First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen CC volkswagen reviews first drives
2013 Volkswagen CC. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by Grant Yoxon

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2013 Volkswagen CC

Nice, France — 2011 was a very good year for Volkswagen – sales worldwide were up 13.1 per cent (to 5.1 million units), up 22.2 per cent in North America (to 496,700 units) and up in Canada by 15.8 per cent (to 52,604 units). Most of the gains came from sales of Volkswagen’s North American-built Jetta, with sales up 85 per cent in Canada in 2011 over 2010.

While nearly half a million sales is nothing to sneer at, it is well short of Volkswagen’s 2018 target of 800,000. But the company is more than on track – if sales continue at the current pace, Volkswagen will surpass that target by 2015.

To reach these numbers, Volkswagen is increasing production in North America, expanding its Pueblo, Mexico assembly plant and opening a new manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This latter plant now builds the Passat for North America and may add the Golf and Tiguan to its roster in the near future. Together, the four models account for 90 per cent of Volkswagen’s North American sales.

First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen CC volkswagen reviews first drives
2013 Volkswagen CC. Click image to enlarge

Moving production to North America allows Volkswagen to build cars tailored for North American tastes (that is, cars with bigger interiors) at competitive prices.

Compared to the Volkswagen big four, the CC is a small volume sedan with less than 1,500 sales in Canada in 2011. But it is an important car for Volkswagen because currently it is the brand’s most luxurious sedan available in North America. Its availability here helps keep Volkswagen buyers in the family when their income might permit them to move to some other European brand.

Unlike the Passat, which is built in Chattanooga and designed for a North American buyer, the CC is built in Emden, Germany. In the Volkswagen line-up, it falls between the Passat, on which it is based, and the Phaeton, which is no longer sold in North America.

Though sharing Passat underpinnings, it is actually a bit longer, lower and wider than the Passat. It also has a coupe-like appearance (CC stands for Comfort Coupé) with its long sloping rear roof line, a more luxurious interior, a higher level of standard equipment and a price tag that in 2012 starts nearly $10,000 higher ($33,375 vs. $23,975). Prices for the CC in Canada have not yet been announced.

First Drive: 2013 Volkswagen CC volkswagen reviews first drives
2013 Volkswagen CC. Click image to enlarge

If one were to ask if it is worth the extra money to move up to the CC from the Passat, my answer would be unequivocally, “yes.” It is a rare day that I sit in a car for the first time and the first words out of my mouth are, “Wow, this is really nice.”

Top quality materials are used throughout. The leather seat coverings are super soft and super comfortable. Two-tone leather treatments and brushed aluminum and chrome accents work nicely together. Surfaces are soft to touch and switch gear feels firm and expensive. At $33K it is an unbeatable interior, easily matching much more expensive vehicles for making you feel rich.

Introduced in 2008, the CC was due for some changes, but this revision for 2013 is more of a mid-cycle make-over, with carry-over engines (though improved for fuel efficiency) and identical dimensions. The big changes include revised front and rear clips to bring the car more in line with the corporate look, a new five passenger seating configuration and more luxurious appointments, both standard and available.

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