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Heels on Wheels - 2013 Volkswagen CC Review


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2013 Volkswagen CC

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE 2013 VOLKSWAGEN CC VEHICLE

Just as traditional SUVs evolve into crossovers to stay competitive, so must sedans – and the Volkswagen CC successfully does this by embracing a couple-like silhouette for a four-door car that casts rich taste at a low cost.

I drove a 213 Volkswagen CC with the smaller turbocharged 200-horsepower 2.-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection and a six-speed manual transmission. Also available with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 and several more luxurious trims, my base Sport with Lighting Package came with the following standard equipment: V-Tex leatherette upholstery; dual-zone climate control; eight-speaker audio system with HD radio and XM radio; auxiliary input jack; twelve-way power front seats; heated front seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls; a cooling glovebox; and LED headlights with a corner-illuminating feature. Total vehicle cost as described came to $30,610.

The VW CC exists in two segments, both the coupe and sedan. It can be pitted again the sportier Hyundai Azera or Honda Civic Si. On the higher end of the couple-like rides, check out the Hyundai Equus and all-new Audi A7.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Its appealing VW offers their finely constructed V-Tex leatherette upholstery as a standard – but perplexing why a USB port is withheld. The seats are shapely and striking with decent dimensions, but far from roomy. There’s enough space to put a baby seat in the back without cramping out the front passenger, but the couple-like design won’t be fun for loading little ones. There are some low-quality dash materials (like the faux chrome) to deflate the fun, and certainly at this base level trim a navigation screen and accompanying graphics are missed.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the CC the highest possible ratings of "Good" in the frontal, side and roof strength tests. It is not yet rated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Standard safety equipment includes Electronic Stability Control, Anti-Slip Regulation, all-season tires, LATCH, child safety rear door locks, and a comprehensive airbag system.

Cost Issues: At the base Sport with Lighting Package, price starts at $30,610. Step up to the more luxurious Lux trim with a sunroof, navigation system and larger wheels, and cost rises to $35,355 – add the V6 engine and it hits $37,730. With 4Motion (four-wheel drive), a premium audio system, active ventilation front seats and Park Distance Control, the VW CC VR6 4MOTION Executive tops out at $41,420.

Activity & Performance Ability: The Bi-Xenon high-intensity headlights were a bit low for our taste on dimly lit back roads, but did cast that extra illumination on slow turns. The taillights also faired poor during evening backups. The gas mileage on the 2.0-liter was outstanding as we averaged far past the highway travel numbers. The six-speed manual was lively and smooth to shift. The CC does seem to offer a little bit of everything: the marquee characteristics of a sportier coupe thanks to a sport-tuned suspension and responsive steering – but the comfort and quietness of a larger sedan.

The Green Concern: Fuel economy with the 2-liter is 21 miles-per-gallon city and 32 highway for a combined 25. The Azera’s 293-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine now has more than a five percent improvement for a fuel economy at 20 miles-per-gallon city and 29 highway for an average of 23, while the CC’s V6 gets 17-city and 27-highway for 21 combined.

FINAL PARTING WORDS The 2012 Volkswagen CC features a sleek exterior and a well-crafted cabin, plus a choice between two responsive engines – with a price starting at $30k, and this sportier coupe-like sedan starts to look like the next best engineering idea on the road.

©2012 Katrina Ramser