Friday, April 1, 2011
While basically a restyled version of Volkswagen's conservative Passat sedan (no longer offered for 2011 while an all-new version waits in the wings), the CC hits an entirely different aesthetic realm—and to many, looks like a more expensive car than it is.
The 2011 Volkswagen CC has performance that doesn't altogether match its sexy shape, and seating space is disappointing, but otherwise there's a lot to like.
If you feel that the 2011 Volkswagen CC feels a little bit like an auto-show concept, or a much more expensive vehicle, you're not alone. The CC takes after the Mercedes-Benz CLS with its stunning, coupe-like silhouette, frameless windows, and long, flowing design—including nice rear styling that tucks neatly down. The Volkswagen CC's interior still stands out several years after introduction; it includes details like contrast stitching, contrast color themes for the upholstery, and pleasing, upscale trims that aren't typical in a car that starts well under the $30k mark.
While the strong, sleek appearance of the 2011 Volkswagen CC might suggest sport sedan, it's not quite that. All of the CC models are quick on the straight line, though they don't handle with the verve of a sport sedan, clearly trading off some crispness for comfort. The engine that powers most of the CC line is the excellent 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder, making 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque, and we much prefer it to the 3.6-liter VR6 engine that's available (only in 4Motion all-wheel-drive guise). VW's excellent DSG automatic is now offered in the CC, and we like it or the standard manual. The VR6, which has to be revved a bit, simply doesn't move the CC that much quicker to justify its fuel economy figures, of just 17 mpg city.
The VW CC handles well, but that's not its forte. Most of the lineup—especially the four-cylinder models—ride quite well, and lavish interior trims feel luxury-car caliber; the interior is tight and serene, too.
But take even a brief look at the rather odd seating arrangement and slightly cramped backseat, and it's abundantly clear that the Volkswagen CC is a vehicle that was designed for form over function. Backseat space isn't passable for adults, for head room reasons, while the front-seat position is, for lack of terse terms, a bit odd.
Volkswagen hasn't skimped on features in the CC sedans; all of them, even the base Sport, come very well-equipped. The CC is available in Sport, Lux, and Executive models, with Sport and Lux models getting the four-cylinder engine and the Executive upgrading to the VR6 and 4Motionn all-wheel drive.
Bluetooth connectivity is now standard on all models, along with a new sound system that includes an auxiliary input and iPod connectivity. The navigation system in the CC is an all-new unit this year, while the top Dynaudio sound system is now only offered on the top Executive VR6.
Posted by Pw3680 at 12:51 PM
The stylish Volkswagen Tiguan is based on the Golf platform, so it's compact and beneath it all more car than ute. It measures 173.2 inches in length, 72.8 inches in width, and 66.5 inches in height, with one of the taller, more upright stances of vehicles in this compact segment. Design-wise, it gives the impression, as vehicles in this class often do, of a vehicle that was designed from the inside out; the smooth but conservative look appears as more blandly contemporary than sporty or adventurous. But there's nice detailing to keep it in line with Volkswagen's cars, as well as the Touareg SUV.
The 2011 Volkswagen Tiguan feels refined and sophisticated, but it's not especially rewarding to drive.
The 2011 Tiguan drives more like an especially tall car than a utility vehicle, and it does, at least at first impression, feel significantly more nimble and responsive feel than rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The basics are promising; the Tiguan packs a 200-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, with front- or all-wheel-drive configurations, and transmission options include either a six-speed manual or an automatic. But the goods aren't here to satisfy enthusiasts; the Tiguan is tuned for all-around ability rather than ultimate precision, and this reflects in the ride, steering, and brakes.
The Tiguan has the straightforward, versatile, and comfortable interior that compact crossover shoppers look for. Sporty and supportive seats give good comfort and an excellent driving position in front, and the flexible interior package includes second-row split bench seats designed to slide and tilt. Even larger adults will be very comfortable in the front seats, thanks to generous headroom, shoulder room, and legroom, and the back seats are ample for adults. The cargo compartment has a small hidden storage bin underneath the load floor, and with the 60/40-split back seats folded there's 56 cubic feet of expanded cargo space. A twin glove box up front adds convenience, and there are numerous other cubbies.
Overall, the Tiguan has a very refined, high-quality feel inside. Fit and finish and build quality in the Tiguan are top-notch, and while there's a little wind noise on the highway, the Tiguan's cabin is well isolated from road and engine noise.
With the Tiguan, Volkswagen keeps to its commitment to safety features and top-notch occupant protection. Standard features include front side airbags, side-curtain bags, and stability control, while rear side thorax airbags—not often available in this class—are an option. On all-wheel-drive versions, hill descent control is also included, to help control speed on steep slopes. Safety results have been excellent.
For 2011, the Tiguan gets a new lineup of alloy wheel designs, as well as new steering-wheel designs—including multi-function buttons for audio. Base S models get a new single-CD sound system, and an iPod adapter and voice-activated Bluetooth are now also standard on all models. The SEL model includes leather seats and push-button start, and roof-rack rails come with SE and SEL trims. Noteworthy options include a sizable panoramic sunroof, a navigation system (improved for this year), and a music hard drive, and an iPod connection. The navigation and audio setup also includes DVD video playback when the vehicle is stopped, and an SD memory card slot. The top Dynaudio system remains offered only on the Tiguan SEL 4Motion model.
Posted by Pw3680 at 12:46 PM