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2013 Volkswagen CC 2.0 TSI Highline Review

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Once a styling knockout, Volkswagen’s 2013 CC has unfortunately lost much of its initial appeal. When it first surfaced as a 2009, the car world could scarcely get enough of the then-Passat CC’s silhouette, avant-garde design and everything else we’ve come to expect from Volkswagen.

These elements along with a fantastically designed cabin, supreme seats and great powertrain options are all still present. The for-2013 aesthetical lift softened the sharp creases and plunging-wedge nose, and made the 2013 Volkswagen CC less of a bold choice: the CC is now mainstream.

From the driver’s and passenger's point of view, all’s good; however, in a parking lot the new CC has literally lost its edge. And all because of a bad nose job. The 2013 Volkswagen CC still remains a good drive, though.

Effort for naught
The first iteration of the Passat CC was akin to a sexy blade affixed to a handsome guard, hilt and pommel. It was sharp, exciting and dashing. Even the less-than-well-judged taillights fit the mold. With the firm intent on selling more (always more) Volkswagen has purposefully diluted the 2013 CC with the hopes of attracting more (always more) buyers.

The Comfort Coupé’s new shell is softer, less extravagant (if ever a German car could be qualified as such) and it’s the 2013 Volkswagen CC’s front end that has suffered the most from the generic facelift.

To be straight, the remainder of the car has changed very little. The tails are now in line with the current crop of Vdubs. The car’s new fascia betrays what is otherwise the same car as it was, without the initial visual punch. It’s a shame, really.

The cabin is gorgeous; it has always been, and I expect it always will be. In fact, in the sub-$40k range, the $35,125 base Sportline 2013 Volkswagen CC has the nicest interior on the market.

The highlights are the seats that have seemingly been pulled out of an $80,000 Audi. Not only do they look good, but their firmness and support make them very comfortable. The dashboard’s simple and symmetrical layout is pleasing to the eye and the materials, fit and finish, to the touch.

Familiar territory
What makes members of the Volkswagen family attractive propositions are the similarities found in each product line. Sporty, well designed steering wheels and fabulously clear and nearly luxurious gauges are two such examples.

Another example are the powertrains: Most trims of the 2013 Volkswagen CC are motivated by one of my favourite 4-cylinder engines in the business; the turbocharged 200 hp 2.0L TSI. It’s so good that I bought one. What I also like is Volkswagen’s DSG transmission. This combination is found in the GLI, GTI and Beetle Turbo. That particular engine is even found in other configurations elsewhere in the lineup.

What’s most impressive is how it all works as a perfectly tuned unit. Throttle response is near immediate as one of the clutches grabs onto the flywheel and, with no discernible lag, the 2.0T rushes the car forward. Shifts are immediate as the second clutch is already lined up. All the driver will notice is a sharp, yet smooth, drop in engine revs and further forward thrust.

The other aspect most appreciated by the powertrain is its ability to make all that happen while consuming a very reasonable amount of fuel. Heavy left footed as I am, I averaged 9.5L per 100 km.

The road in a 4-door coupe
The 2.0TSI does not make the 2013 Volkswagen CC a low-flying rocket, but the efficiency and rapidity at which the car covers ground is immensely rewarding. The other engine is another group favourite as it is the 280 hp 3.6L VR6. With VW’s 4MOTION AWD system standard, the $48,475 Highline 2013 Volkswagen CC is an all-weather, near-sports car.

As with all VW cars, the 2013 Volkswagen CC has an innate ability to do many things very well, especially on the road. The car’s fully independent suspension manages both high levels of comfort as well as remain poised and in control at high speeds.

The electromechanical power-assisted rack and pinion steering is, as always, well adjusted and somehow perfectly matched to the 2013 Volkswagen CC’s springs and struts. Whether cruising or enjoying a bit of spirited driving, the chassis (along with its mechanicals) constantly operate in perfect unison.

Although not the quietest car on the road due in part to the retro-cool frameless doors, the 2013 Volkswagen CC still manages to keep its ideally allocated four passengers quite happy. Visibility is one of the very few sore points associated to the car; it’s something one must deal with if they want to be seen, or barely, in Volkswagen’s Comfort Coupé.

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