Despite being a contradiction in terms, the four door coupe look has legs with a few manufacturers going down that path including Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai. Most notable is the arresting Benz CLS that really lit the wick for this type of car more than a decade ago.
Explore the 2012 Volkswagen CC Range
Now sporting the square-set VW front and rear end styling, CC cuts a fine silhouette on the road from all angles and backs this up with a level of luxury not often seen this side of $100 grand.
But the CLS spells big bucks unlike the Volkswagen CC - a similar style car but at an affordable starting price of $54,990 for the front wheel drive 2.0Tdi we drove. There's also an all wheel drive 3.6 litre V6 petrol model at ten grand more - still a bargain in the greater scheme of things.
It used to be called the Passat CC but that's now been abbreviated to simply CC - just like corn chips. But there's nothing corny about the VW CC - it's the real deal and a sheer delight - to look at and to drive.
Goodies include Nappa leather upholstery, a high tech Satnav system, rear view camera, premium audio with a multi device interface, comprehensive trip computer, dual Bluetooth, auto bi-xenon headlights, paddle shift, adaptive cruise and plenty more. The test car also came with Driver Assistance Package that features lane assist, side assist with steering intervention (yes), adaptive cruise and front and rear emergency braking.
We were taken aback by the level of intervention all this equipment can deliver when activated. It will actually steer you away from the sides of the road if you stray, it will stop the car if you miss a stationary object in front, it will maintain a pre-selected distance behind a leading car over a wide variance of speeds.
Where does it all end? Cars will drive themselves we reckon - and not too far into the future.
The CC runs a 2.0-litre turbodiesel four cylinder engine we've seen in numerous other VW products, with, in this case, a six-speed (DSG) dual clutch manumatic driving the front wheels through an extended locking differential (XDL) similar to that in the Golf GTi.
The transmission is well suited to the engine giving short increments between gears that are selected imperceptibly up and down. There's a sport mode if you want sharper responses.
The engine is good for 125kW/350Nm and can get as good as 5.7-litres/100km thanks to extensive use of Bluemotion "eco" technology - brake energy regeneration, auto stop/start optimised aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tyres and other stuff. CC has strong performance and makes minimal noise or vibration.
The ride is sports/luxury, capable yet cossetting, cruisy but corner friendly. Safety is five stars with eight airbags and stability control doing its stuff. On the road it feels luxurious and sporty. You can waft along at the speed limit in a cocoon of near silence. Hit out on secondary roads and it's the same - supple and controlled.
The engine delivers strong roll on response thanks in part to 350Nm being available from just 1700rpm. But we found the side assist system caused a disconnected, wandering feeling in the steering. Lucky you can turn it off.The cabin has ample seats for five, slightly compromised in rear headroom , and a large boot replete with a full size alloy spare.
Park assist is handy as are the rain sensing wipers and dusk sensing headlights (bi-xenons). We really like the looks of this car - it's a class act inside and out. The interior is right up there with the heavy hitters in the luxury class. It's no sports car but is elegant and stylish from all angles.
No need for the V6 because the turbodiesel has plenty in reserve....and the front drive system is capably controlled by that electronic diff.
Price: from $54,990 (diesel), from $64,990 (petrol)
Warranty: Three years/unlimited km
Service interval: 15,000km/12 months
Safety: five star
Engines: 2.0-litre turbodiesel, 125kW/350Nm; 3.6-litre petrol V6, 220kW/350Nm
Transmissions: Six-speed dual-clutch automatic, FWD (diesel) AWD (petrol)
Weight: 1526kg -1656kg
Thirst: 5.5 litres/100km diesel, 144g/km CO2; 9.3 litres/100km petrol, 215g/km CO2