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2013 Volkswagen CC

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Published on Sun, Jul 21, 2013

By: The LACar Editorial Staff
2013 Volkswagen CC VR6 4Motion Executive (Stokes)

When Mercedes introduced the popular but pricey CLS “four-door coupe”, other luxury car makers had to have their own version. Volkswagen decided it could do one for less than half the price. Enter the CC. For model year 2013, the CC receives a makeover. Editor-at-Large Doug Stokes reports on the decked out 4Motion Executive version. - Editors Story and pictures by Doug Stokes I’m not going to repeat over and over here, but this is perhaps one of the clumsiest names hung on any car in the past decade (Editor: how about Touareg or Tiguan?). It is also the name of an all-around excellent Euro-sedan that does every right and then some. We’ll just call it the CC from here in and start out by telling you, if you’re in the mood for a high performance German touring car, at a high value for money price, best you take a look over this way. Here’s a $42,000 machine that fully belies the ages-old “economy car” image of Volkswagen. Of course, you know that they threw off the cheap car mantle way long ago, and that Volkswagen not only builds contemporary cars, but that it owns Audi, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, Seat, Skoda, and a pretty fair old chunk of Porsche. Think that end of the Volkswagen brand lineup here. Check this look out, you’ve seen this one and thought it to be something other than a VW, these are sleek, subtle, seriously clean lines. And there is double good news in the fact that the 3.6 liter VR6 engine that powers all four wheels in this one makes the sort of horsepower that fully backs up these admittedly admirable looks.

VW’s unique VR engines are marvels of packaging; six-cylinder engines employing a very narrow vee-angle that makes this big, strong 3,600cc six fit nicely into the space of a 4-cylinder. Which means that there’s more room for people and their goods … If you don’t believe me, find one of these CCs and take a look into its trunk (hint: bring your lunch, in case you get lost). I said “big and strong” about the engine only a ‘graph ago and have, for decades now (really) talked about matching horsepower and torque figures. This VR6 does that. Horsepower: 280, Torque: 265 pound-feet. Those numbers, fed to the road through an adaptive six-speed automatic that will work with you. Drive hard it’ll keep the engine in gear right to redline every time and pop the right gear in perfect sequence like a F1 driver … drive easy and it will keep the engine right in the sweet spot pulling nicely and ready to rocket out whenever the vagaries of fate intrude. “4Motion” is VW’s own way of saying all-wheel drive. They know this business well, and the well-used term “seamless” is correctly applied here. Putting the above horsepower and torque package through all four of the CC’s 18-inch high performance tires gives this one its outstanding feel of calm control. But wait, there’s also one of the best set of paddle shifters that I’ve ever used. In fact, this is one car that I found myself actually using (and enjoying) the paddle-shifter for more than just the first few minutes behind the wheel. But please note: there’s almost no flexibility lost in simply leaving the marvelous Tiptronic system in Drive and letting this brilliant engine/transmission combination know what you want with your right boot. Those 265 pound-feet of torque are always there, at your service.

This car is all about detail and getting it right. For example, the fact that this tourer (like all the great ones) comes equipped with five (real) wheels is just one of the details that (for me) made the CC such a value. And those 18-inch alloys are very smart-looking as well, silvery-satin finished, and looking like a cross between a jet engine intake and an ultra cool orange juicer from a Westside home furnishings boutique. The black-over-desert beige leather seats and seating arrangement are set up with German touring all the way, near perfection. Besides being almost infinitely adjustable, the command seat in the CC adds heating, cooling, and lumbar massage. Disclosure: I didn’t think about using the massage feature until the last day of my review week. Darn! We mentioned earlier our full-up line-topper CC stickered out at a healthy $42,660, but, short of gold-plating the dipstick or adding a coat of that 6-hundred dollar “Glow Coat” treatment that “only dealers can install” (do they still pull that BS?), there’s nothing, real or imagined, that I can conjure up to add to this country cruiser. Even these days the above is still a bunch of bucks to be spending on an automobile, but you could spend a whole lot more and not see the sort of package that this one has. I believe that the word “Executive” in the official name of this one translates from the German as the American equivalent of “loaded”. Everything in this one is an ultra: Premium sound system, Sirius XM receiver, multi-function touch-screen trip computer, all of the tech/safety devices (abs brakes, active stability control, tire pressure monitors, anti-slip) xenon headlights, media interface ports, heated windshield washer nozzles, power locking system with electronic (proximity) key, panoramic sunroof, adaptive headlights, rearview camera with parking distance control … and on and on. For more you’ll have to look at the feature listing following. The window sticker on this night blue CC showed no extras.

I don’t slam a test car around race tracks or skid pads, or regularly get it within 80 percent of its top speed; but I still drive most LA Car review cars considerably harder than you (no, not YOU Mario, but that still goes for the rest of the readership). Which is my lead-in to my telling you that this is a great-handling sedan—fully capable of just about anything the driver (or the road) throws at it. It’s that confidence thing again. Of course we need to talk about fuel economy, right? This is a mid-size, high-powered, high-performance (hello?) sports sedan and an EPA rating of 20 highway miles per gallon (17 city) is not really a problem in my copybook. I hope that no one buys a car like this and then complains about the mileage. That’s not the deal here friends. A personal thought intrudes here. If not of the economic strata, I am of (or even just a few laps past it) the correct age for a Mercedes Benz or BMW product. I love driving both brands, as well as their 4-wheeled peers like AUDI, and Lincoln, and Cadillac. However I really can’t feature myself driving any of those marques as an everyday ride. Not me, not my style, sorry. Now this CC, is sleek, easily mistaken (from the looks and/or the performance) for just about any of the above, but happily is NOT a “Bimmer” or a “Merk” and I think that I could easily find room in my garage for this German tourer. I swear that I would not de-badge it. Promise.

SUMMARY JUDGMENT This car impressed in every way, hitting way above expectations that were already pretty revved-up. For more information about Volkswagen products, go to SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2013 Volkswagen CC 4Motion Executive Price: $30,545 (base) $41,835 (VR6 4Motion Executive, as tested) EPA mileage estimates: 17 city/25 highway miles per gallon Engine type: 3.6 liter DOHC 24-valve VR6 Horsepower: 280 @ 6200 rpm Torque: 265 pound-feet @ 2750 rpm

Drive configuration: All-wheel drive Transmission: 6-speed automatic with sequential manual mode Suspension Front: McPherson concept with triangular wishbones, coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers, stabilizer bar Rear: Four-link independent rear suspension with telescopic shock absorber arrangement, weight optimized anti-roll bar. Axle acoustically decoupled from body. Brakes : TRW EBC 440, with Electronic Stabilization Program with all-wheel Brake Assist Front 12-inch Vented Disc Rear 11-inch Solid Disc Brakes Wheels and tires: 18 x 8.0 in. alloy wheels with alloy spare wheel and 235/40R18 95H all-season tires Dimensions Overall length/wheelbase: 188.9 inches/106.7 inches Overall width: 73.0 inches Overall height: 55.8 inches Curb weight: 3854 pounds

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