The Passat CC can be specified with two different engines--a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 280-horsepower, 3.6-liter narrow-angle V6. Four-cylinder models are available in Sport and Luxury models, while VR6 models are offered in Sport or 4Motion models. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on the base 4-cylinder Sport, but all of the other models come with a 6-speed automatic transmission with VW's high-tech DSG twin-clutch system. The 4Motion model is the only one in the lineup to get all-wheel drive; all others have front-wheel drive.
Most buyers will find spirited performance from the 4-cylinder models--along with fuel economy that's very impressive for a mid-size sedan. With the manual transmission, the CC can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds, according to VW. Acceleration from the VR6 engine is modestly better, and it's smoother and more responsive.
The CC comes with a sport-tuned suspension with MacPherson struts in front and a fully independent 4-link setup in back. With the electromechanical power steering system, the CC provides crisp handling response and a smooth but firm ride.
To complement the Passat CC's dramatic, unconventional shape and more aggressive rear-swept roofline, the interior arrangement is unique. Instead of a bench seat in back, the CC features two well-bolstered bucket seats, which means that all four occupants can have luxurious comfort. The back seats have a fold-down console with beverage holders, and the seats fold down for cargo versatility. Sport models have leatherette upholstery, while all other models have leather seats. Footwells are illuminated at night and a huge panoramic sunroof brightens the interior by day. Wood accents highlight the VR6 CC's interior.
The list of safety features are robust. Electronic stability control and anti-lock disc brakes are standard on the CC, along with Electronic Differential Locking, which aids traction and stability. Side-thorax airbags for the driver and front passenger are also included across the line, as are head-curtain bags good for front and rear outboard occupants. VR6 models come with Adaptive Forward Lighting, and rear side airbags are optional on all models.
Even at the base Sport level, the Passat CC is equipped as a luxury car, and includes heated seats, remote keyless entry and an 8-speaker sound system with 6-disc changer. Top VR6 Sport and 4Motion models get the panorama sunroof, adaptive headlamps, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, power front seats, Park Distance Control, a garage door opener, dual-zone climate control, a rear sunshade and a Dynaudio premium sound system with Sirius Satellite Radio. Touch-screen stereo controls with Bluetooth connectivity are standard on all CCs.
Options available include a new navigation system with the Multi Device Interface, which includes a 32-gigabyte hard disk drive and interfaces with cellphones and other personal devices. The CC's curvier sheetmetal makes rearward visibility a bit more obscured, so rearview camera views are also displayed on the screen and a rear parking assistance system helps gauge distances.
Following its 2009 introduction, the Volkswagen Passat CC is largely unchanged for 2010, though VW's twin-clutch DSG system now replaces the old clutch system in the automatic on 2.0T models, and all CC models now have standard touch-screen radio and Bluetooth connectivity. Heated side mirrors are no longer part of the 2.0T trim, and an iPod connection is a new stand-alone option, which can also be bundled with the CCs navigation system.