$7,310 - $10,157

2012 Volkswagen CC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2012 Volkswagen CC was new.


Performance: 8.3

Reviewers are unanimous in saying there is really no reason to choose the V6 engine in the 2012 VW CC instead of the turbocharged four-cylinder. Not only do they say the V6 is more money than they’d like to spend, they feel the turbo four is plenty fast and its fuel economy makes it one of the best turbo four engines on the market.

The automotive press is somewhat split on the CC’s handling. Some dislike its body lean and touchy brakes, while others say its brakes are strong and it has minimal body lean.

  • "V-6 version is insanely expensive." -- Car and Driver
  • "The CC stands apart from its new Passat sibling under the hood, as well. Though they both offer the same optional 3.6-liter V6, the CC gets a more powerful and sophisticated 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as standard equipment. This is one of the best engines around, providing thrifty fuel economy and surprisingly rapid acceleration given its output. There is no turbodiesel model, though, unlike the Passat." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2012 Volkswagen CC is available with two engines: a 2.0-liter turbo inline four-cylinder that produces 200 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 with 280 horsepower. Reviewers agree that the turbo four is the preferred choice because it offers good performance and fuel economy. They say although the V6 is powerful, it’s unnecessary and expensive. It’s only available on the top-of-the-line VR6 model, which is almost $12,000 more than the base Sport model.

A six-speed manual transmission is only available on lower Sport and R-Line trims. Volkswagen offers two different six-speed automatic transmissions for the 2012 CC. The DSG, a twin-clutch automated manual gearbox, is optional on Sport and R-Line models and standard on the Lux. The VR6 4MOTION Executive trim gets a traditional automatic. Volkswagen recommends premium gas for all CC trim levels. The EPA rates the 2012 VR6 all-wheel drive CC at 17/25 mpg city/highway, while the turbo four-cylinder CC averages 22/31 with an automatic and 21/31 with a manual.

  • "Base engine provides plenty of punch. Six-cylinder version is overkill." -- Car and Driver
  • "While the top of the line Passat offers a 280-bhp 3.6-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive, the front-drive Lux Limited does just fine with its 2.0-liter turbo four, which has 200 bhp on tap and delivers 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway." -- Road and Track
  • "We're particularly fond of the DSG transmission, as it shifts quickly and smoothly." -- Edmunds
  • "Following a brief delay, the turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder moves with impressive pep from a stop and delivers decent mid-range and highway-passing power." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

The automotive press is divided on the 2012 CC’s handling. Some like it because it is solid and steady on the interstate. Others dislike it because they say the brakes are too sensitive and the steering too light. A few test drivers think it has too much body lean around turns, while others disagree. The CC should be test driven to see if you like the way it handles. All-wheel drive is standard only on the top-of-the-line VR6 trim and not available on any other trim.

  • "The 2012 Volkswagen CC neatly splits the difference between sporty handling and luxurious comfort for a ride quality that should be agreeable to a majority of drivers." -- Edmunds
  • "The only area where the CC falls down is in throttle and brake response, especially in low speed operation. The throttle seems twitchy, lacking a progressive tip-in feel and the brakes have an on-off touchiness." -- Road and Track
  • "CC feels well composed, with good grip and minimal body lean in turns. The brakes deliver smooth, strong stopping action." -- Consumer Guide

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