- Competes with: Acura TSX, Nissan Maxima, Buick Regal
- Looks like: One of the sleekest family sedans around
- Drivetrain: 200-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or 280-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with six-speed manual (four-cylinder) or six-speed automatic; front- or all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Spring 2012
Volkswagen's sleek four-door CC gets a host of updates for the 2013 model year. Its new front and rear styling gives the car a stronger family resemblance with its Jetta and Passat siblings, and it's more practical as it goes from a four-seat to a five-seat layout with the new rear bench seat. It hits dealerships in spring 2012.
The CC retains its signature coupe-like profile, which is one of its distinguishing visual features, but the front and rear of the car have an all-new look. Newly standard bi-xenon headlights are enclosed in new surrounds, and the grille and front bumper have a more horizontal, angular appearance that closely resembles the look of Volkswagen's latest Passat family sedan. LED daytime running lights are optional. In back, new rectangular LED taillights emphasize the car's wide, low stance. There's also a new range of 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels.The R-Line version of the CC will be offered later in 2012. It has a number of unique exterior cues, like extended sport bumpers and darkened taillights.
The biggest difference in the 2013 CC's cabin is the new seating layout, which should make the car more attractive to families, especially parents who prefer to install child-safety seats in the middle of the backseat, something that wasn't possible in the previous CC.
Standard features include sport seats, a multifunction steering wheel, air conditioning, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power-adjustable heated front seats, simulated leather upholstery and Bluetooth connectivity. A touch-screen six-CD stereo with HD Radio and iPod connectivity is also standard.
Optional features include swiveling headlights, navigation system, brushed-aluminum trim, power moonroof, ambient lighting, headlight washers and a backup camera. Also optional are ventilated front seats, leather-trimmed seats, memory feature for the driver's seat, massaging driver's seat, front and rear parking sensors, Dynaudio premium stereo and a power rear sunshade.
The CC's available drivetrains carry over mostly unchanged. Volkswagen's workhorse 200-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is standard, and it drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This drivetrain gains Volkswagen's XDS limited-slip differential, which uses sensors to detect wheel slip and transfers torque to the wheel with the most traction.
Volkswagen's 280-hp, 3.6-liter narrow-angle V-6 is optional. The engine teams with a six-speed automatic transmission with available shift paddles. Front-wheel drive is standard, and Volkswagen's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is optional.
With the recent redesign of the Passat sedan, Volkswagen offers family sedan shoppers two distinct choices. There's the budget-minded and spacious Passat or the style-conscious CC. It's a distinction most mainstream car brands don't bother making.
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