At first glance, the Volkswagen CC captured our attention. With its “4-door coupe” styling, it’s an attention-getter by all measures. Falling somewhere between the Passat and the defunct Phaeton in the VW lineup, the CC represents a bold and edgy entry into the mid-sized sedan market. Looks aside, however, we wanted to find out if the CC’s performance and driving impressions would live up to its aesthetic demeanor.
Incredibly high value for the money – For a mere $27,679 (with optional Bluetooth connectivity and rear curtain side air bags), you get a vehicle that’s built with German engineering; everything fits together with precision, high quality materials and utility
Leather everywhere – All seating surfaces & the steering wheel are wrapped in high quality leather; try finding the same level of quality in competitors at the same pricepoint
Upscale styling – Needless to say, the first vehicle the CC reminds you of is the upscale Mercedes CLS sedan; unlike its rather mundane and boring competitors, the CC offers awesome looks and styling that belies its low price of entry
Ample power – Under the hood of the CC, you’ll find the same peppy 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine you’d find in the VW GTI; although it’s not a rocket, it’s certainly more than enough power to deliver good standing and passing acceleration
Excellent gas mileage – With an estimated 21mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway, the turbocharged engine provides the benefits it should – power when needed, while delivering excellent efficiency when not on boost
Full array of safety features – Anti-Slip Regulation (traction control), Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Differential Lock and anti-lock brakes should keep any journey safe for all involved
With so much to like about the VW CC, what did we not like? There were two dimensions of the driving experience that lowered what would have been an excellent evaluation of the Vee Dub:
Sloppy shift mechanism – We specifically requested a manual version of the 2.0T, with “sporty” expectations… we were disappointed; the shift action is rubbery and throws were excessively long by our standards
Completely mute clutch action – With 99% of the cars we test, we can figure out the catch point on the clutch quite easily… this wasn’t the case with the CC; the catch point was so mute and the clutch pedal so soft, we hated dealing with the CC’s hydraulically actuated manual transmission within the first 5 miles of driving it
If you are considering the CC Sport, skip the manual tranny and opt for the automatic transmission with Tiptronic. Sure it costs a bit more and adds some additional weight to the car, but the standard manual transmission just doesn’t deliver enough to convince us. Equipped with the optional automatic transmission, we feel the CC Sport 2.0T will be a fine, capable daily driver / commuter with more than enough pizazz for nights out on the town or road trips with friends.
Recently, CARS (Car Allowance Rebate System) has sent out step-by-step directions on how to disable a “clunker”:
“Engine Disablement Procedures for the CARS Program
THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT TO BE USED BY THE VEHICLE OWNER
Perform the following procedure to disable the vehicle engine.
1. Obtain solution of 40% sodium silicate/60% water. (The Sodium Silicate (SiO2/Na2O) must have a weight ratio of 3.0 or greater.)
2. Drain engine oil for environmentally appropriate disposal.
3. Install the oil drain plug.
4. Since the procedure is intended to render the engine inoperative, drive or move the vehicle to the desired area for disablement.
5. Pour enough solution in the engine through the oil fill for the oil pump to circulate the solution throughout the engine. Start by adding 2 quarts of the solution, which should be sufficient in most cases.
CAUTION: Wear goggles and gloves. Appropriate protective clothing should be worn to prevent silicate solution from coming into contact with the skin.
6. Replace the oil fill cap.
7. Start the engine.
8. Run engine at approximately 2000 rpm (for safety reasons do not operate at high rpm) until the engine stops. (Typically the engine will operate for 3 to 7 minutes. As the solution starts to affect engine operation, the operator will have to apply more
throttle to keep the engine at 2000 rpm.)
9. Allow the engine to cool for at least 1 hour.
10. With the battery at full charge or with auxiliary power to provide the power of a fully charged battery, attempt to start the engine.
11. If the engine will not operate at idle, the procedure is complete.
12. If the engine will operate at idle, repeat steps 7 through 11 until the engine will no longer idle.
13. Attach a label to the engine that legibly states the following:
This engine is from a vehicle that is part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS). It has significant internal damage caused by operating the engine with a sodium silicate solution (liquid glass) instead of oil.
14. File this document in the file for the new vehicle purchase. ” Cars.gov
Which doesnt sound that harsh at all, until you watch the video:
That must be what a dying Transformer sounds like. Wait a minute, could this be part of a storyline in the next Transformers movie? I hope not, the car sounds terrible.
Not to get left behind in the zero emissions race, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Japan) today unveiled the Nissan LEAF, “the world’s first affordable, zero-emission car.” Scheduled for launch in late 2010 in Japan, the United States, and Europe, the LEAF, according to Nissan, will present:
Zero-emission power train and platform
Real-world range autonomy – 160km (100 miles)
Connected Mobility: Advanced intelligent transportation (IT) system
The LEAF is powered by laminated compact lithium-ion batteries, which generate power output of over 90kW, while its electric motor delivers 80kW/280Nm. A combination of the LEAF’s regenerative braking system and innovative lithium-ion battery packs enables the car to deliver a driving range of more than 160km (100 miles) on one full charge*. (*US LA4 mode)
The LEAF can be charged up to 80% of its full capacity in just under 30 minutes with a quick charger. Charging at home through a 200V outlet is estimated to take approximately eight hours.
The real question we have, however, is… although the LEAF and other electric vehicles themselves may not produce any emissions, they still do not solve the emissions that are created by electricity production. Whether it’s coal or nuclear, electricity is still produced for the most part by processes which consumes fossil fuels. Until the production process and the infrastructure to support it switches over to wind, solar and hydroelectric systems, we at RevdCars still feel the notion of an emissions-free electric vehicle is just that… a notion.
For those of you who may have slept through science class in grade school, this may be terrifying. To me, it’s an awesome way of showing great science in action. Since I am not the greatest teacher of this stuff in the world, I will let PBS explain it to you:
“Suspension Bridge: Forces
In all suspension bridges, the roadway hangs from massive steel cables, which are draped over two towers and secured into solid concrete blocks, called anchorages, on both ends of the bridge. The cars push down on the roadway, but because the roadway is suspended, the cables transfer the load into compression in the two towers. The two towers support most of the bridge’s weight.” PBS.org
And now, here is a video showing the Manhattan Bridge in action:
We Americans are yet again slapped in the face, with Audi launching the A5 Sportback in Europe but no plans to introduce the car to the US market. With three engine options – the 180bhp or 211bhp 2.0L TFSI, or the 265bhp 3.2 V6 – and three diesel engine options – the 170bhp 2.0 TDI, the 190bhp 2.7L TDI and the 240bh 3.0L TDI – the Sportback is being positioned as the entry level model in the A5 model series (although we think it belongs more in the A4 line up).
Sure, we’ve been critics of manufacturers offering an excessive number of trim levels for each model in their line up, but the A5 Sportback sure looks pretty and wouldn’t look out of place in the driveway of anyone here in the good old US of A.
This has got to be one of the greatest for sale ads I have seen for a car. The seller states that the vehicle is a 1987 gold Honda Accord with 13″ wheels. Apparently, this car will allow the owner to achieve a high status in their neighborhood. Also, if you are a skilled driver, the car has jumping capabilities and do wheelies. How could you say no, right? The reason why they want to sell the car is that, “it’s too damn ballin for us”. Click the link to see more pictures. KSL Car Classifieds
“1987 GOLD honda accord on 13s..Talk about getn STATUS in the HOOD… It does RUN…really it does. Has New tires, New gold 2 hours custom spray paint job of 6 cans @6.23 a can, and stunts on 13” chrome hubcaps. Has radiator leak. Drives okay… but you have to keep putting coolant in it… but experts say thats with most off road cars anyways. It has dings and dents on the body. The car does have jumping capabilities and can ride a wheelie on front and back wheels with a skilled driver of course…Do not attempt if you suck @ driving. Reason for selling: it’s too damn ballin for us. We want to tone it down a bit and maybe get a Rally Van. I only put PREMIUM 91 gas in it and change the oil every 20 jumps and not a jump more! Pick up this ballin whip for cash money only.. for a steal @ A REDUCED price thats bustin my balls for $250 O.B.O or 250 items off the dolla menu. or trade for something else that runs of equal or better value preferable better. “PS: okay due to all the fan email for this ad, i’ve been asked who we are and is this really a real ad.. yes it is for sale, I’ll answer the questions later on. If you want MORE stay TUNED for the video footage.. It will be getting jumped this weekend yes the 24th… I can’t believe all the emails and how fast this has traveled around haha. myspace.com/smokinggrits thanks again for all the mail haha i hope you enjoyed it as much as we have-
In 2004, the Scion xB (or the Toyota bB as it is originally known as in Japan) set a new trend in the automotive marketplace with its quirky design, affordable pricing and a marketing push that specifically targeted younger, first time buyers. Indeed, the first few xB’s that roamed the streets often solicited a universal response: “What the heck is that?” The first generation xB drew quite a crowd, young AND old, to dealerships across the country to take a closer look and, more often than not, take home the Kleenex box on wheels.
Fast forward to the present. The xB has morphed into something much less than its original self, losing that design “edge” and the fuel efficiency of the 1.5L engine, however anemic the power delivery may have been. And with these changes, the obligatory price of entry has gone up as well. The xB was no longer innovative nor affordable, distancing itself from the very qualities that made it so appealing to so many.
Thankfully, a new generation of the Kleenex box is hitting American car dealers and bringing back “the funk” in a major way.
The Nissan cube (yes, it’s lower case). Striking. Striking in a funky kind of way. The overall design is very organic in form, with no hard angles or solid corners to be found – which is rather the opposite of its namesake. The rear window wraps around to the passenger side, creating an asymmetric visual effect. The front driver and passenger window openings look more like portholes, as if you are looking through openings on a small submarine. The front fascia with its prominent headlights and low rear bumper treatment create an instant reminder of something… although that “something” isn’t apparent at first. Personally speaking, the word “octopus” comes to mind.
Step inside and the organic theme continues – everything is characterized by soft lines and rounded corners.
Unlike a commercial duty truck that is full of hard surfaces and sharp edges, the cube’s interior is inviting, a place where you COULD spend hours on end during a road trip; the seats, although lacking any significant side bolstering, are supportive and comfortable, and wrapped in good quality fabric.
Look above and the headliner has a ripple effect, the dome light positioned as the centerpoint. The same treatment is found on the audio speakers and, to a lesser extent, on the HVAC controls, tying everything together.
Our evaluation cube came equipped with a bevy of audio options – XM satellite radio, iPOD / USB connectivity, CD changer, AM / FM radio. The optional Rockford Fosgate sound system delivered decent bass with clean mids and highs
The cube is also offered in the top-of-the-line “Krom” trim level, with a special front fascia treatment, unique design wheels and a host of other unique equipment – was this trim level name inspired by the character Crom in the movie Tron? Or perhaps by Conan the Barbarian’s god, Crom?
There is sufficient room to comfortably seat 4 adults; even with yours truly at the wheel, with the driver’s seat slid all the way back, there was plenty of leg room available in the rear
Storage space in the main compartment is everywhere and optional bungee cords, that allow you to literally hang things on the door handles, are available as an option
With the windshield having little rake, it feels as if the front end is miles away when sitting in the front and takes a bit of getting used to
There is a bit of liftover required to load items into the trunk, with cargo space seemingly at a premium – sure, you can fold down the rear seats to create more space, but if the cube is already loaded with passengers, you’d better pack lightly
If you’re expecting GT-R-like performance, look elsewhere. More than a handful of other reviews on this car speak of the cube’s lack of power under the hood. But really, is that even a relevant comment to make? Is the cube buyer looking for sub-4 second 0-60 times? 12-second quarter mile times?
The Nissan cube is intended as a stylish people hauler with a low cost of entry. The 122-hp 4-cylinder is certainly peppy and permits quick getaways from stoplights. Surely, it’s no VQ38DETT found in the GT-R, but power delivery is smooth and linear. The continually variable transmission does a great job of delivering what power the Cube does brings to the table and makes the little wagon feel quite a bit more crisp and powerful than it really is. And when things do get a little dicey, it’s good to know that traction and stability control come as standard equipment on this Nissan.
Handling is definitely aided by the placement of all four wheels at the farthest points of each corner possible. This creates an ideal weight distribution over each wheel, creating handling characteristics that belie the tall design of the Cube. For those aftermarket-inclined, they may opt to upgrade the stock 16-inch wheels and 195-width tires, but the stock set up is more than sufficient for the most of us.
Braking was steady and consistent. Initial bite, even when cold, was good and predictable. Even though the Cube is equipped with drums in the rear, you would never know it unless you took a peek under the wheels.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the cube generated an average of 27.5 miles per gallon based on a 60/40, city to highway split. That’s excellent gas mileage from a vehicle that can transport 4 adults quite comfortably.
New car sales have been flat over the last twelve months due to the economy sinking like the Titanic and people opting to keep their cars longer. As a matter of fact, the ratio of used car sales to new car sales went from 3:1 in 2008 to 5:1 in 2009, according to RL Polk.
Newer model cars just aren’t that exciting any more. Same, mundane designs across the board, uninspiring performance and rising sticker prices plague offerings from many manufacturers. With that being said, it’s good to see Nissan take the leap and bring this quirky, fun car to US shores. It’s certainly worth a look for new car buyers looking for a car with personality, good performance and value for money. We’re betting that the Cube will give Toyota’s Scion offering a run for its money.