To achieve such a swoopy roofline and more coupe-like appearance, combined with sport-sedan proportions, you might think that Volkswagen ended up reshuffling the interior configuration and losing some practicality in the process. And if so, you'd be right.
But considering the CC's fashion-forward nature, you really don't sacrifice that much space—and we see the CC working just fine for all but those who plan on frequently carrying taller adults in the backseat.
For 2013, the biggest change for the CC is that it's no longer a fashionable four-seater. VW has changed the layout of the back seat, instead of two individual carved-out spaces, there's now a three-place bench with a fold-down center console. That middle spot in the back certainly won't win friends (it's not as well-cushioned) but it will work in a pinch. Head room is tight in those outboard positions, but leg room is acceptable and the contouring itself is pretty great. The CC's trunk is huge, and the rear seatbacks flip forward to expand cargo space when needed; there's also a well-placed pass-through at the armrest.
In front, the seating position is just a little odd. The buckets themselves are comfortable, but the seating position is rather low, and headroom is just adequate for taller drivers, who will find themselves up by the windshield header.
Take the somewhat different seating layout in stride, and the CC's cabin feels more lavish and expensive than you might otherwise expect from a car that starts around $30k. Materials and trims feel luxury-car-caliber; there's evidence of a lot of thought put into cubbies and bins; and the interior is serene. The only significant disappointment in the 2013, as opposed to the 2012, is that the excellent, grippy base cloth upholstery has been dropped in favor of V-Tex vinyl.
The frameless door system, which uses the power-window system to lock them tight after you close the doors, is effective in really minimizing wind noise. Ride quality in the CC is also excellent—firm but supple enough to soak up minor potholes, and quiet. We tend to recommend the base tire-and-wheel combinations in the CC, as the upgrades bring stiffer sidewalls that increase harshness without enhancing cornering.