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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Volkswagen CC

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Expert's Rating

3.5Good

MPG 20 City / 30 Highway
Pros
  • Unique styling
  • Upscale interior
  • Optional navigation system among the best
Cons
  • Ingress and egress somewhat difficult
  • Limited head room
  • Counterintuitive key fob ignition
A sedan for those who yearn for the seamless silhouette of a sports coupe.

Introduction

The sleek contours of a 2-door coupe with the seating capacity of a 4-door sedan has become quite the rage in the mid-size market. Pioneered by Mercedes and adopted across the board, the CC epitomizes the ethos with its low lines and elegant shape thanks to a recent facelift that has elevated it to one of the prettiest vehicles in the mid-size family car class.

This elegant exterior has come at a price on the interior. The lowered profile of the rear roofline/rear window has reduced rear headroom slightly, and the addition of a third rear seat (the new seat replaces the old central bin) has made the rear a snugger environment. It’s hard to see five full-grown adults sharing the CC in complete comfort for anything but a sort trip, but a family with two or three kids of anything up to teenage would be well served by the CC.

Elsewhere the interior is a pleasure. Up front the CC is spacious with well laid out instrumentation and plenty of accessories and creature comforts – even on base models – although the lack of a USB port might present problems for anyone trying to use non-Apple devices.

The five CC models fall into two distinct camps: those powered by the superb 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine, and those using the 3.6-liter VR6 unit. The TSI powerplant delivers 200hp and utilizes VW’s 6-speed DSG double-clutch system (a manual shift option is available on the base Sport model), so all in all you can expect 0-60mph in around 6.2 seconds and an EPA rated 22/31mpg. By contrast the VR6 throws out 280hp but the 220lbs weight penalty and older 6-speed transmission mean the performance is going to be about equal to the TSI powered vehicles. Throw in the poorer fuel economy and higher price of the VR6 models and you have to admit that ultimately the TSI models make more sense.

Ride quality is excellent throughout the CC range; easily on a par with many luxury sedans, but with a sporty precision that will keep the driving enthusiast interested. Some people have complained that the heavier VR6 models are prone to understeer/push, although the AWD package on the Executive CC model adequately compensates for this.

The CC comes in five different models, but because VW are offering few in the way of optional extras and instead packaging trim configurations to specific models, be sure to carefully choose the model spec that best suits you.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Volkswagen CC
Starting price
$15,979

2013 Volkswagen CC 2.0T Lux

Recommended for: Superb list of creature comforts mated to the excellent 2.0L TSI engine places the Lux a contender for most desirable CC in the range.

The Lux is the top of the CC range that utilizes the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine. Because the 2.0-liter unit is about 220lbs lighter than the 3.6-liter VR6 and the Lux retains the 6-speed automatic transmission DSG double-clutch system (the VR6 runs through the standard 6-speed transmission) its 0-60mph time and overall performance remain about the same. The 2.0-liter engine also offers far better fuel consumption (22/31mpg vs. 17/27mpg). This makes the Lux a very tempting proposition. Carrying over the Sport plus’ equipment, the Lux adds on 18” St. Louis alloy wheels, ambient interior cabin lighting, power tinted-glass sunroof with tilt, and brushed aluminum trim for the center console, dashboard and doors.

2013 Volkswagen CC
Starting price
$15,979

2013 Volkswagen CC 2.0T Sport

Recommended for: Excellent list of equipment offering outstanding comfort and excellent engine delivering outstanding performance.

The base model CC Sport is nicely equipped with such niceties as pollen filtering automatic dual-zone climate control, 12-way power seats with heating, rain-sensing wipers, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights (that illuminate in ‘CC’ shaping), bi-xenon high-intensity headlights with low-speed corner-illuminating feature, leatherette seats, Bluetooth technology and iPod connectivity, although it should be noted that the range does not feature any USB ports for non i-devices. The Sport also features 17” alloys, an 8-speaker audio system and VW’s 5-inch touchscreen LCD that has a pretty poor resolution. On the plus side the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine is superb, delivering 200 hp and taking a mere 6.2 seconds to go from 0-60mph. The Sport also has a 22/31mpg EPA rating and is the only model to offer a manual transmission option as well as the 6-speed DSG double-clutch system that gives faster, more responsive gear changes.

2013 Volkswagen CC
Starting price
$15,979

2013 Volkswagen CC 2.0T Sport Plus

Recommended for: Every inch as impressive as the base model, although the additional trim isn't as large of a leap from the Sport as the price suggests.

The Sport Plus model’s trim lineup is essentially identical to the standard Sport with the simple addition of 18” Mallory alloy wheels and VW’s RNS 315 navigation system. Critics have noted that the VW sat-nav system is comparatively slow (low processing power being the culprit) and the 5-inch touchscreen’s resolution is poor at best. The wheels certainly look nice, but the CC is already a good looker so it’s questionable as to how much of an improvement they actually contribute. It’s also questionable as to whether these two rather mediocre changes justify the additional $2,200 in price from the CC Sport model to Sport Plus.

2013 Volkswagen CC
Starting price
$15,979

2013 Volkswagen CC 3.6L VR6 Executive

Recommended for: 2-door coupe chic with 4-door sedan space and executive-levels of comfort and refinement.

The biggest change between the CC VR6 Executive and its siblings is the 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system that really gets the most from the 3.6-liter, 280hp VR6 engine. Paddle shifters add to the sportiness as do polished 18” alloy wheels. The driver is treated to an active ventilation seat with massage feature, premium color multi-function trip computer display, and front and rear proximity parking sensors. The sound system is a 600w, 10-speaker premium Dynaudio system, and there is also a power rear sunshade.

2013 Volkswagen CC
Starting price
$15,979

2013 Volkswagen CC 3.6L VR6 Lux

Recommended for: Smooth ride and comfortable leather seating offer executive-levels of relaxation and driving pleasure.

The V6 Lux shares the standard Lux’s spec sheet with one notable exception – the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI engine is replaced by the 3.6-liter VR6 unit. The VR6 churns out an impressive 280hp but fuel economy does fall as a result. Additional refinements include leather seating that is 12-way power adjustable and the fronts include 4-way power lumbar support and memory. There are also auto-dimming, heated side mirrors incorporating integrated turn signals and memory, heated headlight washers, rearview camera, Interlagos 18” alloys, and the much improved (and larger, 6.5” screened) RNS 510 navigation system that includes 25GB of music storage.

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