2013 Volkswagen CC
2013 Volkswagen CC
2013 Volkswagen CC. Click image to enlarge
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First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen CC

Manufacturer’s Website
Volkswagen Canada

Review and photos by Greg Wilson

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2013 Volkswagen CC

Sometimes, it’s all about looking good. Sure, it would be easy to point out the practical advantages of the VW Passat sedan over its coupe-like Passat stablemate, the CC—more interior room, more trunk room, more rear headroom, easier access, lower price, etc.—but good-looking cars often sacrifice practicality for appearance, and for some sedan buyers, handsome styling outweighs practical considerations.

The sleek VW CC (stands for Comfort Coupe, although it’s actually a four-door sedan) is VW’s fashion alternative for just such a buyer. Based on the previous generation Passat platform and built in Emden, Germany (the new Passat sedan is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee), the CC is currently at the top of VW’s automobile hierarchy in Canada with a price range between $35,125 and $48,475. For 2013, it features revised front and rear styling that further enhances its clean lines. The previous V-shaped front bumper design has been replaced by horizontal lines that more closely resemble VWs global design theme seen in the Golf, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, Touareg, et al. The CC’s new upper grille has three chrome bars instead of two at the top and a new body-width lower grille with inset foglights. As well, the CC has new bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights that wrap around the nose, and at the rear, new slimmer taillights with distinctive LED lighting. It’s not a huge change from last year’s CC, but at least VW didn’t mess it up.

Inside the CC, VW’s European classiness continues with standard leatherette or optional leather seats, soft-touch instrument panel plastics, brushed aluminum trim, chrome-ringed, illuminated gauges, and large centre touch-screen. Our test car had attractive two-tone beige and black seats and a two-tone dash with generous aluminum trim. The fit and finish is excellent, of luxury car standards.

2013 Volkswagen CC2013 Volkswagen CC2013 Volkswagen CC
2013 Volkswagen CC. Click image to enlarge

The CC is not all about looks, though. One important change for 2013 is completely practical: VW has added a centre rear seat, upping occupant capacity from four to five. At first glance, it still looks like there are two rear seats because the outboard rear seats are dished out while the centre seat is higher; as well, the centre seat has a rather uncomfortable folding armrest serving as a backrest and a centre tunnel and centre console intruding on leg space. But the centre rear seat does have its own head restraint and three-point seatbelt. Sitting there is not very comfortable, and the cabin is not that wide for three adults, so I suspect it won’t be used very often—but it’s there if you need it.

The 2013 VW CC Sportline ($35,125) and Highline ($39,975) come with VW’s ubiquitous turbocharged 200-hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine and standard six-speed manual or optional ($1,400) six-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) dual-clutch transmission. The CC Highline V6 ($48,475) offers a 280-hp V6 with a standard six-speed automatic transmission (not a DSG) with Tiptronic manual shift capability; the V6 model also comes with standard 4Motion all-wheel drive (which unfortunately is not available with the four-cylinder engine). Today’s test car is a CC Highline with the 2.0L turbo and DSG transmission with an as-tested price of $41,375 plus $1,395 Freight and $100 A/C tax for a total of $42,870, before taxes. That’s getting awfully close to luxury brands like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, placing the CC in a market niche somewhere between top-end mid-size family sedans and low-end compact luxury cars.

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