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2012 Volkswagen CC

Posted: 11/17/2011 - 11:54 AM ET

The 2012 Volkswagen CC sits in the middle of the upscale, mid-sized car genre. A four-door coupe with room for four, the CC is heavier on style than functionality and won't fill the bill as a family sedan. But, with reviewers suggesting comparisons to the Mercedes-Benz CLS class, and reviewers raving about the base turbo 200 hp four-cylinder (even over the available 280 hp V6), the CC is plenty tempting.

You will have to cough up an additional $10k for AWD on the CC because it's only standard at the top of the line. Still, it's mildly refreshing to be able to talk about a car where the lower trims actually offer the best value when paired with the good fuel economy and a truly upscale interior. The CC sells in an MSRP range of $28,515 to $40,390 and returns 21 mpg city and 31 highway.

When comparison shopping, the primary choices are the 2012 Acura TL, which does have a viable V6 and AWD, plus, it's about $1000 cheaper and returns equal 280 hp. If room for three in the back is a must, take out the Buick Regal, with an optional, but comparable, turbo four-cylinder. In terms of price, the Regal CXL runs just $205 more than the base CC.

There are four trims for the CC: Sport, R-Line, Lux, and VR6 4MOTION Executive. At a leap of $12k, the VR6 is over-priced and not worth it even with standards that include: dual-zone climate, premium sound, panoramic moon roof, adjustable 12-way front leather seats, rearview camera, navigation, and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

On the base model you get Bluetooth and a stereo/CD unit with six speakers, auxiliary input, iPod connection, and satellite radio. The cabin is replete with soft, padded surfaces and all the materials are attractive, top-shelf choices. The base seats are two-tone "leatherette," but impressively so, and the fact that heat and power are standard are definite pluses.

Cargo space in the trunk, however, is disappointing at 13 cubic feet and the opening errs on the side of small with hinges that intrude on the available room. Fortunately, the rear seats are split and fold, so you pick up about 13 cubic feet on the trunk space for longer loads. Still , with cars like the Saab 9-5 ponying up 18.2 cubic feet, the CC is a slacker in this regard.

The federal government gave the 2012 Volkswagen CC four stars on roll over tests, but has not performed those for front, side, and overall crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, however, says the 2012 CC is a Top Safety Pick with top scores of "Good" on all crash scenarios. All standard safety systems are in place including an Intelligent Crash Response System.

Simply put, the 2012 Volkswagen CC doesn't dominate the mid-sized upscale class, but it's far from the bottom of the barrel. It's a stylish car inside and out, with high-value performance from the base engine. To bling out the cabin, you will spend a lot of money, but if you need to hit the middle ground on price and amenities, the CC will serve you well.



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