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2013 Volkswagen CC Review By Steve Purdy

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2013 Volkswagen CC

A surprising German sport sedan/coupe

By Steve Purdy
Michigan Bureau

Volkswagen’s tag line for the CC is “The Mid-Size Sports Sedan with Shocking Good Looks.” I know that, as a journalist, I’m supposed to look with a critical eye at all these manufacturer claims.

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And I have. But, in this case, after living with the CC for a week, I find that tag line entirely accurate. The CC is quick, agile and darn good lookin’. What is actually a four-door sedan has the ambiance of a performance sport coupe.

The CC is essentially a dressed-up Passat with a low, coupe-like roofline, sportier suspension, base 4-cylinder turbo engine and way more panache than the mainstream Passat. The roofline makes for more difficult ingress and egress, both front and rear, particularly for bigger guys like me. The substantial seat bolsters as well make it a bit less easy to slide in and out. Once in, however, it fits and feels like a stylish glove.

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Introduced in 2009 this is the first styling update for the CC. New front and rear details include
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LED headlight accents and sleeker lines. Rear lights feature multiple slashing shapes within the lens. You would probably need to see the new one and the outgoing model side-to-side to notice the difference. No change in the overall profile, shape or ambiance will confuse fans. Standard 17-inch, five-spoke alloy wheels shod with wide all-season tires neither add to nor detract from the sporty appearance of the CC.

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Inside, we find a lovely, even elegant, environment. A small analog clock punctuates the center of the horizontal, three-tiered dash. The upper tier – sort of a floating brow - is a dark-colored, high-grade textured vinyl. The two-tone, very firm seats in “leatherette” look and feel like leather without that wonderful earthy aroma. Further defining the dash is the metal (looks like brushed aluminum) trim across the center. In this case the two-tone formula on the seats match the soft beige and dark color of the dash, contributing to a coherent, minimalist, uncluttered but classy overview. While attractive and simple, they’ve avoided the temptation to over dress the interior. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. These are Germans, after all.

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The low roofline makes for slightly less interior volume than Passat sedan. We have to duck even more to enter the back seat. For 2013 they’ve added the capacity for a third passenger in the rear, though I’d not want to be that person sitting on the raised cushion in the center. Seat backs fold and there is a pass-through in the center to add extra utility to the 13 cubic-foot (average size) trunk.

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While I was charmed by the appearance of the CC, I was even more taken by the slick, fast, efficient powertrain. The performance numbers - 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque from VW’s trusty 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine - don’t tell the whole story. It feels considerably stronger than that. The EPA rates it at 21-mpg in the city, 32 on the highway and 25-mpg combined. I was able to manage over 33-mpg on one of my high-speed jaunts (about an hour each way) on the freeways into the city. That’s averaging 80 mph. (Please don’t tell the authorities.) We had the six-speed manual transmission on our test car, and that added significantly to the fun quotient.

If you choose the automatic transmission you get to experience one of the first and best, dual-clutch shift management systems. Because it pre-selects the gear on either side of the one you’re in, it takes but a nano-second to shift, once told to do so.

I’m doing a little interpalation of the numbers here but, on our first excursion we entered the freeway where traffic normally moves easily and smoothly and just less than 80. I settled into my usual pattern of flowing with the left lane and when I looked down the speedometer read nearly 90 mph. Knowing that road intimately I paid particular attention the rest of the week and can only conclude that the speedometer is at least 5 mph optimistic.

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Though the trunk looks deep and cavernous it only has about 13 square-feet of volume, perhaps because of its low profile.

Our test car is the entry level CC Sport with 6-speed manual transmission starting at $30,610. Standard is the powertrain described above, 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-inch touchscreen for audio and other controls, 6-CD in-dash changer, all connectivity systems, power heated front seats, two-tone leatherette seating and plenty more. The Sport Plus model, at $32,850, adds 18-inch wheels, the 6-speed DSG transmission and navigation system. The R-Line, at $32,195 involves the Sport Plus extras but has some special cladding. The top-of-the-line Lux, starting at $35,355 comes with nicer trim inside and sunroof.

Two versions, both loaded, of the CC get the 3.6-liter V6, with 280 horsepower,: the V6 Lux at $37,730 and a VR6 4Motion with (all-wheel drive) at $41,420.

Volkswagen’s new car warranty covers the whole car for 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Scheduled maintenance services are covered at no charge for 3 years or 36,000 miles as well.

As a balance of performance, efficiency and style, the Volkswagen CC that we tested at just over 30-grand is a great value, particularly if you value German design and engineering.

ęSteve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved