A sleek version of the previous-generation Volkswagen Passat, the CC sacrifices function for style. But an update for 2013 added functionality, giving the sedan a third rear-seating position, thereby expanding its abilities. And as fashion dictates, it also brings stylish LED daytime running lights that look like illuminated eye shadow. To assess the freshened car, we bought a 2013 Passat CC to enter into our test program.
We bought the base-level CC Sport with the "Lighting Package." In reality, you're unlikely to find a CC without said package, so this is effectively the base car. It comes with VW's well-established 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and our staff considers it to be quite a bit nicer than the standard 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine in the new Passat. This powertrain is relatively refined and quiet, and it offers a better blend of performance and fuel economy than the company's five-cylinder or the up-level V6. However, it requires premium fuel. We chose the six-speed automated manual transmission as a no-cost option.
Trying to use VW's website to locate the car we wanted proved frustrating. Plenty of cars were listed as being in dealer inventories, but when we called the dealers, we found they weren't in stock. Most of the cars that were available were silver, black, or white; we prefer more photogenic colors.
Finally, we found a dealership that was able to locate a pretty Black Oak Brown one with two-tone leatherette seats at a regional VW distribution lot. They drove down to pick it up and gave us a good price. All in all, the CC is a very stylish car, especially at its $32,800 sticker price.
As for the middle seat, the so-called highlight of the minor freshening, it isn't comfortable. The raised seat conspires with the low, sloping roofline to make for an unappealing perch.
We'll keep you posted on how the CC stands up to its newer midsized sedan competition as the car proceeds through the check-in and testing phases.