2013 Volkswagen CC Review

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Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
April 16, 2012

The 2013 Volkswagen CC sacrifices some practicality in the name of fashion, and feels like a luxury car in many respects.

Volkswagen's "four-door coupe," the CC, has fulfilled its purpose in the automaker's lineup--adding more intrigue, fashion sense, and interest, as well as more luxury, above the more ordinary Passat, while not pushing quite (but almost) into luxury pricing territory.

And for 2013, the CC, which roughly parallels the Passat sedan but is more daring in its design and packaging, gets a mid-cycle refresh, with somewhat redrawn details in front and in back, along with new LED lights, altogether adding some new visual interest. Add a few subtle interior improvements, plus a rejiggered three-person backseat (taking the place of the fashionable two-position one), and you pretty much have the extent of the changes versus 2012.

Volkswagen calls the CC a four-door coupe, and if you stand back and see this model's profile in person, it's easy to understand why. With a roofline that's positioned a bit back compared to most sedans--in a slow arc--plus a rising beltline and sheetmetal that serves to emphasize the rear wheelwells, it has proportions that hint 'rear-wheel-drive sport sedan' to some (and nod to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, among others), even though it's a front-driver.

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While the CC might look like a serious sport sedan--or one with serious luxury credentials--it doesn't quite deliver to that impression. On the other hand what it does deliver, performance-wise, is better than what you might expect considering the 2013 CC's $31k base price: It essentially drives just much like the Passat in its more luxurious guises, with refinement clearly taking the priority over edginess or all-out performance.

Our favorites of the CC lineup remain those with the base turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (2.0T), which feel lighter and more nimble than their top-of-the-line VR6 and 4Motion counterparts, while feeling about as quick in most driving situations. With direct injection and turbocharging, the four makes 200 hp and 207 pound-feet of torque, the four churns out plenty of low- and mid-rev torque with only a slight delay if revs are at the low end. It's standard on Sport, Sport Plus, and Lux models.

To achieve such a swoopy roofline and more coupe-like appearance, combined with sport-sedan proportions, Volkswagen ended up reshuffling the interior configuration and losing some practicality in the process. This year VW has substituted the two-passenger backseat for a three-passenger one, although some of the same packaging flaws remain (headroom is a bit tight, the you'll either love or hate the low yet scooped-up feeling in the front seats). But trunk space is abundant, ride quality is luxury-car-like, and interior trims feel a step above those used on more affordable VW models.

In addition to a somewhat refreshed look, the Volkswagen CC gets a few more standard items for 2013; prices have risen accordingly, with the CC range now stretching from $30,250 to $41,410 and including Sport, Sport Plus, Lux, and Executive models. Sport and Sport Plus are only offered in four-cylinder guise, while Lux models come with the VR6 and front-wheel drive while the Executive upgrades to 4Motion all-wheel drive. But some of our familiar complaints about packaging from previous model years persist: Namely, many of the most desirable features, like Dynaudio sound, massage seats, and leather upholstery are only available in models with the (less desirable, in our opinion, and much pricier) VR6 models.

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