Volkswagen CC Saloon (2012 - ) review
Read the Volkswagen CC saloon car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
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With Volkswagen’s premium pricing comes a good level of standard equipment. The base model features a touch-screen radio with MP3-compatible CD player and a 6 CD autochanger; 17-inch alloys, two-zone climate control, electrically operated driver’s seat, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, an auto-dimming rear view mirror and a cooled glovebox. The GT model adds classy leather interior, 18-inch alloys, front fog lights, brushed aluminium dash inserts, Adaptive Chassis Control and front and rear parking sensors.
Sill stunning after a well-judged facelift. No longer part of the Volkswagen Passat range, the CC’s longer, wider and lower body now gets Volkswagen’s slim family grill, revised tail lights and bumpers. The most radical part of the car’s design remains its sides, with a curving arch between the front and rear windscreen pillars that give the CC its sleek looks. Open the doors, and the windows are free from the clutter of frames. The car still has Volkswagen family styling genes, brought up to date.
Volkswagen fans will find some familiarity, especially in the front, the mix of controls and instruments brought up-to-date with some trinkets inspired by the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury saloon, with subtle quality upgrades to the materials used. The Passat CC marked a change for Volkswagen – now been carried over in the CC – with the trademark blue and red interor illumination replaced by white lights. The now five-seat interior also has a typically VW quality feel. The car is claimed to be even more refined, thanks to glazing and sound insulation upgrades.
The 3.6-litre V6 GT has been dropped, now just a 1.8 and 2-litre petrol and a pair of 2-litre diesels are fitted to the CC. The 1.8 and 2-litre offer 0-62mph times of 8.6 and 7.6 seconds, with top speeds of 138 and 147mph. The diesels, producing 140 and 170bhp, cover the same marker in 9.8 and 8.6 seconds, before reaching 130 and 141mph. Six-speed manual or Volkswagen’s excellent DSG semi-automatic gearboxes are available on all models.
The Volkswagen CC’s boot measures a useful 452 litres, and there’s a full-sized spare wheel hidden underneath the carpet. Access is slightly hampered by a small bootlid area. – turning the handsome coupe into a hatchback shouldn’t have meant sacrificing looks, but would have made it far more practical –although the rear seats fold. Originally a four-seater, the CC now seats five, but adult centre rear passengers will be a bit cramped and rear headroom still isn’t the best, but shoulder and legroom is good. There’s plenty of room in all directions for front seat occupants. And despite the frameless windows, the CC is very refined, free from excessive wind and road noise, and now has better sound deadening than before.
Despite its still-radical looks, the CC uses plenty of parts common to other Volkswagen models. That means the technology is proven, and should raise little cause for concern.
Ride and handling
Despite the CC’s lines, it’s not a sports car; more a long distance budget GT cruiser. It rides superbly, and buyers can specify the Adaptive Chassis Control, which firms up the suspension, turning it into a more focused drivers’ car. It lacks the outright driving engagement of the BMW 3 Series Coupe, but is still capable of entertaining. The steering is light at low speeds, but adds weight as speed increases, although it lacks the ultimate level of communication of the best in class, it’s more engaging than some VWs. It rides well. Firm, pliant but always comfortable.
The 140bhp 2-litre diesel version we tested returned up to 55mpg on a mixture of fast motorway and urban driving, almost exactly what Volkswagen claims it to be. The CC is around £3-4,000 more expensive than its Passat sibling, but all models in the sleek coupe range hold their value better than the saloon and estate Passats. Emissions of 153g/km place both diesels in tax band D, which currently costs £144 per year, while emissions of 180, 193 and 242g/km place the petrol engined 1.8, 2-litres in bands E (£170) and F (£210).
The standard Volkswagen Passat scored a full five-star rating for adult occupant protection in the Euro NCAP crash tests, and the CC shares its sub structure. Standard safety equipment includes four-way anti-whiplash headrests, ABS with brake assist and brake force distribution, driver, passenger, front side and curtain airbags, ESP and whiplash reducing headrests. An impressive list of lane change, braking and parking aids can be specified as options.
Facelifting the Volkswagen CC hasn’t spoiled its looks and being a five-seater adds to the appeal of this even more refined car. It may no longer have Passat badges, but the CC takes all that’s great about the standard car and puts it in a body which still turns heads like few other Volkswagens.