BY CHERYL TAY
When I told my friends that I was reviewing the Volkswagen CC, some of them had the impression that it was a coupe-cabriolet. I don't blame them, as the "CC" suffix in cars such as the Renault Megane CC and the Peugeot 308CC mean Coupe-Cabriolet. In the case of the Volkswagen CC though, it means Comfort Coupe.
As literal as it gets, that's exactly what the Volkswagen CC is — a comfortable luxury 'four-door coupe'. My friends were quick to halt me mid-sentence when I was explaining more about the car — "How can a coupe be four-door?!"
Allow me to clarify.
The Volkswagen CC is a premium mid-sized sedan, hence four doors and five seats, but is styled like a coupe; therefore having a tight sloping roof line and marginally smaller space (though still having ample legroom for rear passengers) in the back half of the car. Into its second generation, it was previously known as the Passat CC but is now simply referred to as the CC. Derived from the Volkswagen Passat sedan, it is no longer part of the Passat range, but is a standalone model in the Volkswagen range.
Having undergone an image update to match the present-day Volkswagen DNA, the front and back are significantly re-designed although the mid-section remains. There is a more distinct chrome grille out front accompanied by new bi-xenon headlights and a new bonnet, with new LED tail lamps at the back.
The interior of the CC's cabin is not forgotten — the first thing I noticed was the analogue clock — with new design features and a higher standard list of equipment, including a 'one-leg kicking' motion sensor for the boot to open. The air-conditioning controls and climate control dials are new as well. But what I felt was the most useful option, at least for me, was the Park Assist system. It is more than just an assist if you ask me; in fact, it is a semi-automatic self-parking function.
Regardless of reverse or parallel parking, the Park Assist system uses ultrasonic sensors in its bumpers to park itself. After trying it for two days, I found it more useful for parallel parking which can sometimes be a real pain in Singapore's confined city spaces. The Park Assist system will do all the steering for you but driver intervention is needed in adjusting the gear lever (between D and R) and working the pedals.
Start off by pressing the Park Assist button and then use your signal indicators to 'tell' the car which side you want to park at. For example if you are intending to parallel park to your left, turn on the left signal indicator. Thereafter, you have to drive past the desired parking space and allow the Park Assist to scan the lot and decide if the lot is big enough. When it is determined that the lot is park-able, stop the car and engage reverse gear then LET GO of the steering wheel and let the Park Assist work its magic.
The multi-functional display screen will show the intended parking path of the car and then the Park Assist will steer the car automatically into the lot. It was quite strange (as well as a little alarming) at first, watching the steering wheel move on its own and I had this urge to grab it. However, it's just a matter of getting used to. At all times while the Park Assist is in progress, your feet will be controlling the accelerator and brake pedals. If you get scared you can always stop the Park Assist instantly by taking over the steering or simply braking the car to a stop.
Locally, you can have the CC in three versions — the entry-level 1.8 TSI with Volkswagen dry-clutch seven-speed DSG (Dual Shift Gearbox) or the Sport 2.0 TSI with the six-speed DSG. While those two four-cylinder variants are front-wheel-drive, the top-of-the-range CC 3.6 and its six cylinders come with the Volkswagen 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system.
With an improved drivetrain and enhanced driving dynamics, the driving experience of the CC is better too, with more control and assertiveness on the road. Performance figures of the 1.8 TSI CC remain (160bhp and 250Nm maximum) although there is a slightly higher top speed now — then again, that is something you are not supposed to explore in Singapore anyway. The CC is also environmentally friendlier, with better fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission levels.
Technical Specifications — Volkswagen CC 1.8 TSI
Engine: 1,798cc inline-4 16v turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed DSG
Max Power: 160bhp at 5,000-6,200rpm
Max Torque: 250Nm at 1,500-4,200rpm
Top Speed: 223km/h
0-100km/h: 8.5 secs
Price with COE: S$196,300
Dealer: Volkswagen Group Singapore
Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at www.cheryl-tay.com.