At first glance the new CC looks more muscular and purposeful than the old car.
Stuart Martin road tests and reviews the Volkswagen CC, with specs, fuel economy and verdict.
"You can't say no, just say CC's" - a corny line from an even-cornier chip ad, but that's where Volkswagen is heading with the four-door coupe version of its new Passat, just don't mention the P word.
More than 320,000 globally have handed over hard-earned to get a taste of the most svelte member of the Passat family - previously that was not a difficult accolade to achieve as the rest of the range didn't exactly push the edge of the styling and design envelope.
The new CC (it stands for Comfort Coupe) range will remain a two-model line-up, as per the outgoing car - the 125TDI front-drive model (which is 60 per cent of the CC sales here) will kick off proceedings at an unchanged starting price of $54,990, despite equipment upgrades including the driver fatigue detection system the reversing camera and standard satnav.
The features list has dual zone climate control (with rear vents), Bluetooth phone and audio link, the aforementioned touchscreen satellite navigation and 8-speaker infotainment system with auxiliary input, 18in alloy wheels, auto-dipping mirrors inside and out, folding and heated external mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio, phone and trip computer controls.
The facelifted CC also has automatic active bi-xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, power-adjustable front sport seats, tinted rear windows and insulated glass.
The CC V6 asks for an unchanged $64,990 and for that price hike gets a different 18in wheel and the all-wheel drive system, although the V6 AWD drivetrain doesn't get the coasting function or start-stop.
The new Volkswagen CC will again the choice of a 125kW/350Nm two-litre turbodiesel, or the 220kW/350Nm V6 petrol engine in the AWD model; both have six-speed DSG transmissions only. The diesel gets what VW calls the BlueMotion fuel-saver systems, including start-stop, a coasting de-coupling function on the gearbox and a brake energy battery recharge function as standard equipment, while the V6 petrol model gets only the brake energy recovery system.
The diesel's outputs are unchanged at 125 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque, enough to push the TDI model to 100km/h in 8.6 seconds but lay claim to 5.7l/100km. The V6 petrol model's AWD system runs at 90 per cent front in normal driving, using the rear wheels when required by means of a number of sensors, not just a change in axle speed, says VW. The V6 produces 220kW and 350Nm, sprints to 100km/h in 5.6 seconds and boasts 9.7l/100km.
Among the changes on the facelifted model is more soundproofing materials in the front, side and rear of the new CC, as well as along the floorpan and in the wheelarches. The dashboard has also been backed by more sound insulation and the windscreen now has a film of sound insulation added.
For those with armloads of shopping is the auto-boot system that responds to a deliberate kick beneath the bumper (provided you have the key) to automatically open the bootlid. The CC also now has what VW calls the "Extended Electronic Differential Lock" that brakes the inside front wheel to counteract wheelspin and understeer.
The facelift for the CC follows the Passat, with a sharper, longer nose and a new chrome radiator grille and bonnet design; the new standard bi-xenon headlights (with cornering lights and LED running lights) have lost the rounded shape along the bottom of the out-going car's main beam.
The CC has rear LED tail lights and still has frameless doors, the coupe roofline and the steeply swept rear window. The cabin now seats five (previously the rear bench was a two-seater) and it's snug if you want to carry five adults.
Headroom is not abundant in the rear (due to the swoopy roofline) and rear vision is restricted by a narrow rear window aperture, so the standard rear camera and parking sensors are vital.
The cabin is equipped with dual front, front and rear side and full-length curtain airbags, fatigue warning detection and tyre pressure monitoring as standard. There's also anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control and the aforementioned Extended Electronic Differential Lock.
Front occupants have height adjustable lap-sash seat belts with pre-tensioners (also on the outer rear seatbelts) and belt force limiters. The safety features list includes the driver fatigue detection system (which monitors time and behaviour behind the wheel).
The CC is also available with Lane Assist (that operates above 65km/h) and Side Assist blindspot warning, part of the optional $3300 Driver Assistance Package which teams with the adaptive cruise control and emergency braking system.
At first glance the new CC looks more muscular and purposeful than the old car. The cabin is snug but well laid-out and once underway it's immediately apparent how quiet it is. The outgoing Passat CC was not a noisy car but the work done to insulate the cabin further has been to good effect.
The ride is Germanically firm in normal mode, while the comfort setting does take the edge off the bumps a little more. Sport mode tightens things up nicely for the bends and the CC points through corners with poise, although there's some remoteness to the electric steering, the price paid for having it invaded for safety's sake.
The optional lane assist system can be a little spooky as it possesses the steering, but it is effective and certainly a worthwhile safety feature, particularly when teamed with the other systems on the CC. But it's no boy racer - refinement is key and both models have it - but maybe this time we'll get an R ....
The V6 model has quicker point-to-point potential as you'd expect but the diesel is no slouch - the all-wheel drive model feels more confident on slimy surfaces and can punch out of corners harder, but the intelligent front-drive system does plenty to instil confidence when pushing the diesel.
The optional active climate control seats have a massage function which when combined with heaters made it difficult to get back out into single-digit temperatures. The 532 litre boot is not deep but does stretch well back toward the cabin, meaning there's a deceptive amount of cargo space that can be extended by spiltfold rear seats.
While currency plays a part in keeping the price steady and upping equipment lists, the new CC bridges the gap between sedan and coupe in good order, without the loftier asking price of some others in this growing segment.
Price: from $54,990
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Resale: 47 per cent (V6 48%, source: Glass's Guide)
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety rating: five star
Engine: two-litre turbodiesel common-rail injection four-cylinder with stop-start, 125kW/350Nm (3.6-litre direct-injection V6 petrol, 220kW/350Nm)
Transmission: 6-speed twin-clutch automated manual; TDI FWD (V6 AWD)
Body: 4.8m (L); 1.9m (w); 1.4m (h)
Weight: 1521kg (V6 1657kg)
Thirst: 5.7l/100km (V6 9.7), tank 68 litres; 150g/km CO2 (V6 227)
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