Bottom line: The 2014 Volkswagen CC R-Line is the perfect entry-level luxury ($30,000 to $50,000) family sedan for people more interested in owning a finely crafted, understated automobile than they are in making a motorized “prestige” statement. But even in the VW CC line, you can always spend more. The top-of-class CC VR6 Executive 4Motion starts at $42,895.
Ride, acceleration and handling: It gets excellent marks in all three. I love its understated nature. It does not attract unwanted attention on heavily policed roads, such as Interstate 95 between Baltimore and the Delaware line.
Head-turning quotient: It is a work of understated elegance.
Body style/layout: The Volkswagen CC is a mid-size, front-engine, front-wheel-drive family sedan with four side doors and a traditional notchback trunk. It has four trim levels — Sport, R-Line, Executive and VR6 Executive 4Motion. The R-Line driven for this column is a popularly equipped four-cylinder car. The VR6 has six cylinders, as the name implies, and all-wheel drive.
Engine and transmission: The R-Line comes standard with a turbocharged (forced air) 2-liter, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine (200 horsepower, 207 pound-feet of torque) linked to a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission that also can be operated manually is optional.
Capacities: Seating is for five people. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 13.2 cubic feet. Fuel capacity is 18.5 gallons (premium gasoline is recommended).
Mileage: I averaged 32 miles per gallon in highway driving. Total fuel cost for the 600-mile round trip in the CC R-line was $90, compared with $86 in the diesel-fueled BMW 328d.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front, solid rear); four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; stability and traction control; Xenon high-intensity-discharge headlamps; tire-pressure monitoring system; and side and head air bags.
Pricing: The 2014 Volkswagen CC R-line with six-speed automatic transmission starts at $34,125, with a dealer’s invoice price of $32,726. Price as tested is $35,025, including $35 for a first-aid kit and an $865 factory-to-dealer transportation charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $33,626.