"The CC is essentially the same car as the Passat CC it replaces: a four-door coupe that excels for luxury, style and comfort."
The Volkswagen CC is a four-door coupe version of the Volkswagen Passat – CC standing for Comfort Coupe. Designed as a competitor for premium rivals such as the Audi A5 Sportback, the CC is sleeker looking and better performing, featuring revised four-door coupe styling and a high-quality interior. The UK engine range includes 158bhp 1.8-litre TSI and 207bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrols, and a 2.0-litre TDI diesel that can produce either 138bhp or 168bhp. It comes in only two main specifications – the entry-level standard car and the top-spec GT model.
MPG, running costs & CO2 emissions
The most economical engine on offer in the CC is the 2.0-litre TDI BlueMotion Technology diesel engine, which returns 61.4mpg and emits 120g/km of CO2. At the other end of the scale, the GT 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine may go from 0-61 in 7.3 seconds up to a top speed of 150mph, but it only returns 38.7mpg and emits 169g/km of CO2, making it quite expensive to tax. Add the DSG automatic gearbox and those numbers decline even more. The rest of the engines sit broadly in the mid 40mpg range, emitting between 130 and 150g/km of CO2. So, the more powerful diesel is barely more expensive to run but the petrols – although cheaper to buy at the outset – will cost more to tax and at the petrol pumps.
Interior & comfort
The CC is undoubtedly a very comfortable car, whether or not you have the adaptive dampers (which change the suspension to improve comfort) fitted to it. The suspension easily absorbs any bumps and pothole jolts on the UK's rough roads, but be warned that models fitted with the 19-inch wheels do struggle more than those on the smaller alloys. The diesel engines are usually a bit rough and noisy, but in the CC, engineers have done a great job of keeping wind, road and tyre noise out of the interior by adding improved sound-absorbing materials to the front, rear and underbelly of the car. The standard-fit sports seats give excellent support on long journeys, while there is also plenty of room in the back for two adults, although taller passengers will have to tilt their head because of the sloping roofline. The third middle back seat really isn’t practical for grown ups to use on longer drives, so is best reserved for smaller children. But, all of that said, the CC still adds up to a very relaxing drive, with a top-quality interior that is enjoyable to ride in.
Practicality & boot space
The CC is more about looks than practicality. The car has been designed with a lower roofline than on the standard Passat, but there's plenty of headroom in the front for driver and passenger. In the back, however, taller adults might find their heads a little too close to the roof lining for comfort, but the width and length of the CC means there is enough leg and shoulder room to compensate. There are technically three seats, but whoever draws the short straw to sit in the middle is going to have a bit of a cramped time, so is only for short journeys to be honest. The boot is reasonable but lags behind the standard Passat, offering 452 litres of space and the CC also gets one-touch switches in the boot to fold the split back seats down easily. There's a range of storage cubbies for your knick-knacks, including a refrigerated glove compartment.
Reliability & safety
The Volkswagen CC is still too uncommon on UK roads to feature in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey's top 150 cars, but VW itself had a solid mid-table ranking of 16th in the list of top manufacturers. Given VW's strong reputation for reliability, it's a bit surprising that it doesn’t finish higher, but all the big mainstream manufacturers have to balance volume of production and build quality to some degree. After all, the VW Group also own consistent top performer Skoda, which often uses many of the same parts at the VWs. Underneath its skin, the CC is basically the old Passat CC, only with different badging. That bodes well for reliability, because the old Passat CC did have a great record. Safety equipment is abundant, with a range of airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes all fitted as standard. There's a lane-change assistant that will intervene if you're moving into traffic, plus a system that will brake the car to a stop to try and prevent a rear collision. There's no Euro NCAP rating for the CC, but the Passat it's based on did secure the maximum five-star crash safety rating.
Engines, drive & performance
As it's based on the standard Passat, the CC borrows heavily from the saloon and estate range – but it does narrow the selection to the best of the Passat's engine line-up. So you get to choose from a 1.8-litre turbo petrol that produces 158bhp and a 2.0-litre turbo petrol with 207bhp. The diesel engines offer 138bhp and 168bhp versions of the 2.0-litre turbodiesel. You can get all models with either a six-speed manual gearbox or an equivalent DSG automatic unit, with the 1.4-litre being the only model fitted with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The lower-powered models are actually pretty quick, and probably enough for most people's needs. Adaptive dampers come as standard on the top-of-the-range GT models, which allows the suspension to be changed between Normal, Comfort and Sport modes. In the latter mode, the handling is surprisingly sharp but the steering doesn't offer as much feedback as you’d like, which means it's just never that exciting to drive.
Price, value for money & options
You do pay quite a bit more for the CC than you’d pay for the standard Passat, but with the same engine, you do get a lot more standard equipment included for your money. Even basic entry-level models come fitted with sat-nav, a DAB digital radio, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, alloy wheels and xenon headlights as standard equipment. Upgrade to top-of-the-range GT spec and you can add full leather upholstery, adaptive dampers, cruise control, parking sensors and larger alloys to the list. It only has limited resale value on the used car market but that's because it can be a bit unpredictable due to its relative rarity and desirable looks.