2013 Volkswagen CC new car reviews

At first, you’re tempted to criticize the rear seat room of the four-door Volkswagen CC, but that’s because you’re thinking about it wrong. When judged as a four-door sedan, yes, the rear seats may be a smidge on the tight side. But the secret is the CC isn’t a four-door sedan, it’s a four-door coupe. It has the spirited driving dynamics of a coupe, the sporty lines, and exceptional rear seat room—for a coupe.

The CC is cut from the same four-door coupe mold as cars like the Mercedes CLS series, and while the Benz may be a high-end brand with rear wheel drive, this exceptionally refined VW deserves to be mentioned in the same breath.

Our test car was equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI four-cylinder that VW criminally underrates at 200hp. If this car only has 200 horses under the hood, every one of them is a Clydesdale. It certainly feels like it gives nothing away in the power department to the pressurized 2-liter mills from companies like Buick and Kia which put out in the neighborhood of 270hp. When you feel the front tires digging for traction through second gear, you’ll agree that VW is likely holding their cards close to their chest on power numbers.

Our test car came equipped with VW’s exceptional DSG six-speed, which has long been one of our favorite paddleboxes. It has one of the most seamless automatic modes of any twin-clutch box in production, and when more aggressive setting are desired, the sport mode is well up to the task, always seeming to be in the right gear for the right condition, and downshifting decisively when needed. Manual mode is equally fantastic, with nicely weighted paddles, and a very natural-feeling shift with little or no delay between paddle pull and shift actuation.

If the CC has a downside, it’s the fact that its low profile and unique positioning has kept it out of the conversation for many shoppers. It’s hard to put your finger on just what other cars someone would be cross-shopping with a CC. It’s “coupier” than a Buick Verano or Kia Optima, but it’s “sedanier” than a two-door sporty coupe like a 3-series BMW. It’s sporty enough to carve up a canyon or surprise a few folks at a track day (especially with a powerplant that pulls it along with true authority until you’ve achieved extralegal velocity), but it’s got enough comfort and features for long stretches of driving, fitting it admirably into the personal-luxury category.

Like most VWs, the CC is probably one of those cars that you either get or you don’t. If you do, you’re in for a treat.

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Comments

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JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/10/13 9:29 a.m.

It must be excruciatingly hard to shake public perception of quality issues these days—when everything is expected to work perfectly 100% of the time. I really hope VW can overcome these perceptions, because they're building some legitimately exciting cars right now. None of them are terribly high-profile, but the driving experience in all of them is just absolutely solid. It's a good sign that Consumer Reports' current list of least reliable cars contains no VWs (the list is dominated by Ford and Jaguar). And VW sales are exploding in the US in the last couple years. If the current generation of cars can prove reliable, they certainly have the numbers and product excitement factor to start to seriously alter public perception.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
6/10/13 10:41 p.m.

maybe it'll help when all those 10 to 15 year old Passat's who's interior surfaces are de-laminating are finally dead of broken timing belts or sludge.

gunner
gunner Reader
6/11/13 5:49 a.m.

Especially when the perception of quality expectation was set by japanese cars of the 80's, 90's and 00's. Comparing VW's to similar era domestic offerings sheds a much kinder light on VAG. However the public (me included) has generally turned a more critical eye to anything coming in from overseas. I think thats why British and French car companies have done so abysmally over here. I'd LOVE to have Renault available here again. Anyway I do like the CC. Now I see them everywhere around here.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
6/12/13 10:06 a.m.

The Bang-for-the-Buck index doesn't really apply to the CC. We need a Looks-for-the-Buck index, because on that score, you are getting Ferrari looks for Kia prices.

Tim Baxter
Tim Baxter PowerDork
6/12/13 3:31 p.m.

Where's the better than/worse than?

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
6/16/13 8:22 p.m.

I'd say it's better than the DD but not quite as good at the BB.

belteshazzar
belteshazzar UberDork
6/22/13 6:49 a.m.

And the TT is right out.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

At first, you’re tempted to criticize the rear seat room of the four-door Volkswagen CC, but that’s because you’re thinking about it wrong. When judged as a four-door sedan, yes, the rear seats may be a smidge on the tight side. But the secret is the CC isn’t a four-door sedan, it’s a four-door coupe. It has the spirited driving dynamics of a coupe, the sporty lines, and exceptional rear seat room—for a coupe.

The CC is cut from the same four-door coupe mold as cars like the Mercedes CLS series, and while the Benz may be a high-end brand with rear wheel drive, this exceptionally refined VW deserves to be mentioned in the same breath.

Our test car was equipped with the 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI four-cylinder that VW criminally underrates at 200hp. If this car only has 200 horses under the hood, every one of them is a Clydesdale. It certainly feels like it gives nothing away in the power department to the pressurized 2-liter mills from companies like Buick and Kia which put out in the neighborhood of 270hp. When you feel the front tires digging for traction through second gear, you’ll agree that VW is likely holding their cards close to their chest on power numbers.

Our test car came equipped with VW’s exceptional DSG six-speed, which has long been one of our favorite paddleboxes. It has one of the most seamless automatic modes of any twin-clutch box in production, and when more aggressive setting are desired, the sport mode is well up to the task, always seeming to be in the right gear for the right condition, and downshifting decisively when needed. Manual mode is equally fantastic, with nicely weighted paddles, and a very natural-feeling shift with little or no delay between paddle pull and shift actuation.

If the CC has a downside, it’s the fact that its low profile and unique positioning has kept it out of the conversation for many shoppers. It’s hard to put your finger on just what other cars someone would be cross-shopping with a CC. It’s “coupier” than a Buick Verano or Kia Optima, but it’s “sedanier” than a two-door sporty coupe like a 3-series BMW. It’s sporty enough to carve up a canyon or surprise a few folks at a track day (especially with a powerplant that pulls it along with true authority until you’ve achieved extralegal velocity), but it’s got enough comfort and features for long stretches of driving, fitting it admirably into the personal-luxury category.

Like most VWs, the CC is probably one of those cars that you either get or you don’t. If you do, you’re in for a treat.

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.

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