The 2013 Volkswagen CC continues its reign as the member of the German automaker's family that marches to the beat of its own funky drummer. Unusual in terms of styling, price, and market position, the Volkswagen CC has carved out a respectable position in the VW hierarchy while managing to stand on its own in terms of identity - at least, if one ignores the mechanical details that is shares with several of its platform-mates. The CC has proven to the world that a four-door coupe doesn't have to cost a mint, and doesn't need to be built by an upscale automaker in order to find an audience.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Volkswagen CC.
01. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Has Been Refreshed For The Current Model Year
The 2013 Volkswagen CC has seen its styling updated in order to bring it in line with the changes that have swept across much of the VW product lineup over the course of the past year. To this end, the Volkswagen CC has been given a new front fascia that is strongly reminiscent of the redesigned Volkswagen Passat, as well as rear end treatment that doesn’t feature the same type of jeweled complexity in its LED taillights compared to what was found on the previous generation of the car. The result of these changes - combined with more subtle interior improvements - makes for a sleeker overall appearance that helps the car stand apart from its predecessor without significantly deviating from its successful design formula.
02. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Is A Four-Door Coupe
The term 'four-door coupe' is one that caused some consternation when it was first introduced in the mid-2000's, but the 2013 Volkswagen CC is a perfect example of this particular marketing conceit. The Volkswagen CC's roofline slopes dramatically downward at the rear, giving the visual impression that the automobile only has two doors. The CC's second set of entry points - frameless like those up front, carve out a small slice from that slope in order to afford additional practicality to owners.
New for 2013 is the move from a four-passenger 2+2 seating arrangement in the Volkswagen CC to a more traditional five-passenger setup. This was accomplished by removing the rear row's center console bin (offered in 2012) and replacing it with a padded cushion.
03. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Provides Two Engine Options
The base motor offered with the 2013 Volkswagen CC is a version of the familiar 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that sees many different applications in the VW family. Tuned to provide 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque, this mill offers a fuel economy rating of 22-mpg in city driving and 31-mpg on the highway.
The Volkswagen CC's top-of-the-line models are motivated by a much more robust 3.6-liter V-6 that generates 280 ponies and 265 lb-ft of twist. Fuel mileage drops precipitously with this engine choice, showing as 17-mpg in stop and go driving and 27-mpg during highway cruising. Going with the V-6 also adds the option of all-wheel drive to the CC's order sheet.
04. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Can Be Had With A Trio Of Transmissions Choices
Those who elect to stay with the entry-level engine offered with the 2013 Volkswagen CC are able to choose between one of two different transmissions. A six-speed manual gearbox is included free of charge on the first two CC trim levels, but it is also possible to match the turbo unit with a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual marketed by Volkswagen under the DSG name. DSG technology is designed to provide faster-than-humanly-possible gear changes while at the same time offering driver control over shift points if desired. The powerful 3.6-liter V-6 comes exclusively with a torque converter-based, six-speed automatic transmission.
05. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Is Available In Six Different Trim Levels
In base form, the 2013 Volkswagen CC is referred to as the Sport trim and comes with additional standard gear compared to the year before. HID headlights and the previously-mentioned LED taillights are included without extra cost to the buyer, and the model also features imitation leather seating (heated up front), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual automatic climate control, cruise control, a touchscreen interface for the vehicle's stereo system, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite radio.
Moving up to the Sport Plus model includes the DSG transmission as well as LED running lights up front, and upsized, 18-inch wheels in place of the 17-inch rims found on the CC Sport. The R-Line is intended to provide a more competition-oriented look to the vehicle, accomplished mostly via the installation of an aggressive aero kit as well as special wheels, while the Lux piles on comfort equipment such as a navigation system and a sunroof. The Lux V6 model introduces leather upholstery, heated side mirrors, and a rearview camera, while the VR6 4Motion comes with all-wheel drive as a matter of course, as well as a ventilation and massage feature for the forward two positions, a louder stereo, and parking assistance.
06. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Is Not Your Average Mid-Size Sedan
The 2013 Volkswagen CC is perfectly content to serve as a daily commuter car, but at its heart it is viewed by VW as something much more. The Volkswagen CC's comfort-tuned suspension system, dramatic looks, and upscale interior are intended to place it a tier above standard mid-size family cars and offer a stylish alternative to the Camrys and Accords that typically dominate its segment. The 2013 edition of the car is unquestionably more conservative in terms of design than the original version of the CC, but heading in this direction (no doubt as part of a play to expand sales) hasn't completely taken the edge off of the coupe.
07. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Offers Top-Notch Safety Gear
The 2013 Volkswagen CC features front side airbags, forward airbags, and side curtain airbags that deploy along the entire length of the passenger compartment in order to protect occupants seated both front and rear. The CC also features electronic traction control and stability control, and was recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as a Top Safety Pick due to its exceptional performance in various crash tests. As listed above, it's also possible to equip the Volkswagen CC with low-speed safety equipment in the form of front and rear parking sensors as well as a rearview camera, depending on which trim level is ordered.
08. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Is Priced To Compete Hard Against Premium Rivals
One of the most surprising aspects of the 2013 Volkswagen CC is its price. The CC Sport trim starts at an MSRP of $30,250, which certainly makes it more expensive when compared against pedestrian mid-size fare from Toyota, Honda, and Ford. However, when examining the level of equipment that comes with the car it makes more sense to instead target models from Lincoln and Acura. The CC is close to $5,000 cheaper than both the Acura TL and the Lincoln MKZ, and while it's relatively easy to quickly eat up that differential by opting for a higher trim level of coupe, even the VR6 4Motion edition of the car tops out at just over $41,000.
09. The 2013 Volkswagen CC Hopes To Continue Its Sales Dominance
The 2013 Volkswagen CC was never pegged to be a high volume seller, especially given its unusual styling, higher-than-average pricing for a Volkswagen, and the fact that the market for premium German automobiles not wearing an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz badge has traditionally been small. Despite the deck being stacked against it and the low-level, niche expectations on the part of VW executives, the Volkswagen CC has quietly become a worldwide success story, moving an average of 64,000 units per year. Volkswagen would clearly like the 2013 revision of the car to continue this level of sales performance.
10. The 2013 Volkswagen CC - Is It Different Enough?
The biggest question concerning the 2013 Volkswagen CC is whether it is truly different enough from the 2012 model to warrant serious interest. While the styling changes might appeal to more traditional mid-size buyers looking for less visual flair, the less exclusive looks will no doubt have at least some first-generation CC owners looking elsewhere for a replacement. Perhaps the most appealing aspect for new CC customers is the additional standard equipment offered with the vehicle, an up-market measure that coincides nicely with the value that the Volkswagen has to offer at its near-$30k entry-level price. From a mechanical perspective, however, 2012 editions offer almost identical power and fuel mileage with clear-out discounts to match.