I actually JUST traded my '12 CC R-line in on a '12 GTI. The GtI is a good 5db quieter inside.
My vote is for the GTI.
I have both cars for the moment and the difference in build quality between the two is like Kia vs. VW.
OH... and the GTI is getting better gas mileage to boot.
I was actually in a similar dilemma back in January. It was either the Autobahn GTI DSG or CC Lux Limited. I was trading in my '09 GLI just because I wanted something new. The GTI is of course lighter, faster and will get better gas mileage. I enjoyed my test drive. But the CC stole my heart. It was so quiet, it had a much bigger trunk and it has the wow factor. Even though it has been out for several years, people always stop me and ask me about it because they've never seen or heard of it.
The only thing I don't like about the CC is the gearing.My friend has a Stage 1 (old file) GLI and I had the new file Stage 1 with a CAI and after 65mph he starts pulling away on my pretty noticeably. But it's not a huge biggie, I don't race often. I just don't like it. Lol.
Going APR is like getting oral. Sure you could live without it. But once you get it, you don't wanna imagine a day without it APR!! Heck Yeah!!!
Like others said, completely different cars. I wouldn't purchase a Mk VI GTI until I've seen (and read the specs of) the Mk VII in September (granted, if you're looking at cars now, you probably can't wait til the Mk VII is released here).
On the noise issue, is the CC really the quieter of the two? I've only test driven a GTI, so I'm not able to give a fair comparison, but my CC is so noisy on the highway. Hard to imagine the GTI being noticeably worse.
I got a great deal on my CC back in 2010, so it made sense from a financial standpoint (dealers had a ton of these still on the lots in August as they were receiving 2011's), but in retrospect, I would prefer to be in a Mk VI GTI at the moment. I'd prefer the utility of the hatch, the fifth seat (not an issue if you're looking at a '13 CC though), and the lack of chrome and orange blinkers (I think the gti wins on exterior, but the cc has the nicer interior).
Can't go wrong either way though!
GTI you can hear the windnoise and roadnoise and engine/exhaust....it's a little more "raw."
It's not terrible, but compared to the CC.....it's louder
Plus the GTI has the noise pipe/soundaktor which pumps "engine noise" into the cabin too.
I turned in a 2010 GTI for my 2013 CC and I think my GTI was quieter. I think it is tire noise from the Conti's that is the main contributor; guess I will find out when I change tires.
As far as what to buy, if you want to drive a car that encourages you to be a hooligan (confidantly), get the GTI as it was more fun to drive aggressively.
The CC is a better Cruiser / Touring car and as I spend a lot of time on the highway, it is a nicer car for that environment; there are things I would do with the GTI that I would not be confidant in doing with the CC due to the handling differences.
Figure out which is more important to you day to day and you will have your answer.
2013 CC Sport 6MT