Volkswagen CC takes the kindest cut

By Phil Hanson

Volkswagen CC. Photo / Phil Hanson
Volkswagen CC. Photo / Phil Hanson

Volkswagen's prettiest car has been in for some nipping and tucking, an injection of the new corporate design DNA - and it's lookin' good.

The grille has the Volkswagen family's new horizontal lines flanked by revised headlights and topped with a redesigned bonnet. The grille could have looked odd on a car of such flowing grace, but it has integrated nicely.

Other changes: the bumper receives an extra air intake and interesting frames for the fog lights. At the rear, a new bumper and tail lights. Although the graceful frameless doors carry over from the outgoing CC, designers made subtle changes to the car's silhouette.

Sometimes when car companies do a facelift or a new model it ends up looking inferior to the original; in this case, the CC sheetmetal surgeons pulled it off.

But are aerodynamic looks too fast for the diesel engine under the bonnet of one of the two models sold in New Zealand? Fortunately not. Although the $61,750 TDI version is not as quick as its V6 petrol stablemate, it's still brisk enough for most drivers.

Power is 125kW, relatively modest these days, but the turbocharged engine produces 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. That's all good enough for a 0-100km/h sprint in about 8.5 seconds and a top speed, if you dare, of 220km/h.

But, more important than how fast it'll go are the blast-past overtaking times that make highway passing safe and sure. They're courtesy of all the torque available across that wide rev band, and of the responsive, widely praised, six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.

The CC is equally at home around town where it's more agile than its size suggests.

The diesel version we get has helpful reversing sensors, but no backup camera, although one is available from a long list of optional equipment.

The cabin is more German-functional than swoopy like the exterior, but it stops short of being boring and the materials and their fit and finish are first class.

Standard leather seating is particularly good; the front buckets are superb but the rear bench is tailored for two backsides, although there are belts for three people.

But that's okay because room in the back row falls victim to the exterior styling. The rear footwells are on the tight side, and the sloping, tapered roof line restricts head and shoulder room. It's better to consider the car as a four-seater.

Plenty to admire under the hood

If a diesel under that beautiful bonnet doesn't appeal, Volkswagen offers the 3.6 litre V6 petrol version with more equipment, including 4Motion all-wheel-drive, for $11,500 more.

The direct-injection V6 produces the same 350Nm of torque as the diesel, albeit 650rpm higher up the rev range, but power leaps to 220kW. That's more than enough to handle the petrol version's 123kg of extra curb weight.

Its 0-100km/h time drops to 5.6 seconds, the top speed is a 250km/h nose-bleeder, but overall fuel consumption leaps to 9.3 litres per 100km compared to the diesel's 5.5. CO2 output of 215g/km is way more than the TDI's 144, so don't plan on saving so much of the planet if you go for the V6.

Bottom line

Volkswagen nip-tucks its gorgeous CC and the sheetmetal surgeons did a good job. Your money will be well spent on one of these.

- NZ Herald

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