Auto Review: Style that works

By Bill Heald - ReminderNews
Featured Article - posted Thu., May. 31, 2012
- Contributed Photo

Volkswagen has always had a way of a instilling a certain style into their automobiles, while at the same time keeping functionality clearly at the top of their design criteria. Even if you go back to the original Beetle (that had a shape that was familiar and loved the world over), it was still first and foremost designed to solve its engineering directives of low cost, durability and efficiency rather than just being stylishly unique. So whenever VW creates a model that is rather striking in the looks department (like the CC in this week’s review), it’s reasonable to assume it’s not just another pretty face, but a very competent machine under the skin. This beautiful sedan is in fact a fine entry into the intensely competitive midsize category, and it’s real claim to fame is how tastefully stylish it looks while accomplishing its automotive business so effectively.

VW likes to characterize the CC as having the looks of a coupe and the versatility of a sedan, and for the now-released 2013 model, the front and rear exterior styling has been tweaked to further advance its “elegant and muscular” attractiveness. The engine for the Front-Drive CC is a 2-Liter, Direct-Injection turbocharged Inline Four that pumps out 200 horsepower (All-Wheel Drive with a 280-horsepower V6 is also available). Our four-cylinder CC was equipped with a 6-speed Tiptronic DSG Dual-Clutch automatic transmission, which VW says “allows the next-higher gear to be engaged but remain on standby until it is actually selected. In other words, if the CC is being driven in third gear, fourth is selected but not yet activated. As soon as the ideal shift point is reached, the clutch on the third-gear side opens, the other clutch closes and fourth gear engages under accurate electronic supervision.”

The result is crisp, efficient shifting (in auto or manual modes) and good acceleration, with 60 mph arriving in about 7.5 seconds. Handling is sharp and the chassis feels solid, with quick, light steering and firm but acceptable bump compliance. The usual electronic stability controls help keep the car in check if you get too happy with your cornering technique, and VW continues to be a major player in fine-tuning the latest in safety technology.

Inside, the coupe-like roofline of the CC does keep things cozy, however I found rear-seat room in particular to be acceptable and overall comfort to be excellent. The upholstery was sheathed in V-Tex Leatherette, which is a great surface in terms of comfort, durability and breathability. The driver gets elegant, concise instrumentation but a lot of the controls are initially confusing, and a car with a navigation system and limited rear visibility should come standard with a back-up camera (there was none at this trim level). Otherwise, the CC is a high-end midsize that is as engaging to drive as it is pleasing to the eye.

The 2013 Volkswagen CC Lux is EPA rated 22 MPG city/31 highway and we got 27.7 MPG overall. Loaded with options, our MSRP came to $36,175.

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