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Review: 2013 Volkswagen CC

Cars, Reviews  /   /  By Danny Chang

The Refreshed 2013 VW CC is Suitable for Business or Pleasure


  • Sporty Coupé styling
  • Torquey for a 2-liter engine
  • Smooth 6-speed manual gearbox


  • Long front overhang throws off the stance of the car
  • Low sport car-like height makes it unfriendly to tall people
  • 200 horsepower not exactly blowing it out of the water

The VW CC is a competent near-luxury sport sedan. Nevermind the me-too four-door coupé styling cliché, the CC is a good looking car except for its FWD stance.

It is sportier than the Passat, looks more sophisticated and European, and the interior looks and feels richer than the Passat. And VW still makes one of the best interiors around in this price range, especially when you look at the competition from Japanese and American offerings.

2013 Volkswagen CC

Its performance may not stack up against some of these competitors, but the overall package makes the Volkswagen CC a hard sedan to pass up.

Driving Impressions

The 207 lb-ft of torque from the 2.0L Turbo kicks in at 1,700 rpm, so the CC is quick off the line when the light turns green. The 6-speed manual transmission shifts very smoothly and the clutch engages and disengages fluidly — even if your shifting method needs practice.

Acceleration up to highway speeds felt fast as well and giddyups into 6th gear in no time with the speedometer well past 80 mph. Um, we mean 60. Top end acceleration is not the greatest with 200 horses, but it’s adequate for most passing situations as long as you remember to downshift in time.

Steering feel is solid, the car points to where you want most of the time with little noticeable understeer for a FWD sedan. The ride feels smooth on the highway and the car is fairly tight on turns.

2013 Volkswagen CC infotainment display

We enjoyed the 6-speed manual tremendously. But the CC feels like a very large car. We are constantly aware of the long tail behind us as we push through turns and maneuver through traffic.

While the VW CC is based on the Passat and has the same wheelbase, the CC is longer, wider and lower than the Passat, giving it a more streamlined appearance than the standard sedan.

Available engines in the US are the standard 2.0-liter turbo 4 cylinder with 200 hp and the 3.6-liter V6 with 280 hp. There is also a 4MOTION all-wheel drive option available should you want to go beyond the standard FWD.

2013 Volkswagen CC

What Other People Are Saying About the New CC

According to The Car Connection, “…considering the CC’s fashion-forward nature, you really don’t sacrifice that much space—and we see the CC working just fine for all but those who plan on frequently carrying taller adults in the backseat.”

We noticed the CC has thin front seats that provide more leg room in the backseat, a welcome benefit since the rear head room is not that generous, thanks to the fast coupé shape.

Left Lane News has this opinion of the CC’s exterior styling: “Many brands have jumped on the four-door coupe mantra, offering swoopy designs masquerading as sexy sedan variations on a three-box theme… Overall though, we think the CC is in good company with all the other four-door whips that claim coupe-like DNA.”

2013 Volkswagen CC

Truthfully, we have a bias against FWD cars where most of the engine sits well in front of the front axle, resulting in a massive front overhang that throws off the stance of the entire car. The CC falls into this category and although the overall streamlined coupé lines of the car, it is too front heavy and does not have the most aggressive stance.

And we actually prefer the new corporate VW front end with its more geometric headlights and grille, as well as the cleaner look of the taillights when compared to the original design. The squat and flat shape of the CC with the original organic headlights made the car look like a fat amphibious frog-like creature. The facelift gives the CC more presence and an air of sophistication befitting of a range-topping model

2013 Volkswagen CC 2.0T Sport w/Lighting Package base price, $30,610. As tested, $31,430. Destination, $820.

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