest technology or necessarily the best value.