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What might be called a coupe-like four-door with a sensible price, the CC mimics the style and features of high-end sedans that don’t fit into most family budgets. While some Volkswagen models have been downscaled in recent years to broaden their appeal, the CC remained loyal to its near-luxury roots. However, slimming the lineup from five to three trim levels this year, all four-cylinder with front-wheel drive, narrows the choices for likely buyers.

What's New for 2017

Two trim levels have been dropped from the CC lineup: the R-Line 2.0T and the V6 Executive. The 2.0T R-Line Executive adds lane-departure warning; forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking; and adaptive cruise control. Those features were standard on the now-departed V6 Executive model. The 2.0T Sport gains interior enhancements, including ebony trim and chrome elements.

Volkswagen CC Front

Choosing Your Volkswagen CC

Loss of the V6 Executive model means all CC sedans now have a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine, which produces 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque. Unusually for a midsize sedan, Volkswagen once offered a six-speed manual gearbox; but not anymore. Now, all CCs get a six-speed automated-manual transmission. Fuel economy with the automated-manual is estimated at 22 mpg in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway (25 mpg combined). Lack of an all-wheel-drive option may affect popularity in snowbelt regions, where an AWD-equipped CC ranked as a superior road car in wintertime.

Volkswagen’s CC comes well-equipped even in Sport form, to the extent that it could almost be mistaken for a true luxury car. Advancing through the trim levels only augments this feeling.

2.0T Sport

What is now the entry-level model gets quite a substantial complement of features, including a rearview camera, heated power front seats with leatherette upholstery, bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights and daytime running lights, foglamps, Bluetooth phone and audio, and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Also included are a navigation system with 6.3-inch touchscreen, keyless access, pushbutton start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and 17-inch wheels.

2.0T R-Line Executive

Similar to the Sport, except with more amenities and sportier trim throughout, including a bolder front bumper and large lower air intake. Leather seat upholstery, side skirts, and a panoramic sunroof are standard, as well as stainless steel scuff plates, paddle shifters, and memory for mirrors and the driver’s seat. Safety features include forward collision and lane-departure warnings, plus adaptive cruise control. Unique 18-inch wheels are standard.

2.0T Executive with Carbon

Priced identically to the R-Line Executive at $37,840, the Carbon edition includes active climate control for front seats and a HomeLink garage-door opener.

CarsDirect Tip

With the Trend model gone after only a year in the lineup, the starting price for a CC rises to $34,475—the cost of the 2.0T Sport. Even so, the CC can be a tempting alternative to the typical family sedan. Buyers of the Sport get plenty of features, but moving up to the R-Line Executive adds a number of comfort items as well as new active-safety features. Because all CC sedans have gasoline engines, that model is unaffected by the emissions-testing scandal that erupted during 2015, for diesel-engine Volkswagens.

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